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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, September 19, 2013 - 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.

The culinary vision for this new venture will be forged by O&B principle Michael Bonacini and Corporate Executive Chef Anthony Walsh and will incorporate simple, traditional cooking methods and modern dishes inspired by native Alberta ingredients.

“The food scene in Calgary is really outstanding,” says Walsh, “and we’re thrilled at the opportunity to be a part of it. We have some strong culinary ties to the community and we look forward to expanding our team with local talent.”

About HBC

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), founded in 1670, is North America’s longest continually operated company.  In Canada, HBC operates Hudson’s Bay, Canada’s largest department store with 90 locations, unsurpassed in its fashion, beauty, home and accessory designers and brands, as well as thebay.com. HBC also operates Home Outfitters, Canada’s largest home specialty superstore with 69 locations across the country. In the United States, HBC operates Lord & Taylor, a department store with 48 full-line store locations throughout the northeastern United States and in two major cities in the Midwest, and lordandtaylor.com.  With approximately 29,000 Associates in Canada and the U.S., HBC banners provide stylish, quality merchandise at great value, with a dedicated focus on service excellence.  Hudson’s Bay Company trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “HBC”.

About Oliver & Bonacini

Restaurants Oliver & Bonacini (O&B) is recognized as one of Canada’s leading fine dining restaurant and event companies, operating 11 unique and innovative restaurants in Ontario. Operations include à la carte dining, quick service dining, catering and special events. Restaurants include Canoe, Jump, Auberge du Pommier, Biff’s Bistro, Luma, Canteen, Bannock and Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill (Toronto, Blue Mountain, Oakville).  Operations are supported by an in-house bakery and chocolate/confections shop, O&B Artisan. The company’s private dining and events division, Oliver & Bonacini Events, manages a number of large-scale event facilities, including Arcadian, Toronto Region Board of Trade, Malaparte at TIFF Bell Lightbox and Windermere House on Lake Rosseau, Muskoka. In 2013, O&B was named exclusive catering provider to Ink Entertainment and Design Exchange, in addition to launching its own direct-to-venue catering service, O&B Caters. Oliver & Bonacini credits its success to the development of a strong company culture, where excellence of food quality and service are valued above all else.

About INK Entertainment

INK Entertainment is Canada’s leading lifestyle and entertainment company.  Over the past 28 years, social life style entrepreneur Charles Khabouth has built a hugely successful empire that spans restaurants, nightlife, lounges, music festivals and much more.  The Company recently launched several new venues, a host of new clubs and plans are underway for a luxury hotel brand in 2015.  Khabouth tops the list of Canada’s most successful lifestyle innovators. INK Entertainment has demonstrated an acute ability to read the zeitgeist of the times and respond with ground-breaking enterprises, including the Parisian-style bistro La Société (Toronto and Montreal), VELD Music Festival, Canada’s largest EDM event headlined by the world’s biggest DJ, several of Toronto’s hottest nightclubs including Uniun, Product, CUBE, Dragonfly,  Toronto’s longstanding Guvernment and Koolhaus Entertainment Complex, Tattoo Rock Parlour – Canada’s only trendy rock bar and tattoo shop,  Sound Academy – with a musical line-up of the biggest concert and EDM acts and Cabana Pool Bar, Canada’s first South Beach-inspired lakeside retreat.

INK Entertainment’s innovative approach, fusing dining, lifestyle, entertainment and design, has led the company to team up with several significant industry partners in Canada and the U.S.: Loews Hotel and Resorts for La Societye Montreal and several future projects for 2013-14 in several U.S. Markets; ICON Legacy for Weslodge, Patria and Storys Building; Cirque du Soleil on the Beatles Revolution; and Lifetime Developments for Bisha Hotel & Residences, the newest private label hotel and residence brand to originate in Toronto since The Four Seasons in the 1960s.

 

For further information:

Theresa Suraci

Director, Marketing & Communications

Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants

Tel: (416) 485-8047, ext. 228

Email: Theresa.suraci@oliverbonacini.com

 

Karen Gruson

Director of Publicity

INK Entertainment

Tel: 416-923-0076

Email: Karen@inkentertainment.com

 

Michelle Veilleux

Manager, Public Relations

Hudson’s Bay

Tel : 416-861-4306

Email : Michelle.veilleux@hbc.com