Whiskey Row – 9th Avenue SE

The Inglewood community located east of downtown on 9th Avenue SE (formally known as Atlantic Avenue), has been around since the 1880’s.  Numerous industries, such as slaughter houses, sawmills, and of course the Brewery, layed the foundation, which attracted notable residents who lived and worked in this booming neighbourhood.    Here is just a brief historical insight of this eclectic neighbourhood…

“The Sundance Kid” and Whiskey Row: 9th Avenue SE.  I had to research a few places to confirm that yes, The Sundance Kid was part of Old Calgary history!   It wasn’t “stop the presses!”, kind of history, but it does deserve a mention.   Harry Longabaugh (Sundance) spent approximately 3 years in Southern Alberta,  wrangling  at the Bar U Ranch, south of Calgary and again in the area around Blackie.  Unhappy with his lifestyle, he and partner Frank Hamilton decided to open a Saloon the Grand Central Hotel on 9th Avenue SE.  After numerous disputes with his partner Frank, Sundance decided that it was time to leave Calgary.  Jumping on his horse, he headed south where he joined forces with Butch Cassidy’s team, the Wild Bunch, and the rest is history.   A short time afterward his departure, both the Hotel and Saloon burnt to the ground…

National Hotel, 1043 10th Avenue SE:   This three story building is located in the commercial area of Inglewood was constructed in 1907.  In keeping with the “Whiskey Row” heritage, this building functioned as a hotel in addition to the neighbourhood saloon.  Nearby this hotel, is the East End Livery Barn and when served together give us a rare glimpse of two old enterprises of Alberta’s past.  This hotel is now a significant Provincial Historic Resource.

Atlantic Hotel, 420 9th Avenue SE:  Originally built in 1890, and long since demolished.  As soon as this hotel received it`s liquor license in 1896 it became known to many was known either as the “Last Chance Saloon“, or the “First Chance Saloon“, depending on which side you approached it from.   Prior to the opening of the King Edward, this hotel had earned the title of “Bucket of Blood“ due to a murder in 1902.  Later that decade, it changed management in an attempt to revitalize itself in addition to charging a harmless $1.00 per day for a room.

King Edward Hotel: 438 9th Avenue SE:   Built in 1906 to serve travelers from the neighbouring rail road, this hotel would later be known as the “King Eddy“, home of the blues.  Thankfully, this nostalgic hotel is still standing to give us an example of early design and construction that would later line Whiskey Row.   This hotel has made headlines in more than one occasion; most notably for “surviving Prohibition“, if you would like to call it that, and being one of the first establishments to provide service to both white and black people in the same room.   During the 1970 – 1980`s it became known as Calgary`s Blues bar headlining acts such as Muddy Watters and B.B. King.   However, after gaining a slightly seedy reputation and the building falling into disrepair, the King Eddy finally closed its doors to the public in 2004.  That said, it is coming back to life, with the revitalization project of East Village, we will once again hear the lively music that made it such a favourite hangout for many music lovers.


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