The new owners of Calgary’s favorite cowboy bar hope to keep Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall “as is”.
The iconic venue was closed along with the other bars, restaurants and nightclubs in the city on March 17, 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Since the Ranchman is classified as a nightclub, it has not been able to reopen during the pandemic.
In September, the previous landlord was forced to shut the doors for good when the renter filed for bankruptcy, causing a “For Rent” sign to appear on the side of the Macleod Trail Honky-Tonk, breaking the hearts of many Calgarians.
Good news for the cowboys and cowgirls at YYC – the beloved property has found a new landlord.
The property’s agent, real estate agent Rob Campbell, didn’t reveal details of who the new owner is, but he told Daily Hive in a telephone interview that it was a well-known landlord in town. He added that their plan is to attract new tenants to the building who will “hopefully continue to operate” [the venue] how it is.”
“It doesn’t have to be Ranchman’s,” says Campbell, “but it would be awful if it wasn’t a country bar. It would be a shame.”
It is not yet known whether the venue will reopen under the same name. “When the previous tenant went bankrupt, a few things happened that needed to be fixed,” says Campbell. According to the broker, the owners are in the process of resolving these issues and they are unsure whether they can secure the ranchman’s name.
“The name is obviously synonymous with Calgary and the Stampede,” says Campbell, “but you could change it to something else and it will still be Ranchman’s. It will always be Ranchman. “
With the property being sold just a week after Premier Jason Kenney confirmed the 2021 Calgary Stampede will be a success, it almost feels like a mark from the cowboy gods.
However, the infamous venue is unlikely to open in time for this year’s Stampede. According to Campbell, there are many operators in town with the skills to do this, but the biggest problem would be finding enough staff and training them in time for the big event in July.
“You don’t want to open that up and let people down,” adds Campbell.
The agent thinks the smart move for a new tenant is to do a little renovation to freshen up the space and slowly open up. “Get the summer business, get the terrace going,” he says.
“As we return to some semblance of normalcy, there is a real demand. People want to go out, they are fed up with sitting at home. “
What can we expect when the venue reopens? “If you came back to Ranchman’s today and the new tenant put tables and chairs in it, it would look pretty much the same,” says Campbell.
He explains that photographs from 50 years are still hanging on the walls, and although rodeo artifacts such as saddles and trophies have been returned to their original owners, the possibility remains of returning many. Campbell noted that many of the cowboys and cowgirls said they would bring the items back – they just didn’t want the bank to sell their treasures.
Campbell says there have been many inquiries and viewings with potential tenants since the property was back on the market.
We hope the venue will be revitalized soon so we can get back to the two-step line dancing, “bucket-fun” drinking, and mechanical bull riding that we missed.