Deerfoot City’s transformation continues with opening of The Food Lodge

Just as a ski lodge is a place to warm up, grab a bite and reconnect with loved ones, that’s the aim of the newly opened Food Lodge at Deerfoot City.

Part of the ongoing transformation of the mall in Calgary’s northeast, The Food Lodge will ultimately offer 17 restaurants, a large seating area, play fort for kids, as well as a cosy lounge spot complete with fireplace and comfy chairs.

“It’s about food and gathering,” said Darren Kwiatkowski, Shape Properties’ executive vice president of acquisitions and development.

So far, four restaurants are open, but most of the remaining spots have already been leased. Eight more are expected to be open by late spring.

“We knew there was demand for good food,” said Kwiatkowski, noting the popularity of the Original Joe’s and other standalone restaurants on the property.

“Shopping is evolving. It’s gone to two extremes — there’s online shopping in your basement and it’s not much fun and there’s the experience of getting out.”

Those heading to bricks-and-mortar shops are more interested in incorporating food as part of the experience, he added.

“Food is a bigger component.”

In addition, Calgarians working and living in the area are coming to Deerfoot City specifically to grab a bite to eat, he said.

Among favourites such as Opa and Chachi’s, there will be a poke restaurant and Calgary burger joint Re:Grub (known for both burgers and over-the-top milkshakes) is also going to be ready to feed hungry shoppers.

Kwiatkowski says opening the lodge — as well as The Boulevard, which is described as “a landscaped fashion high street” — is part of the third phase of Deerfoot City’s redevelopment. 

It’s all with the vision to create four unique “social zones” at Deerfoot City’s — The Food Lodge, Style District, Central Plaza and Restaurant Campus.

More than 80 per cent of the available space at Deerfoot City is now leased.