The fifth anniversary of the Best Bar None program in Calgary highlights ongoing efforts of local hospitality establishments to demonstrate responsible liquor service, patron safety and respect for liquor laws.
Sixty-two venues that follow top service standards were accredited with Best Bar None in 2016.
From this group, nine venues also won awards for continuing to raise the bar on customer service and patron safety.
“AGLC is proud of the Best Bar None participating venues. These establishments continue to raise the bar on service standards and redefine what being the ‘best’ in the hospitality industry means with respect to customer service and safety. Calgarians should take note - these are the places to visit for a fun, enjoyable night out.”
- Shane Loxterkamp, Vice President, Compliance and Social Responsibility, Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis
Best Bar None 2016 awarded venues are:
- Bar/Lounge: Loco Lou’s Grill and Bar
- Club: Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall
- Hotel Bar: Jetz Bar and Lounge – Best Western Port O’Call Hotel
- Small Pub: Barley Mill Neighbourhood Pub
- Pub: Bottlescrew Bill’s Pub
- Large Pub: Hudsons Canada’s Pub (Shawnessy)
- Casino: Cash Casino Calgary
- Campus Bar: The Gateway Restaurant and Bar – SAIT
- Restaurant and Bar: Buzzards Restaurant and Bar
Best Bar None is an accreditation and awards program for liquor licensed venues that aims to reduce alcohol-related harms by:
- encouraging nightspots to adopt best practices related to customer safety and responsible service of alcohol.
- giving nightspots the tools to be better prepared for any violent incidents; and
- building positive relationships between the industry, enforcement agencies, governments and community.
“Meeting the criteria set out in the Best Bar None program establishes all participating licensees as leaders who are driven by a deep sense of commitment to ethical principles. This foundation in principle perhaps is the greatest strength that safety offers to organizations interested in ethics. Safety appeals to the ethical ideals that motivate a company’s best leaders at every level of responsibility.”
- Marc Halat, Manager/Chief Licence Officer, Compliance Services, Calgary Community Standards, The City of Calgary
The program was introduced to Alberta in 2010, and it currently operates in Edmonton, Calgary and Grande Prairie.
A recent Best Bar None survey of 1000 Alberta bar patrons revealed that ‘safety’ is the most highly rated deciding factor in choosing a venue, rated far higher than such factors as ‘happy hour specials’ or popularity (e.g., ‘friends like it’).
Additionally, survey respondents indicated a need for a program such as Best Bar None to promote safety in nightlife establishments.
“It is vital we work together to provide safe venues for people to enjoy themselves. The tragedy in Orlando highlights the importance of safety in establishments. In our own club shooting earlier this year here in Calgary, were it not for the quick reaction of the staff and the Calgary Police Service Gang Suppression Team, lives could have quickly been lost. Safety of staff and patrons must be made a priority and I’m so pleased to see the participating venues taking that seriously.”
- Inspector Cliff O’Brien, Calgary Police Service
Best Bar None partners in Calgary include the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis, The City of Calgary and the Calgary Police Service.
The program is also supported by community agencies such as the Public Safety Task Force and the Alberta Safer Bars Council.