These are the days I know

Calgary is a funny little place. We live in a city pushing one million people, however you wouldn’t know it from our nightlife.

Where does one go if they want a rowdy night out on a Monday or Tuesday? What about a nice, cozy lounge for that first date that’s going so well? What about anywhere that plays conscious, intelligent hip hop?

While some of these places don’t exist (read: good hip hop night), if you’re flexible and mobile, a good time can be had pretty much every night of the week. It’s all a matter of knowing where to go.


While not a night that many will hit up, Monday still has a few things to offer for people looking to go hard, if you’re lucky. If hip hop is your thing, the Cherry Lounge has just that with Maniac Maurice, while down the street at the Night Gallery the man, the legend, Leo C hits you with reggae vibes–just like he has for years.

However, most places are pretty chill on Mondays with one of the best nights out for students being wing night at Kilkenny at Brentwood Mall. Fourteen-cent wings a mere ten-minute walk from campus? Hard to go wrong…


Hot dogs anyone? The hottest new night in town is brought our way courtesy, you guessed it, the Night Gallery. DJ Djewel’s Funhouse, long a bastion of midweek rock’n’roll, has been augmented by a veritable bonanza of reconstituted animal parts. Deeelicious!

For a more bass-driven, chilled out night swing by the Drum and Monkey, also on First Street, for Dub at the Pub, courtesy Big Al and Scotty Kensington. If the downtempo style doesn’t suit you, bounce next door to the Bamboo Tiki Lounge for dancehall, jump up and jungle.

For punk rockers and bingo fiends alike, Tuesday is your night as the Castle Pub brings hours of fun in the form of Rock & Roll Bingo. Can’t go wrong with cheap pitchers and multi-coloured bingo daubers.


Wednesday is the one night where the Ship and Anchor gets into the weekly mix, as it hosts up-and-coming indie rock bands, generally leading to much rowdiness and great times.

Beyond that, Wednesdays seem to be a night devoted to funk and soul. The Gallery and the Cherry both get into the mix as do a smattering of smaller coffeeshops and lounges around town, although no venue really dominates the evening. Granted, I’ve been in the Gauntlet offices putting out papers almost every Wednesday for the last three years, so my knowledge is less than adequate. Apologies, I’ll try to drink more this year.


Ahhh, Thursday. Sweet, lovely, delicious Thursday.

I’m not really sure what it is, but in almost every city I’ve ever partied Thursday is the best night. Vancouver, Montreal, Prague, Calgary: Thursday is the night to do it up. We are truly treated to an embarrassment of riches once a week; it is a beautiful day.

The Gallery has Smalltown DJs. Rapidly becoming local legends, Mike Grimes and Pete Emes draw crowds on the West Coast, at Shambhala, even in the Cayman Islands. If you don’t hit up a Gallery Thursday once in your life you can’t claim to have truly lived.

Don’t want to go all the way downtown for a good time? No worries, the Den and Black Lounge have cheap pitchers until 11 p.m., DJ Phat on the decks and a plethora of young lads and lasses to get embarrassingly drunk in front of.

There’s also the meat market extravaganza known as Cowboy’s every Thursday. If you live in Rez there’s no need to plan for this one, you’ll end up there eventually. Picture an empty airplane hanger, repetitive top 40 tunes, scads of scantily clad, horny, beautiful people and ludicrous drink specials. If it’s your scene, it’s epic.

For anyone fiending for some soul food, local staple Jon Delerious fills the Cherry with his own special blend of house.


Weekends in Calgary are strange beasts. Sometimes there are three concerts, two house parties and one guest DJ to check out. Other times there’s a whole lot of nothing.

For the soulful amongst us all, Diggin’ at the Gallery with Al Testa and Dean Clarke rarely disappoints, Pete Emes drops grade-A lounge styles at the Mercury while DJs Pump and Degs host the best hip hop night in town at the Cherry.

Graduates of various party scenes from coast to coast might feel a little more at home checking out Horizon at the Warehouse. Once a bathhouse, then a Goth club, the Warehouse is home to displaced (or rather matured) ravers, and hits you with breaks and house ’til the wee hours of the morning.

Even the Den gets into the mix as "townies" invade our campus bar for DJ Phat downstairs, Mike Grimes up and the scads of beautiful people on offer at the U of C.


Saturday’s are incredibly similar to Friday’s ’round these parts. The Gallery has live music, the Warehouse has a hard trance after hours night, the Cherry has funky house and breaks with Al Testa and Smalltown DJs (the Giant 45 crew) and lounges around the city serve up atmosphere in bulk.

A great Saturday night often consists of making no plans other than heading down to the general area of First Street and 17th and seeing where the night takes you.


Not quite ready to call it quits? Well, DJ Rice has been holding it down for a decade with Sunday Skool, the house night to end all house nights at the Night Gallery. Nothing really competes with Sunday Skool if you want to do it up one last time before the week starts over again, although the usual suspects (Cherry Lounge, Ship and Anchor, Mercury, etc.) are always a good time.

The moral of the story? Stick to First Street if you want to have a rowdy good time, hit up 17th if you’re looking to chill, lounge on a patio or catch up with old friends. If you’re a fan a live music, well, keep your ear to the ground and hope you get lucky.

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