Calgary's New Central Library Announces Local Café Partnership

    · 5 min read

    CMLC kicks off robust year of progress for the Rivers District

    Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) – lead developer of the highly successful rejuvenation of East Village – is kicking off 2018 with an exciting line-up of milestones slated for the community over the course of the next year and leading the charge is an announcement of a dynamic local partnership who will bringing the café space inside the New Central Library (NCL) to life.

    Together with Calgary Public Library, CMLC is proud to announce the successful tenant team who will operate the food and beverage space when the building opens this November – Gareth Lukes and Eric Hendry – whose award-winning businesses and collective excellence in food and beverage operations offer a fresh approach that will create a unique and memorable experience for library visitors and staff.

    Gareth Lukes, third generation owner of the wildly successful Lukes Drug Mart and Eric Hendry, local Chef superstar behind restaurants such as _Model Milk and now Bar Von Der Fels bring a collaborative vision that is rooted in community; simple, local food for a diverse spectrum of guests, including children; and creates a destination within the library.

    “We saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of one of the city’s most important cultural gathering spaces,” says Gareth Lukes, president and owner of Lukes Drug Mart. “Like the library itself which is inclusive and accessible, we believe food can serve to bring families of people together to fuel discussion and stimulate learning. Our goal is to elevate the library visitor experience by providing them with quality food offerings at affordable prices.”

    Under the LUKES brand, the vision for the 2,000 square foot café is being brought to life by local architectural firm, FRANK Architecture.

    “The Library took the time to find the right innovative and collaborative partner to join us at the New Central Library and we feel like we’ve hit a home run with Gareth and Eric,” said Bill Ptacek, CEO, Calgary Public Library. “I know that their vision and food will appeal to our wide range of users.”

    Beyond the café partnership for the New Central Library, 2018 will include a number of additional significant community redevelopment milestones, including:

    • The multi-family project by FRAM + Slokker - VERVE - will begin welcoming new residents to the community by November;
    • The 155-room Alt Hotel by Germain Group will be completed and ready to receive guests by year’s end;
    • INK, by local developer Battistella, will begin welcoming new residents to move into the community in December;
    • After a 5-year construction program, Calgary’s New Central Library will be completed. A series of project milestones leading up to opening day, including the announcement and installation of two public art pieces, the removal of the prow support system above the LRT tracks, the completion of the south end public plaza and the public grand opening are all being planned;
    • CMLC will announce new community development partners and projects including a joint venture commercial project and a new retail development;
    • In preparation for the unveiling of the master plan vision for Calgary’s Entertainment and Cultural District, CMLC will embark on a year-long program of public engagement;
    • CMLC will invest in critical infrastructure programs to support the redevelopment of Victoria Park and to enable the Calgary Stampede’s futuristic Concept Plan. $150 Million of horizontal infrastructure investment will benefit the community and allow for its future population and operational growth

    “One of our most important initiatives this year will be the completion of the Rivers District Master Plan,” says Susan Veres, senior vice president of strategy and business development. “In 2017, we started the master plan process to create a cohesive vision for Calgary’s Entertainment and Cultural District, and this year our work will focus on the infrastructure connections critical to creating a successful community and a robust public engagement process that will inform the final master plan vision.”

    In the continuing evolution of East Village, 2018 promises to be a year of progress, innovation and activity.

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