I have been consulting for a major real estate project in Calgary over the past five months, which has led me to tracking the culinary scene in the city. There have been some great restaurants that have emerged in downtown Calgary over the past few years, whether it has been on pedestrian friendly 8th Avenue, or towards the more eclectic and gentrifying neighbourhoods along 4th St and 17th Avenue.
I have discussed restaurant clustering in the past. The idea that once several trendy and up-and-coming restaurants establish themselves in a neighbourhood, other “like-minded” restaurants are drawn in to create a clustering effect or critical mass. This then forms a destination for local residents who have the choice of a variety of options.
The Calgary Sun ran an interesting article earlier this month on food clusters, mapping out certain types of food (and drink) in various areas of the city, from Japanese and Vietnamese, to Beer, and even a “Chicken Corridor”.
It makes for a interesting exercise that many cities could conduct, to better understand where their food & beverage offerings are, their types, and whether there is any type of clustering occurring. Of course, established ethnic enclaves in various cities will naturally create a clustering effect, however more modern clustering is still able to occur, with a strong example in Vancouver’s aptly named “Brewery Creek”.