Hitting the patio for a drink during Calgary’s late spring and summer is more than a satisfying experience for men in the city — it’s downright cathartic, getting us outside and providing opportunities to see beautiful women bathed in prairie sunlight and, hopefully, smiling in our direction. Depending on your situation, and whether that sun-soaked vision is your wife (or someone you could see becoming such), different terraces will offer you different advantages. Here are three options for the single and the committed man, separated by beverage.
Ship and Anchor
One of the first definitive signs of spring in Calgary is seeing the Ship’s faithful gathered on its iconic street-level patio. The 17th Ave. mainstay is not known for frills. Still, there’s a good reason you can rarely find a simple picnic table on this crowded little patio: Calgarians in the know understand pints and a burger on the Ship’s sundeck is a lock for good times. 534 17 Ave. S.W., 403-245-3333.
During the end of the post-secondary school year, Loco Lou’s elevated terrace is transformed into neighbouring SAIT’s unofficial campus party spot, and the celebration keeps going right through summer. Easily viewable by 16th Ave.’s torrent of traffic, curious passersby tend to circle back and before you know it, the party has swollen into a co-ed dorm-style bash. 1324 16 Ave. N.W., 403- 284-3366.
Molly’s rooftop patio lets you feel the open air, but because of its trendy, Kensington-area clientele, it is often a tightly clustered hotspot of hip people. The Irish pub’s deck has a fully-stocked bar, which ensures that the pints come in record time — an added bonus for keeping the merrymaking going at a smart pace. 1153 Kensington Cres. N.W., 403-296-3220.
The Palomino, Broken City, West, Melrose.
Sharing a glass of wine on River Café’s patio, with Prince’s Island Park’s charming scenery in the background, is a postcard-worthy image you’d wish you could send back in time to your single self each time he’s considering firing up the Xbox and staying in for the night. A truly relaxing date night experience, River Café offers a diverse menu of local, seasonal cuisine, as well as an appreciably regional wine selection. Prince’s Island Park, 403-261-7670.
Bite Grocertia & Caffé
Bite is a sound place to stop while shopping (or accompanying your lady on a “fun” daytime shopping trip) in the Ramsay/Inglewood area. Its street-side patio is a quaint Paris-style set-up and the café has a delicious menu that includes genuine gelatos, birch beers, and gourmet charcuterie baskets. 1212 9 Ave. S.E., 403-263-3966.
The Living Room
About as far away experientially from the rowdiness of 17th, yet still located on the uptown avenue, Living Room’s warmly-lit patio features outdoor fireplaces and an inviting, courtyard atmosphere. The closed-in vibe provides an exceptional environment for grabbing a nightcap or late dinner, and really getting to know someone. 514 17 Ave. S.W., 403-228-9830.
Rouge, Vin Room, Boxwood, Alloy.
Image courtey of Federì.