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It took 60 years, but it was worth the wait.
The main restaurant and lobby bar at Calgary’s iconic Fairmont Palliser hotel has received a much-anticipated makeover. It’s been over 60 years since a new outlet has been added, and in late April the Hawthorn Dining Room and Bar officially opened to the public.
The sleek redesign comes courtesy of Calgary’s Frank Architecture, and retains historical features honouring the hotel’s 1914 beginnings, including Charles Beil’s 1962 mural, carved hawthorn berries in the vaulted ceiling (which were revealed during the transformation, inspiring the new name) and the much-loved fireplace, which is still a cozy and coveted corner of the dining room. They’ve built on the old with rich, vintage-inspired new details intended to give patrons a feeling of approachable luxury and comfort. The iconic Oak Room has been closed off but will be used as an event space; mirrors on the outer walls open up the lobby bar, adding a sense of expanded space.
This new era of modern dining has been ushered in with GM Dustin Makarenko and Chef Bern Glatz. Makarenko has worked in the restaurant industry for 25 years, including stints at Hy’s Steakhouse, KI Modern Japanese and Vintage Chophouse; Glatz has worked in kitchens across the city, including such well-known eateries as Ten Foot Henry, Anju, UNA and Mercato. Now at the helm in the Hawthorn kitchen, Glatz has crafted a menu that will include social sharing plates and larger family-style dishes, built using seasonal ingredients from some of Alberta’s best known producers, farmers and growers, reflecting Calgarian appetites.
The hip yet grand new Hawthorn Bar offers an innovative cocktail menu featuring custom-made Hawthorn Gin from Eau Claire Distillery, made with Hawthorn berries that lend a purple hue, and the exclusive ODB (Our Daily Bread) brew made by Last Best Brewery using leftover bread from the kitchen to ferment the pale ale. A percentage of sales of the brew will be donated to the Calgary Food Bank.
Hawthorn serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the week, including a Happy Hour and Late Night menu, and they’ve just partnered with the iconic Champagne house Veuve Clicquot to launch a luxe Saturday Brunch one weekend a month. Featuring live entertainment from local artists and musicians, there will be à-la-carte brunch service as well as the opportunity to order a prix-fixe three-course brunch menu for two, including a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.