Italian market


1207 1st Street SW

Built in 1905 and used since 1909, this plain building has gone through many changes in the century of it’s existence. It seems an unlikely place for Joni Mitchell and Hunter S. Thompson to have partied and played.

In 1909 it was home to the decorators Vandersluys R & Company and Van Buren & Company hardware. In 1912 the building was taken over by A.W. Kerr.

Since 1957 (the year heavy restrictions on drinking were lifted in Calgary), the building became a number of clubs that lasted into the 1970’s. It was known at various times as “The Depression” and “The Bombay Bicycle Club”, and was where a number of Calgary artists kicked off their careers.

Two of the most notable were Joni Mitchell and Bruce Innes. Bruce Innes put together the band “Original Caste”, who are most renowned for their significant anti-war protest song “One Tin Soldier”. Both of these artists frequented the spot to play live music and relax with friends.

Innes apparently also brought good friends to the spot while in Calgary. This included a young journalist he met while attending the University in Butte Montana, who went on to write a number of books. The writers name was Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson would make many references to Innes in his book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, of which, Innes assures only 30-50% was true.

The building went on from being a folk centre, to a centre of the electronic music of the 1990’s and millennium. It opened it’s doors under many names, including The Shadow Nightclub, The Venue, and Euphoria. Today the location is the home of Guiseppe’s Italian Market, an Italian restaurant, market, and deli.



. to offer comments, corrections or improvements to this article, email: