West Restaurant and Bar, Calgary

The stadium of turbulence that’s gaining steam in the Scotia Centre has opened its alluring portals to a multi-level indoor/outdoor, dining out extravaganza. The owners of the new monster resto-bar – Concorde Entertainment Group – have taken to touting its nightlife darling as “Calgary’s corporate playground.” Perhaps it just might be. As owner/manager Jeff Hanna put it, “There’s really nothing like it in Calgary.”

Hanna, with brothers Victor and Jim Choy and others on the payroll at West, have created a one-stop-shopping spot for drinking/dining/whatever. The wickedly fun environs are intended to reflect the name; a salute to Calgary hospitality, with a friendly resto-club feel with eclectic, fusion dishes made from scratch with grade A Alberta beef, locally caught fish, and fresh ingredients. Bringing on board Head Executive Chef Andrew Gass, who’s provided Team Canada’s Men’s Junior Hockey team with gold-winning meals (literally), manning the three kitchens.

Gass will be under a watchful eye, as customers can look into the exposed kitchen, or watch their meals being prepared on camera, broadcasted throughout the restaurant’s television screens (when the games not on, of course). Events – like winemaker dinners and chef classes – are currently ongoing as the space is prime to host them, with theatre-stage seating hovering over the kitchen. Otherwise prime seating is on avail at the L-shaped bar with an Enomatic wine dispenser, three private rooms separated by glass sliding doors, and a large rooftop patio with its own bar and cozy cabanas. After 10 pm, the tables get pulled back, the DJ gets going – and bam! – it’s an evening lounge. Idea: start happy hour on the upcoming patio, go to the theatre-seating place for dinner, then head to the Plus 30 spot to hang out in the 60’s lounge, or Grotto for the rest of the evening (this floor also has the dance floor).

Between all seven bars, get any specially created cocktails by bar manager and mixologist Jeff Schaus, winner of best cocktail in North America, placing 6th in the world finals (psh, who can’t do that). Sounds like a lot of buzz around something you won’t be able to taste after you drink more than five of, but hey, if it’s smooth going down it will be smooth coming up (we hope). Drinks, food, dancing, watching, patio-ing, it all sounds too much to keep the “friendly, neighbourhood” feel, but that’s the message they’re sending. We’ll see how much heart this place can hold up in such a huge, eventful area.

225 7 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
Daily 11am-2am
Cuisine – Fusion
Area – Bow Valley
Price – $$$ (Within Reach)

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