Known as Electric Ave in the ‘80s, thanks to its popular nightlife spots and rowdy atmosphere, today the Design District boasts home décor stores, art galleries, architect and home builder services, as well as cafés and restaurants.
1 DELICIOUS VIEWS
Vue Café comes with a Design District twist: it’s a bistro that doubles as Virginia Christopher Fine Art, allowing patrons to admire contemporary paintings while waiting for their smoked turkey panini or buffalo blue cheeseburger. The seating area surrounds an open kitchen, so you can watch the chefs engage in Epicurean artwork.
2 EYE-CATCHING INTERIORS
Soho + Nada is an independent gem specializing in home décor, kitchenware and furniture. While the larger pieces are eclectic, blending traditional style and modern design, the real draw is portables such as vibrantly coloured glassware, sleek china sets and playful kitchen tools.
3 COCKTAIL HOUR
Through the red front door of Red Door Bistro you’ll find a bistro, lounge and pub all-in-one, as well as some of the most inventive drinks in the city. Try the Moulin Rogue, with Skyy berry vodka, Chambord Royale liqueur, amaretto, freshly squeezed lime juice and honey syrup. The food menu is American with French influences, and includes an oyster bar.
4 MODERN ART
Contemporary and provocative, Herringer Kiss Gallery represents more than 25 artists, ranging in experience from emerging to established. Founder Deborah Herringer Kiss also displays works in many mediums, including photographs, prints, paintings, sculpture, glass and mixed media.
5 THAI TREASURE
The King & I, a Thai fusion restaurant, has been a stalwart of the Calgary dining scene for 20 years, with their delicately balanced flavours and elegant Asian décor. Try the Chu Chi Kai, chicken stir fried with vegetables in chili jam and a basil, coconut and milk-infused sauce.
6 HOME COUTURE
Chintz & Company has three floors of furniture, decorations, garden accessories, bath products, linens, tableware and more. The products range from modern and eclectic to classic and quaint.
7 CANUCK ART
Canadian talent is the lifeblood of Webster Galleries, with two floors of painting and sculpture by artists from the Great White North. The artwork ranges from traditional pieces such as Inuit stone sculpture and mountain scenes to more modern visuals. If you notice a handle on the wall, give it a pull—they are actually doors that reveal more artwork behind.—Sally MacKinnon