HOME > Chowhound > Prairie Provinces >


The BottleHouse Beer Parlour - Calgary (Kensington)


Opening April 2010.
At the location formerly known as "Robbie Stewart's".
The "For Sale" sign is gone.
The outside signage has been changed.
No real content on the website yet.

But it does look hopeful.
From the Contact page:
"Front and Back of House Staff
Kensington's newest Pub seeking dynamic, talented chef, sous-chefs, line cooks, and front of house staff to work in a fun, professional atmosphere. Located in the trendy community of Kensington, you have the opportunity to continue a time honoured tradition of providing excellent food and drink in a friendly, unique atmosphere. If you have the skill set and experience to be a part of a great innovative team please forward your resumes"

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. That logo is hideous. But let's all wish them luck.

    4 Replies
    1. re: John Manzo

      Wow, it really is. I wish for them not only luck, but a competent graphic designer.

      1. re: Leibowitz


        I have to agree the font is terrible! and they should add a witch doctor to the hire list.. that place needs a total curse removal sweet grass voodoo dance!

        I would love to see a successful business use that great space... but no one has pulled it of in year and years.

        The concept sounds good, I will cross my fingers for the beer parlour!

        1. re: CookieGal

          Well let's do more than just 'cross our fingers' and actually give it a try? I think I have gone to every place in that has been in that location. Some being better than others. Robbie Stewarts was...meh - nothing special. That location does seemed jinxed though. I'm sure there is a thread somewhere on that topic. A completely different concept, other than pub, might have been a better idea but but I'll still check it out for sure.

          1. re: TSAW

            As a beer lover, if they have a decent brew menu, I'll definitely check it out. I'm still going to cringe every time I walk past that sign, though.

    2. Opening this thread is pure Schadenfreude.

      15 Replies
      1. re: Jetgirly


        Beer menu is up;


        Here's to hoping for these folks... But man, call in Max Von Sydow for the location.

        1. re: seemac70

          Well, that's...better than nothing. I imagine they'll expand their selection as time goes on. If time goes on.

            1. re: TSAW

              Yum agreed!

              Truly though, if a beer place on the corner of a busy intersection in arguably the most walked area in town can't be successful I say we just show some mercy, plow the darn place over and put up a McDonalds.

              Or maybe a church would be better suited, lol

              1. re: messier

                church? in the most secular neighbourhood of one of the most secular cities in north america?

                There are plenty of can't-miss options for that building. Kensington is full of mediocre to horrid coffeehouses but bereft of even one excellent one- if Phil & Sebastian opened there, they'd have non-stop lineups. I can think if plenty of other examples but it's not going to happen if a pioneer that nobody's ever heard of, with crappy corp identity and not selling anything you can't get at dozens of other pubs or restos keeps trying to get its feet in the door there.

                McDonald's- no thanks, but how about, finally, an inner-city Fatburger?

                1. re: Leibowitz

                  Not sure, about that one!

                  I just think Tom Cruise is the best.

                  When I think about what might work at this "cursed" location, I kind of end up coming back to a nameplate chain or some such. Not that I'm hoping, it's just that one aspect of franchising is that market share is purchased to a certain extent and people will more or less just walk in on that basis; "Hey look, a Subway."

                  What's weird is that on many levels the joint has so many things in its favour, technically speaking. Highly visible location, located in an area that skews younger, lots of foot traffic, etc.

                  However, Kensington is saturated with middle of the road pub/sports bars. Take your pick of the mediocre lot; Molly's, K-Pub, Yardhouse, Beagle, Fats. Some better that others, but nothing to write home about. Chicken wings, anyone?

                  Anyways, if they really nail down something that sets them apart, they may have a chance.

                  1. re: seemac70

                    But so far, it doesn't look like ANYTHING is going to set them apart. You hit the nail on the head...there are already too many other places doing this and doing it better (though still kinda mediocre).

                    You know what I want to see there?

