Future distillery-bistro will be built on downtown site

March 18, 2019

Business owners John Hromyk and Brett Schonekess, of Banded Peak Ventures Inc., have signed an agreement with the Town to purchase the Landmark Site in downtown Okotoks for a craft distillery restaurant and lounge.

“Okotoks is a vibrant community that has great potential for this type of business,” said Hromyk. “Brett and I really respect the history of this downtown location and wanted to recognize that in the name.”

The new owners plan to call their establishment the “Firehall Distillery” in recognition of the location’s history.  It was once the site of a previous Town office and fire hall. While both buildings were demolished, the tower for the fire department siren remains as a reminder of the site’s civic heritage.

“The Town appreciates John and Brett’s desire to join in the economic revitalization that’s been happening in our community,” said Development Services Director Michael MacIntyre. “This type of investment adds to the diversity of the business mix and provides an anchor that will help animate downtown Okotoks as a centre of social and cultural activities.”

In 2017, the Town issued an invitation for expressions of interest to develop this underutilized site, which is located at the corner of McRae Street and Clark Avenue.  Council determined that creating an opportunity for businesses to invest in this location would add vibrancy to the downtown and provide the best use for the community.

The proposed development aligns with Council’s strategic priority to support the downtown as a destination that is used by a wide range of people and for a variety of activities.  It also supports the objectives in the Downtown Urban Design Masterplan to maintain the area’s unique character.

The partners will now begin working through the Town’s planning and development review process, with an expectation to begin construction in 2019 and opening in early 2020.