Guild chef conquers the West
Ryan O’Flynn to open nine new restaurants, expand The Guild
Calgary chef Ryan O’Flynn, who heads the culinary team at The Guild, isn’t shy about his plans for Canadian culinary domination.
As part of the Toronto-based restaurant group, Oliver & Bonacini, O’Flynn is helping to lead the group’s Western Canadian expansion. “It’s kind of like the TransCanada Highway of restaurants,” he says. “It’s pretty cool to build that path. And I want to be part of it.”
The expansion started last year with the opening of The Guild on the main floor of The Bay building in July 2016. It continues with the opening of nine restaurants — yes, nine — in Edmonton in 2018. The first will be in the J.W. Marriott Hotel in Edmonton’s arena district, followed by eight others in the city’s arts district. While the Edmonton growth is big news, Calgarians aren’t being forgotten now that The Guild is up and running. Last year, O’Flynn and his team opened a speakeasy, Sub Rosa, in the basement of The Guild.
This past February, they opened a pub and patio as part of The Guild. And in April, they’ll open a 90,000-squarefoot conference centre on The Bay’s top floor. It features two ballrooms, Hudson’s Lofts (which holds 600 people) and Hudson’s Flats, which holds 400.
Each room can be divided into three smaller rooms, but for larger events, O’Flynn and his team will have the capacity to serve plated dinners for up to 1,000 people. Just like the menu at The Guild, there will be vegetarian dishes, dryaged beef, gourmet comfort food and local meat and produce.
The new centre will also have a 20,000-squarefoot kitchen, so staff can expand what they make on-site. “We’re going to make everything in-house,” O’Flynn says. “Our longterm goal is literally to be the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.”
With so much on the go, does O’Flynn ever rest? A little, he admits, thanks to his hard-working team. “The days are long but not too many people get to be part of such amazing growth,” he says. “I want to be part of this collective genius and see what we can do next.”
Calgary chef Ryan o’Flynn isn’t shy about his plans for Canadian culinary domination.