After a record mild winter in Calgary, there’s a sense we haven’t really earned patio season this year through the traditional means — by suffering a savage and near-unbearable seven-month freeze. There’s also a sense that it’s patio season and if the sun god of winter 2012 decides to clock a little overtime, it’s going to be a great summer. Here, a few places to be when Calgary’s streets meet sunshine.
Ship and Anchor
The 17th Avenue hotspot continues to pack in patrons year-round, but the Ship really sets sail in the summer, when its large, street-level patio space starts flooding with hip clientele. 534 17 Ave. S.W.
A great place to re-live your halcyon days (the University of Calgary and SAIT Polytechnic are mere minutes away) and take in NHL playoffs, UFC events, and college fundraisers — cross your fingers for women’s volleyball. 1324 16 Ave. N.W.
One of only a few great Irish pubs in Calgary, Mollly’s is always packed on St. Pat’s, but the rooftop patio and view of Kensington Road makes it a prime spot well after March. 1153 Kensington Cres. N.W.
Grab a rack of ribs, pour a tall glass of Lynchburg Lemonade and let your rockabilly flag fly. The Palomino’s courtyard-ish patio, located out back of the Southern BBQ shack and downtown music destination is a slab of pure honkeytonk heaven. 109 7 Ave. S.W.
Follow @TheBrokenCity on Twitter and watch for the tweets confirming their sweet Beltline patio is open. The rooftop deck at this indie music mainstay can open up on any night with clear skies all the way ’til Thanksgiving. 613 11 Ave. S.W.
It’s only been a couple years since West’s grand opening and most of the downtown core crowd is already declaring its patio the best of Calgary’s concrete highlands. The 15,000-square-foot space complete with cabanas, fireplaces and an unmatched view deserves all the praise it gets. 225 7 Ave. S.W.
The best patio in Calgary for a romantic lunch or dinner, River Café’s award-winning menu (focused on regional cuisine) and diverse wine selection (plus the option of bringing your own wine on Sundays and not paying the $20 corkage fee) is park-perfect. Prince’s Island Park
Image courtesy of Ayrcan.