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Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants And INK Entertainment To Open New, Innovative Restaurant, Lounge And Event Venue At Hudson's Bay Calgary Downtown

At 100 Years, Historic Location to Offer Street-Side Dining and Late Night Entertainment

TORONTO, Sept. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants (O&B), one of Canada's leading fine dining restaurant and event management companies, and INK Entertainment, one of Canada's most exciting entertainment and hospitality companies are planning a dramatic new food and lounge concept, and large-scale event venue set to open late spring 2014 at Hudson's Bay's Calgary Downtown flagship store.  The new space will elevate the Calgary Downtown retail offering with the addition of top-quality food, wine and cocktails, including outdoor dining and late night buzz.

Oliver & Bonacini partnered with Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) in 2011 and completed their first project at Hudson's Bay Queen Street store, Toronto, in spring 2012, including the launch of a new, thriving restaurant, Bannock; an in-house bakery and confections studio, O&B Artisan; a stylish, in-demand event space, Arcadian Loft; as well as the renovation and re-launch of the historic Arcadian Court.

"We are extremely excited about the new hospitality offerings planned for our Calgary Downtown location, living up to our promise to bring new, high quality brands and experiences to Hudson's Bay." says Bonnie Brooks, President, HBC.  "At 100 years, our Calgary Downtown location is one of the most recognized landmarks in the city. We want to build on that legacy by showcasing this beautiful and historic building, as well as Hudson's Bay's forward-thinking approach to the lifestyles of our shoppers."

Now the HBC and O&B partnership turns its attention to Calgary, this time with the addition of a new collaborator, INK Entertainment. "For Calgary, we envision the restaurant as having a vibrant integrated lounge space that will transition well into late night cocktails and entertainment." says Andrew Oliver, President, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants. "To achieve this, we knew we needed the expertise of Charles Khabouth and his team.  This will be our first concept collaboration with INK Entertainment and we're very excited about the possibilities."

Hudson's Bay Calgary Downtown will be the largest hospitality project either Oliver & Bonacini or INK Entertainment have embarked on to date. Specifically the plan consists of: creating a dynamic restaurant, including a large outdoor patio and a full-service, state-of-the-art versatile event venue.  These initiatives will be delivered in two main phases in 2014.

Phase One: Spacious, Comfortable Restaurant and Lounge

Set to open in late spring 2014, the 7,500-square-foot restaurant and 4,000-square-foot lounge will be located at the southwest corner of Hudson's Bay, an Edwardian classical style building on the corner of 1st Street SW and Stephen Avenue SW in the centre of downtown Calgary. With help from Munge Leung, the design firm responsible for Hawksworth Restaurant in Vancouver, 1 Oak in Las Vegas and La Société in Toronto, the venue will maintain the architecture's original historical features representative of HBC's deep Canadian roots while incorporating a fresh, modern flair.

The spacious and comfortable ground-level dining room will offer seated à la carte lunch and dinner experiences; and will extend to what may soon be Calgary's largest outdoor dining patio. Jutting out of Hudson's Bay's iconic granite columns, the beautiful and lively patio will be a happening destination, where guests can enjoy full-service al fresco dining.

Also integrated in the restaurant will be a lower-level lounge with a distinctive, sleek style and a sophisticated yet relaxed vibe, establishing the space as an authentic, activated lounge scene and cocktail experience. "INK Entertainment is committed to providing our guests with unparalleled experiences that ooze atmosphere." says Charles Khabouth, Founder and CEO of INK Entertainment.  "We are eager to harness the expertise of Oliver & Bonacini and HBC in seamlessly producing a turn-key experience. Integrating a vibrant social culture and vibe is optimal, while redefining and turning our guests' expectations on their heads. We are both excited and confident that this newly formed union will accomplish this mandate and greatly contribute to the hospitality scene in Calgary." 

The opening of the new restaurant, patio and lounge will enhance the busy downtown corner and provide Hudson's Bay customers and the general community with a unique variety of desirable, vibrant dining experiences.

Phase Two: Versatile Loft-Style Event Venue

The flexible, contemporary event space is scheduled to open in fall 2014 and is expected to be one of Calgary's most sought-after venues. Its impressive design, spectacular views, versatility and outstanding food and service offerings will be among its main appeals.

Located on the sixth floor of Hudson's Bay's heritage building, the state-of-the-art event venue will be suited with large windows that command amazing views of downtown Calgary's historic district and invite natural light into the space. To both pay tribute to HBC's tradition and reflect its progress, the venue's decor will combine the building's existing historic grandeur and charm with new, urban accents.

The loft will initially open as a 20,000-square-foot event space; plans are slated to later expand throughout the entire sixth floor, doubling the venue's space. Simple and sophisticated, the open concept venue is well-suited for a diverse range of occasions from high-profile galas and romantic weddings to corporate events and conferences.

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