Written By: Monica Sommerville
Confession time: I love going to pubs – by myself.
One: Best places to people-watch
Two: Very relaxed vibes no matter what time/what day/what weather
Three: They sell beer. Mmmm… beer.
So, when I’m facing a deadline and the prospect of working from home makes me want to crawl back into bed and pretend the over-flowing laundry situation isn’t a thing, I put on a cool outfit, grab my laptop and head to one of my favourite spots.
Here are: the best pubs to work from in Calgary, according to Monica:
1. Local 510
Hands down my favourite. Let me tell you why.
The wifi is top-notch, the staff are super great, the food is pretty excellent, the beer – you’re gonna like the beer. But MOST importantly: The music. Holy cow, man. I swear, each time I go in there I discover fifteen new songs I need to own immediately. No matter what mood I’m in – Local 510’s soundtrack is the soundtrack to my life. And it makes me productive. No stupid pop, no “stuck in my head forever, oh god I can’t take it” songs, not even a single weird 80s ballad to be found. Pro tip: it does get pretty loud (and busy) in the later evening, but good for them. This super cool place deserves it. So, next time you need a delicious veggie burger, a ridiculously trendy (yet totally approachable) atmosphere and the best tunes ever, go be a local.
2. The Oak Tree Tavern
The Oak Tree will always have a special place in my heart. As a former OT server, I know this place is legit inside and out. The beer is poured in 20 ounce pints (the way God intended), the food is REALLY good and you get a heck of a lot of it, the wifi (finally! Thanks Stu!) is free, and the atmosphere can’t be beat. If you’re lucky enough to have a warm afternoon to yourself, the kids would say that the patio is “off the hook.” Or maybe they wouldn’t. What can I say, I’m 30 this year. If you can’t decide, get the poutine with mushroom gravy. (Really.)
3. The Hop ’n Brew Pub
Ok. Despite the fact that they (basically) only serve pizza, and actually, pizza is great so never mind, this pub is the most charming thing since my cat discovered foot rubs. Yes, I give foot rubs to my cat, more on this another time. If you pass the Hop ’n Brew while riding your super-trendy bike through Beltline and you don’t feel inclined to stop in for a beer, probably you made the right decision. You get EXACTLY what it says on the proverbial tin — that is — an insanely cute, in-a-house feel, with mismatched furniture, slightly rundown aesthetic, and fairy lights strung around the whole lot. If this isn’t for you, well, I don’t know what to tell ya. Maybe try a lame chain? But If you DO stop for a beer, prepare to have everything you need for the coziest work-efficiency. Pay when you want, wear what you want, meet excellent other day-workers, welcome home.
4. The 4th Spot
Awwwwyeah Northwest Calgary. Doin’ yo thang. Look at you. Getting a totally legit bar/restaurant. This place, a former pizza joint right next to a fire station, is just fantastic. Full disclosure: I have sat in the restaurant portion a total of 1 time, so my main review is of the excellent lounge, but I feel like I could probably get a line or two written no matter where they put me. The service is fantastic, the beers on tap are always great, and during the day, it’s got a great work-friendly vibe. OH and HOLYMYGOD their specials are totally insane. I got a personal pizza there once for $5, and a glass of wine for $4. Srsly. THAT’S $9 for a drink AND lunch. I’m tellin’ ya, the Northwest doesn’t get near enough cred.
5. Craft Beer Market
I know, I know. But they couldn’t all be cute independent places. Craft is a big joint, with a LOT of beer selection and some pretty huge tables. But, during the day, especially on a Sunday, the atmosphere is top notch. Sun beams through the huge windows, music is just the right volume, servers are chill and the food specials are serious business. Grab a seat by the front and spread out for a few hours of lazy beer drinking, snacking and, I guess, working or whatever. Also: if you’re an IPA drinker like myself, ask for a little bit of grapefruit juice on the side and pour that stuff right in there. Fo’ real.