By Lethbridge Herald on July 4, 2018.
This year marks the 50th summer for the Calgary Tower. But in Lethbridge, the iconic water tower has a story just as interesting.
And a Calgary company will be welcoming southern Albertans to enjoy the view from our tower, starting July 25.
Lance Hurtubise, president of the Vintage Group of restaurants in Calgary, says that’s when a celebratory dinner will officially open the Water Tower Grille.
Starting the next day, he says, the unique facility will be open daily for lunch and dinner. As previously, a lounge will also welcome guests on the first level.
“It’s looking really good,” he says, with only a few more items to complete.
“We’ve done all the heavy lifting.”
But a new piece of kitchen equipment has been ordered to replace one that no longer meets their requirements, Hurtubise says. The audio and security systems need to be fine-tuned as well,
“Then we’ll need some inspections,” before operating permits are issued.
Hurtubise predicted a July opening when he confirmed plans for the tower, earlier this year. The restaurant and lounge had been dark since a previous operator closed shop in early 2017.
The water tower, ordered in 1955 to improve water pressure in the city’s fast-growing southside subdivisions, was retired nearly 50 years later when a new pressurized system took its place. Southern Alberta entrepreneur and designer Doug Bergen convinced city officials the structure should be repurposed — not demolished — and announced plans to cut windows in the former water tank and install an elevator for easy access.
Construction began in 2003, with the first restaurant company — British Columbia-based Ric’s Grill — opening after the reconfiguration.
With this year’s updates all but complete, Hurtubise says plans are in hand for the grand opening.
“It’s coming. It’s very exciting!”
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