Oliver & Bonacini event venue to open in Hud­son’s Bay build­ing

Calgary Herald - - CITY - AMANDA STEPHEN­SON astephen­[email protected] Twit­ter.com/Aman­daMsteph

The Toronto-based com­pany open­ing a 50,000-square foot event venue this week in down­town Calgary says it has not been put off by eco­nomic con­di­tions or the record-high of­fice va­cancy rate in the city’s core.

Restau­rant group Oliver & Bonacini is set to un­veil Hud­son, a 700-per­son ca­pac­ity event space on the sixth floor of the his­toric Hud­son’s Bay build­ing on Stephen Av­enue, on Wed­nes­day. The venue will of­fer space for busi­ness events such as meet­ings and pre­sen­ta­tions as well as cel­e­bra­tory oc­ca­sions like wed­dings, Christ­mas par­ties and Stam­pede par­ties.

Its open­ing marks the com­ple­tion of O&B’s first foray into West­ern Canada and is the fi­nal phase of a three-part project that saw the com­pany open a restau­rant (The Guild) and cock­tail lounge (Sub Rosa) in the Bay build­ing last year.

O&B first part­nered with the Hud­son’s Bay Com­pany in 2011, cre­at­ing a restau­rant, in-house bak­ery and event space at the re­tailer’s Toronto Queen Street store in spring 2012.

Calgary was cho­sen as the first location for ex­pan­sion out­side of Toronto in part be­cause of the his­toric charm of the land­mark Hud­son’s Bay store, said Pa­trick Soul, district man­ager for Oliver & Bonacini.

“Sure, rel­a­tive to the un­em­ploy­ment rate and va­can­cies in down­town Calgary, there are some con­cerns there. But this isn’t a 12- to 24-month thing for us,” he said. “We’re ... look­ing for­ward to the re­cov­ery.”

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