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Night Owls: Insider Tips on Calgary Nightlife

Sub Rosa (Photo: courtesy Anstice Communications)

Sub Rosa (Photo: courtesy Anstice Communications)

By RYAN MASSEL

There are endless spaces and places in Calgary to enjoy until the wee hours of the morning. From late night eats to one-of-a-kind nightlife experiences, these are some of our city’s finest!

THE HIDDEN
Time to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes — these hidden bars are tucked into some pretty creative places.

Betty Lou's Library (Photo: by Neil Zeller)

Betty Lou’s Library (Photo: by Neil Zeller)

Betty Lou’s Library
You’ll need to request a special password to access this hidden speakeasy (hint: reservations are recommended). Located in a historical brownstone, The Devenish Building, your only clues to its existence are a stacked bookcase, a velvet rope, and an old fashioned telephone.

Sub Rosa
Escape the ordinary and enter a world of luxe glam where gilded gold and shiny brass décor surround banquets of tufted leather seats. Then there’s the ornate wallpaper, gender-neutral bathrooms, and flaming cocktails that will keep you chatting all night long. The entrance to this secretive club, which is hidden below The Guild, can only be spotted by the neon glowing triangle that sits above its doors.

LATE NIGHT EATS

Hayden Block Smoke & Whiskey
There’s no better way to end a day than with a tummy full of Texas-style smoked meat. Each day from 10 pm until close, all of Hayden Block’s mouth-watering meat options are 50 percent off. While you’re there add in an order of hushpuppies with honey butter — you’ll be glad you did!

Cibo
Skip the quick slices and head to Cibo for an entire pizza pie! Friday and Saturday after 10 pm or Sunday and Monday after 9 pm, this Italian-inspired restaurant offers a “late night dinner happy hour” deal. For $5 you’ll get a fresh, house-made pizza to share — add $4 glasses of wine or draft to make it a mini date night for a mini price.

Chicken on the Way
Fried chicken, fries, and corn fritters have been the stars since 1958. The “Our Specialty” combo is perfect for sharing and, at under $10, is definitely the best value in Calgary! All five locations are open late on Friday and Saturday; the Kensington location is open latest until 1:30 am.

Frenchie Wine Bar
A portrait of a French bulldog adorns the entrance of this 15-seat, French-inspired modern wine bar in Una Pizza and Wine.

Bourbon Room
The home of one of Calgary’s first hidden spaces can be found cloaked behind rich velvet curtains high above the popular beer hall National on 10th. This speakeasy looks like a page out of Hugh Hefner’s personal photo album and specializes in the namesake brown liquor, while National also includes additional secret spaces like a hidden private dining room that very few locals even know about. See if you can find it!

Model Citizen
Hidden atop Model Milk along Calgary’s iconic 17th Avenue, this cozy 50-seat lounge can only can be accessed through a small side door marked with #300. Inside you’ll find a cocktail menu that changes monthly, ensuring a unique experience each time you visit.

THE TRANSFORMERS
These restaurants switch up their vibe when darkness falls and, best of all, require no cover charge.

Raw Bar (Photo: by Zev Abosh)

Raw Bar (Photo: by Zev Abosh)

Raw Bar
This multi-award winning restaurant showcases a menu that celebrates Vietnamese heritage blended with contemporary influences. On Saturday nights a DJ fires up and locals make their way in for creative cocktails and a night of mixing and mingling.

1410 World Bier Haus
Pub food, beer, and sports are the flavour of the day, but that all changes on weekend nights when the high-top tables are cleared and the small dance floor fills up as a DJ pounds the beats. Casual drinks and an easy-going mixed crowd set a comfortable scene.

Wurst
No need to board a plane and fly halfway around the world to take in the culture of Germany; just head to this Bavarian-style beer hall. While the top floor is a calm, casual restaurant for enjoying German cuisine, the basement is a lively, boisterous spot. On Saturday nights test your beer stein-holding strength to win some pretty great prizes, or dance on the communal wooden tables as the live oompah band riles up the crowd.

Double Zero Pizza
Party like it’s New Year’s Eve every Saturday night afer 9 p.m. at the downtown location of this pizza joint with a DJ and $5 glasses of prosecco.

THE ICONS
Calgary has some of the best late-night institutions for locals to take their guests to when they want to impress.

Ranchman's Cookhouse and Dancehall (Photo: courtesy Canadian Tourism Commission)

Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall (Photo: courtesy Canadian Tourism Commission)

The Country Clubs
When in Calgary, do as the cowboys and cowgirls do! A crowd of city slickers come together at Cowboy’s Dance Hall to drop it low with Drake and kick up their boots to T-Swift and Garth. The crowd is young and ready to party, and spontaneous line dancing happens along the way. Cowboy-hatted people of all ages head to Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall for line-dancing, a playlist comprised solely of country tunes, and barbecue grub.

The HiFi Club
Those in the know, know that Hifi has been the place to dance the night away for over a decade. The small venue hosts an amazing collection of local DJs. Get ready to sweat with a crowd of open-armed locals!

Singapore Sam’s
By day this Chinese eatery serves up a lunch buffet to downtown business folk, but by night it’s a full-on scene you have to see to believe. After last call, make your way here where you’ll continue your night by dancing on tables and playing chopstick air guitar until 4 am (Thu – Sat) while retro tunes blare.

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