Inglewood is a nostalgic contrast to the gleaming towers of the core, an urban village free of big-box stores and chain eateries. Over the past decade, a renaissance has whispered new life into this once decrepit area. While retaining much of its historic charm, Inglewood now also boasts an array of fine restaurants, eclectic home décor shops and chic fashion boutiques.
ROMANTIC FINE DINING
Rouge, located in a romantic, old Victorian house, has an upscale menu of French cuisine with doting staff. Capo is a cozy new Italian boutique restaurant that’s won several best new restaurant awards.
HOME DÉCOR CENTRAL
Evidence of the neighbourhood’s many transformations, The Garry Theatre, once home to blue movies, then the Loose Moose improv group, now houses From the Ground Up, an offbeat furniture store with creaky hardwood floors and fairly-traded paraphernalia. It’s one of many unique home décor boutiques in the area. 1229 – 9 Ave SE, 252-0990.
The Deane House serves tea and scones in a regal atmosphere, and in the summer, the outdoor garden is an oasis of flora and fauna.
Bookishly bearded types lurk around Fair’s Fair, an underground lair of used books with everything from trashy romance novels to Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. On a recent browse, I scooped up a tough-to-find copy of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. 907 – 9 Ave SE, 237-8156.
A LOCAL’S DELI DELIGHT
Spolumbo’s, at the corner of 9th Avenue and 13th Street, is lined up out the door at lunch. Their messy meatball sandwiches have made them a Calgary icon.
The Hose & Hound takes its name from the old fire hall in which it’s housed. This relaxed pub serves tasty halibut and chips, and the patios are packed in the summer.
Inglewood is just minutes from downtown: Go east along 9 Ave S until you cross the trestle bridge, and there you are. Most of the shops and restaurants line 9 Ave, but discover eclectic little stores on the side streets as well.—Roberta McDonald