                    A Caribbean place. Doesn't have to be super authentic, just tasty, spicy and CHEAP. No more than 10 items on the menu. PERIOD. End of story, don't try to be all things to all people...you'll end up doing all of them BAD. 4 Apps, a salad, a rotating soup selection, 4 (maybe 5) mains. But everything prepared fresh, great ingredients, and priced fair. Desert? One desert. Key Lime Pie, but the best damn Key Lime Pie in the nation. Charge $15 for that sucker, and make it worth it! 10 regular beers, 4 new ones each month/season. NO MOLSON or LABATT. Rye, rum, vodka, tequilla, gin. THAT'S IT! (maybe one good scotch)

                    Pay well. Hire smart, not cute.

                    I live down the street, and if you do this I will be there EVERY SINGLE DAY and I will tell all of my friends to do the same.



                      1. re: KcM

                        Key Lime pie isn't caribbean and Key West faux "caribbean"with conch this and that is not going to fool anyone. Put a decent Jamaican place there. Desert can be something like soursop ice cream, or better yet, no freaking desert.

                        I do agree with your idea in principle, though, but I'd much prefer someplace like TO's Burrito Boyz.

                        1. re: John Manzo

                          I agree. No dessert in a WI resto. Throw some tamrind balls in a dish to whack your palate after your meal. And serve home brewed gingerbeer for sure.

                          Good spice, good beer, fast service. I would park wherever I had to and walk in to get that!

                          Now I'm craving peas and rice with brown gravy. Darn you! :)

                      2. re: seemac70

                        I think that there are a lot of reasons behind that being a "cursed" location that has nothing to do with curses and everything to do with location.

                        1) Highly visible from Memorial Drive, but not so much from 10th street.
                        2) Any pedestrians in Kensington will walk north of Kensington but don't turn south.
                        3) Parking, parking, parking. I believe that they may even have some...but IIRC it is accessible from Memorial Drive, east of 10th and only from westbound traffic. Even if you're driving on Memorial westbound, you pass the parking entrance before you see the building.

                        Unless someone can turn this into a "destination" type restaurant, I don't foresee the cycle of quick closures every changing.

                      3. re: John Manzo

                        'Inner-city Fatburger' - I like how you think :-)

                        1. re: John Manzo

                          Or a bakery! Dying for a real bakery in Kensington.

                          1. re: John Manzo

                            Fatburger.. finally a place I agree with you on! After your reco fro Una, Farm and Jaroblue I started thinking we have very different taste buds

                        2. re: TSAW

                          If they are really bringing in Pumphouse from NB, that would be really cool. I've heard good things (but we don't have it in BC yet!).

                    1. At a quick glance, Bottlescrew Bill's seems to have two or three times the beer selection, so they're The BottleHouse isn't really upping the ante in regards to the "beer parlour" part of their equation. I wish them the best of luck, but in reality, my expectations are set quite low.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: darelleats

                        Agreed. There are already many other places, Bottlescrew's included, with far more selection for brew. Hell, this reads as a lesser (than the already mediocre) Original Joe's.
                        Kawa - a coffee house - has a more innovative beer menu, as does the new Charcut - a restaurant. The Ship and Anchor has more on tap than they do on their entire menu. Like I said, tho, let's hope they expand it once they get going. They'll have to do it quickly, tho.

                        1. re: Leibowitz

                          I see one brew on the beer menu that I don't believe I've ever seen in a resto;

                          Colt 45!

                          They must be going after the teen hip-hop kid dollar.

                          1. re: seemac70

                            It's for the, um, urban market. Maybe to commemorate Billy D Williams being here for Comic Con next week.

                            1. re: John Manzo

                              Shoulda had Boba in one of his old 45 ads! (After all, it: "Works Every Time")

                              1. re: seemac70

                                How has nobody called you out for this horrible gaffe yet?? It's Lando....not Boba :P

                                1. re: electroleum

                                  Obviously... But thanks for outing the geek factor.

                                  Boba would have made a cool guest appearance with Billy Dee. You know, two buddies, aloft on a Bespin Saturday night flight into the clouds. Maybe R2 and 3PO could show them to the "other" side of town, even.

