Though it certainly caters to homesick Maritimers, the big and boisterous crowd at The Atlantic Trap and Gill indicates its patrons are by no means limited to transplanted East Coasters.
The pub’s owners, sisters Jill and Tracey Johnson, got their start with a third business partner when they opened the East Coast-themed Newfie Tap and Grill pub in Vancouver in 1998. British Columbia liquor laws frowned on the use of the word “tap” in the business name, so the women changed it to its current uniquely maritime-sounding name.
The sisters moved the concept to Calgary the next year with the hopes business would be better. The pair established what quickly became a mainstay for those in the city seeking a beer hall with an Eastern edge. “I think I was 25 when we opened it, Tracey was 29. I feel like I was young enough to be dumb enough to do it,” Jill says with a laugh. She says The Atlantic Trap and Gill’s home for 15 years under the Days Inn on Macleod was popular, but admits the ragged edges and maintenance issues in the location didn’t always make for the most welcoming ambience. “I liked it, but seedy bars are apparently going out of style,” she says.
Feeling trapped on Thursday nights? If getting up on stage is your thing, or you simply enjoy listening to live music, a sure-fire way to escape the doldrums is to head down to Kingsland to the Atlantic Trap & Grill for its open mic night. Hosted by Nova Scotiables, the acoustic fun runs from 9 pm to midnight. Registration begins at 9 pm. Equipment is provided, though musicians can bring their own guitars. All music styles are welcome.
An East Coast bar and eatery, Atlantic Trap & Gill has a contagious party vibe. The clubby Southeast spot presents an acoustic open-mic evening on Thursdays and live Celtic and East Coast bands on the weekends. The food is good and the service is friendly. You’re going to sing along and tap your toes, dance and party. You’ll end up saying, “I don’t want this night to end!” It features a modest cover charge.
Transport yourself to Canada’s East Coast nightly at Atlantic Trap & Gill Pub. Folk and Celtic bands as well as kitchen-party-style open-mic performers provide a rockin’ jig-and-reel soundtrack. The food menu leans to seafood dishes such as mussels and fish and chips, but also includes Canadian Maritime pub-grub favourites such as the Halifax donair. All marry well with East Coast beer.
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