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On its upper level, Wine-Ohs is an intimate bistro and wine bar serving a tapas menu of refined comfort food. Down below, in its basement level, Wine Ohs is a music venue dedicated to the best in folk, country and blues. Together, Wine Ohs complementary spaces occupy two floors of the historic Grain Exchange building in downtown Calgary.

“I like that it has a speakeasy element to it,” owner Alanna Martineau says with a grin as she opens Wine-Ohs' alley entrance and heads down the stairs to the candlelit tables in the cellar music club. The term "underground music" is also used literally here. It also refers to singer-songwriters with acoustic guitars that provide the entertainment here. It's not a place that indulges in ear-splitting feedback.

In the short time Wine-Ohs has been around, it has earned a formidable reputation among touring roots musicians. To proudly reinforce the point, Alanna tells the story of recently meeting a musician in Toronto who was unaware she was the owner. “He said, ‘I just played this great venue in Calgary called Wine-Ohs.’ I started laughing and said, ‘I’m glad you liked it.’”

At least six nights of the week, Wine-Ohs might present the likes of Toronto’s Corin Raymond, Austin’s Sam Baker or Ontario’s Derek Miller, but Alanna also takes great satisfaction in fostering the long-running residencies of local troubadours Tom Phillips, who plays Friday happy hour, and T. Buckley, Tuesday evening's featured talent.

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Appears in 3 local lists

Sip on the sly at these speakeasy-style lounges in Calgary

Sip on the sly at these speakeasy-style lounges in Calgary

Upstairs at Wine-Ohs you have the Bistro, a nice restaurant with a solid menu, but downstairs you’ve got The Cellar, a tucked away wine bar, which is where the action really happens. The menu is the same at both, but there’s something special about trekking downstairs to enjoy some live roots music and a glass of wine alongside a cheese tray or plate of steak frites.

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Think pink: Where to drink rosé wine in Calgary

Think pink: Where to drink rosé wine in Calgary

Food, music and wine. Wine-Ohs specializes in all three. Whether you settle in the eclectic upstairs bistro for some charcuterie or steak frites or you venture down into The Cellar for some live local music, this downtown venue knows its vino and offers rosé selections by the bottle or the glass, or if you just want to give one a try, by the half glass.

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Start your evening at these top happy hours in Calgary

Start your evening at these top happy hours in Calgary

Cheap drinks go down even better when they’re accompanied by some great live music performed in a cozy, speakeasy setting. Downstairs at Wine-Ohs, happy hour specials run every night from 4 pm to 6 pm, but Fridays feature the additional perk of live musical performance by roots-music regular Tom Philllips.

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