                            2. re: seemac70

                              That's actually a pretty funny "beer" (malt liquor) to have on the menu. I bet the kids will order it ironically.

                        2. Not an original idea on the Colt 45. MING on 17th has been serving it for years and it comes wrapped in a paper bag which is the only way to drink a Colt!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Doc1200

                            The "bum bag" of the story! Cops can never tell what's in a paper bag... Right? One may then imbibe in public in a relaxed fashion.

                          2. Yay, take the beer selection of a Liquor Depot, add a 400% markup, profit. I'll be there, never.

                            The BottleHouse Beer Parlour
                            102 10 St NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1V3, CA

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: jeffwhit

                              Jeff, you're such a cynic- have a fruit beer, preferably that esteemed fruit beer known as Bud Light Lime.

                              But seriously- if this place is still open a year from now, I'll eat my hat. Not a big hat, maybe a paper one, but I'll eat it.

                              1. re: John Manzo

                                Couldn't believe it when I saw that they had replicated that horrific 70s font on the actual building and not just on the website.. eesh.

                                1. re: ilovealbertabeets

                                  i know!! saw the font on the sign driving by last night...grim...won't last long

                            2. Rumour/Update
                              A little birdie said they will be opening tomorrow (Thursday).

                              A peek in the window - looked like not much has changed from the previous incarnation.
                              So I would guess most of the delay is due to licensing and inspection.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: cancowboy

                                Fair enough, eh?

                                Good luck to all involved, but I hope they got a trick up their sleeve somewhere. Can't wait to see if they have the exotic "club" type sandwich, or the elusive "chicken wing" that I've heard so much about.

                                (That will generate buzz. Trust me.)

                                1. re: cancowboy

                                  Definately open - drove past tonight. There were a couple tables with folks....

                                2. This place is stumbling distance to my house, if there was anything even half-way decent in that location, I'd go all the time. I gave Robbie Stewart's two tries, just in case the terrible meal I had there the first time was a fluke. It wasn't.

                                  My personal dream for that location would be something doing simple, home-cooked-style, organic, maybe even vegetarian. The kind of place where you could get a gourmet mac and cheese or a really fantastic soup.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Casta

                                    Food menu is up.


                                    So much for my notions about clubs 'n wings...

                                    They must have let a real industry veteran help write the menu, what with all entrees coming with; "...choice of starch."

                                    1. re: seemac70

                                      The food menu link is broken.

                                      I wonder if that's foreshadowing or pathetic fallacy....

                                      1. re: messier

                                        I think they had updated the menu and thus the link. Here's the new link. http://www.bottlehouse.ca/uploads/Bot...

                                  2. I went in for a late lunch last week. Not much has changed decor-wise from its previous incarnation.

                                    8 taps of draft plus one for cider. The remaining 60+ beers are in bottles. I leave it to the beer connoisseurs to comment on whether there is a sufficient selection to slake their thirsts. I chose a beer from BC called Thirsty Beaver (because I thought the name was funny) which is like a Rickard's White.

                                    The menu is typical of pub menus (burgers, wings, ribs, pasta) with a slightly upscale twist - different cheese, back bacon. All the menu was available (as opposed to half with Robbie Stewart's - did they ever end up serving haggis?). At the time, there were no daily specials.

                                    I tried the Hoser Burger (bacon cheese burger) with fries.
                                    I figure if you can't make a decent burger then there is probably no hope for the rest of the menu.
                                    Served on a soft onion bun the juicy burger fits the bun - I hate it when the bun ends up being half again as large as the burger. With onion, tomato, pickle. Sorry I have forgotten what cheese it was - not cheddar; not Swiss.
                                    Not the best burger I have ever had but a good burger.

                                    Wait staff are doing the little black dress uniform. I think I ended up being served by three different staff over the course of an hour, I am told (by those in the know) that the new management is smart and experienced and will be able to make a go of it. The previous management too often treated their restaurant as a toy/hobby rather than as a business.

                                    It is a decent start for the restaurant. That being said, there is nothing (yet) to distinguish them food-wise from their competitors - they will have to do it with beer and service.

