Calgary

Owner of flooded Calgary pubs holds fundraiser to help out staff

Last month, sudden flooding caused both Pig & Duke locations to close. In a unfortunate turn of fate, both incidents, which took place over the course of two days, were caused by three separate unrelated pipe breaks in the apartment buildings above the pubs.

Both of Pig & Duke's locations flooded after separate, unrelated pipe breaks in January

Both Pig and Duke locations flooded in January due to burst pipes in the apartment buildings above the pubs. (Pig & Duke/Instagram/Terri Trembath)

Last month, sudden flooding caused both Pig & Duke locations to close.

In a unfortunate turn of fate, both incidents, which took place over the course of two days, were caused by three separate unrelated pipe breaks in the apartment buildings above the pubs.

The incidents meant that the pubs have remained closed since, and approximately 65 staff members were left without work.

"It was just bad luck, honestly. And bad things always happen to good people," said Taylor Norman, a server who worked at the pubs. "A few of us girls have been applying elsewhere. But we don't want to work anywhere else."

Taylor Norman, a server with the Pig & Duke, said she wants to come back to work with the pub as soon as the doors reopen. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

There is still significant work to be done before the pubs can reopen, with owners estimating the downtown location might open first. Owner Jo Lowden anticipated approximately three to four weeks remain before staff can come back to work.

With the finances and well-being of those staff members in mind, friends and partners of the Pig & Duke in the food and drink industry came together Saturday night for a fundraiser at the Township Bar & Grill on 6th Avenue S.W.

"It's been breathtaking, heartwarming, the open arms and the generosity we've had from so many people. It's been incredible," Lowden said. "And from all walks of life, too. It's not just from the local breweries and the wineries. People have just reached out. It's been incredible."

Proceeds from ticket sales, a silent auction and other sales are set to be distributed evenly across the board to out of work staff members, Lowden said, to help them get through the period while the pubs are closed.

"We've been a family … I'm mama bear to a lot of these girls," she said. "They don't work for me, they work with me."

Jo Lowden, one of the owners of the Pig & Duke, said the period since the flooding has been emotional for everyone. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Graham Sherman, owner of Tool Shed Brewing Company, said the event was an opportunity for the Calgary community to support those who had been affected by the floods.

"You see how much the city wants to come together. It opens up an incredible opportunity to say, 'We can do this, we can also do that,'" Sherman said. "Anyone that goes down and has struggles in Calgary is going to find pretty tremendous support here."

Totals raised from the event are still being calculated.

With files from Terri Trembath

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