The latest chef-owned restaurant in the thriving city of Calgary opens June 2015. Located in the revitalized and ever-growing community of East Village, charbar is part of a collaborative and unique concept destined to be a culinary destination, the first of its kind. Housed in the historical Simmons Building alongside the Bow River, charbar partners with Sidewalk Citizen Bakery and Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters; the like-minded, complementary and thriving local businesses share a common passion to elevate Calgary’s culinary platform.
As guests enter the 1912 heritage site, they are greeted with the preserved and restored historical decor, from the original exposed brick and beams to the vaulted ceilings. charbar sets the stage and teases diners as they walk through the dining space, past the ultra-dry aged Alberta beef display and a meandering ceviche raw bar through to the riverfront patio. At the heart of the restaurant is the true inspiration for charbar, a custom-made Argentine wood-fired grill, introducing diners to the art of asado, an authentic Argentinian method of barbequing, guaranteed to serve Alberta beef at its absolute best.
Spearheading charbar is executive chef Jessica Pelland, a young, dynamic rising chef who has made remarkable strides in her career. With the support of co-owners and chefs John Jackson and Connie DeSousa of CHARCUT Roast House, Pelland leads the prime riverfront location to a new level of excellence that Calgary has yet to experience. Pelland brings a new flavour and perspective to the city by honouring the wood-fired grilling tradition of Argentina and the culinary inspirations of Spain and Italy.
Undefined and unconventional, the Simmons Building demonstrates a culinary shift and spirit in its approach to a social dining experience. charbar’s offering is undefined because it is neither cuisine nor ingredient-specific. charbar fuses sustainable ingredients from the ocean, prairies and local gardens to showcase its locally relevant and globally inspired creative dishes. Housing a dynamic partnership, the Simmons Building is unconventional because of its open space where the three businesses work harmoniously as one.
The Simmons Building symbolizes a communal space where locals and visitors come together to dine, converse, and enjoy each other’s company, while taking in the panoramic views. Uniquely positioned, the building’s ample windows and expansive rooftop patio offer views of the Bow River, St. Patrick’s Island, the Calgary skyline and distant Rocky Mountain peaks at each turn.
Charbar is part of a new evolution to elevate the culinary industry, to be a pioneer by exploring a new business dynamic and evolved menu.
Fresh. Sustainable. Organic. charbar prides itself with the quality of its ingredients and also the wide-range options from the ocean, prairies and local gardens. Chef Pelland combines locally relevant and globally inspired dishes to create an eclectic and innovative menu that will appeal to most any palate.
The Argentine wood-fired grill is the true inspiration behind charbar’s identity, taking from the history and culture of what it represents. The parilla, or grill, is an essential part of bringing families and communities together for an asado, or barbeque. charbar is a place for Calgarians and visitors to come together and experience the authenticity and art of grilling beef that Argentina has perfected. charbar raises the bar by grilling ultra-dry-aged Alberta beef, the only restaurant in the province currently using this method to prepare the beef and maximize the natural flavour and tenderize the meat.
The culinary influence of Argentina, which is a blend of Spanish and Italian cuisine, is evident throughout the menu, with a personalized touch of tableside service to prepare a ceviche mixto. The extensive raw bar pays homage to the fresh, sustainable, west coast seafood that is readily available to a landlocked city, and mirrors the waterfront location of the Simmons Building. At charbar, vegetarian cuisine is celebrated and appreciated by Chef Pelland, as she has made it an integral part of the unique menu. Almost half of the options are vegetarian, particularly the small plates meant to share, such as the pistachio and avocado bruschetta, sourdough Fugazza with Roman broccoli, provoleta and roast peppers or baked empanadas with almond chimichurri.
Raise a Glass
Guest mingling over the bar on the rooftop patio, whether dining with their significant other or just spending time with friends, are treated to an array of hand-squeezed juices, house-made sodas and bespoke cocktails. Hyper-seasonal libations are featured alongside timeless classics.
Unique to charbar is its drinks program kicker, a personalized brand of cocktail in collaboration with Alberta’s first craft spirits maker, Eau Claire Distillery. With aged, bottled cocktails already created, charbar also works towards cocktails on draft in the future.
Attention to beverage quality extends to an ever-evolving wine and craft beer roster. Small productions, rare finds and exciting New-World varieties are presented with pride and a spirit of adventure.
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