                                    1. The menu actually interested me and my mom loves beer... I might have to go check it out if I can figure out the parking. :)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: AriaDream

                                        I went there for lunch with week. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of food that came out of the kitchen. Having said that, the bar was set fairly low after the Robbie Stewart experiment. I started with wings... sort of my litmus test to gauge how competent a kitchen is. The hot wings were good... nice and crunchy with plenty of meat on the bones.
                                        For my main, I ordered The Gobbler. A turkey sandwich on ciabatta with caramelized onions, smoked cheddar and a cranberry mayo. I was really pleased with my sandwich but the star of the show was the soup that came as a side. I had a bowl of their seafood chowder instead of salad or fries. Wow, very flavourful broth spiked with a huge prawn, scallop and a chunk on salmon... amongst other things.
                                        I ordered a bottle of Czech Mate lager from a micro brew in Saskatchewan. I had not seen that beer at my local liquor store so I was happy to see something a bit random on the beer menu.
                                        As for parking... I parked right on Memorial Drive about three blocks east of the Bottlehouse. Free two hour parking.

                                        1. re: DeeDub

                                          This parking, is it accessible if you're going East on Memorial? From where I live I'd normally get to this place by going down 10th or 14th.

                                          1. re: AriaDream

                                            If you are going East on Memorial the free 2 hour parking I am talking about is not accessible unless you go through the lights on 10th and then pull a U-turn on 5th and head back on Memorial westbound.

                                      2. I’m disappointed by the beer menu. Only one representative from Germany! I do not understand why so many places here only offer Becks. It’s terrible beer! (when compared to some of the other beers produced in Germany) They need to expand their menu!

                                        Also, the prices are astronomically high, as others have said.


                                        1. A large group of us went to The Bottlehouse on Friday night and we were all pleasantly surprised. The interior was nice and homey feeling, nothing fancy but nice.

                                          The Friday drink special was the Huckleberry Wheat Ale and it's become one of my new favourites. But it was the food that was a surprise for me. I had the Street Fighter burger and it was one of the best I've had in Calgary. The egg (yes egg) was perfectly cooked (assuming you like an oozy yoke) and the fried were perfectly crispy and fresh.

                                          They conveniently had a coupon posted the day before on Groupon.com (go if you've never been!) but I forgot to use it but I will happily go again for lunch or dinner. I really hope this place sticks around and breaks the curse.

                                          1. The CBC has a `fluff`piece at 5PM on paranormal happenings at The Bottlehouse.

                                            First time I have ever heard of supernatural occurences there.
                                            ?The ghosts of restaurants past?
                                            Maybe the curse will be lifted. LOL

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: cancowboy

                                              If my meal at Bottlehouse today is any indication, I would say the curse has definitely been lifted!!! I had their Street Fighter Burger. Wow. I have to agree with asiandelight... One of the best burgers I have had in a long time.

                                              "This 6oz Peruvian Street Burger is Packed with Back Bacon, a Fried Egg, Havarti Cheese,
                                              Tortilla Strips and a Kalamata Mayo $13.95"

                                              The fried egg was the star with the yolk oozing out onto the plate. Perfect for mopping up with your bun. I once again had the seafood chowder as a side it it was packed with awesomeness. It was my fifth time coming to the Bottlehouse for lunch and each time the food has gotten better. Talked to the owner and he said we need to come back and try their nachos. House made salsa and guacamole. I think he said they fry their own tortilla chips as well. I will have to give it a go.

                                            2. Went to Bottlehouse for weekend brunch. Amazing crab cakes benedict and a good hearty regular breakfast (eggs, bacon). Loved that there's lots of space, no lineup and great service (lots of coffee refills ie).

                                              As I just learned many Kensington pubs and restaurants can't allow children (because of liquor licence), it's a bonus that weekend brunch at Bottlehouse is kid-friendly.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: alau2

                                                Good to know! I dropped in a few weeks ago just for a few drinks after dinner at Pulcinella and found the room nice. It reminded me of a ski lodge inside.

                                                1147 Kensington Crescent NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1X7, CA