Calgary’s East Village gets another must-visit destination courtesy of some well-known locals.
Canadians have a unique talent for botching American ideas when we bring them to our fair shores. Target in Canada! What could go wrong? So when a young company—from Quebec, no less—announced it was building an American-style boutique hotel in Calgary, there were all kinds of ways it could have gone wrong.
That was 10 years ago, the hotel was Le Germain and, far from being a cautionary tale, it kick-started a new wave of smaller, hipper lodging options across the West. Key to the hotel’s success was recruiting two local chefs, who had been working in great rooms around the world but were anxious to create something at home.
Those chefs were John Jackson and Connie DeSousa, the restaurant was Charcut, and it helped transform Le Germain into the buzziest lobby in town (while also upping Calgary’s culinary game).
This spring sees the cast of creatives trying to do it again, with Le Germain opening its Alt Hotel in Calgary’s East Village. As befitting the young, hopping neighbourhood, the hotel is more casual (and affordable) than its downtown big brother, and Jackson and De Sousa have been recruited again—this time drumming up excitement with their CHIX Eggshop, a genre-bending, ingredients-focused take on diner food that will morph from healthy breakfast spot to casual lunch spot to craft cocktail emporium as the day advances. Let the (second) revolution begin.