More change in Calgary’s cuisine scene due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But while it is another end of a popular dining spot, it’s also the beginning of something new.
In a release, 1st Street fave Two Penny Restaurant and The Tea House have announced that they will not be reopening following the mandated shutdown.
In the lengthy email sent out to diners, the restauranteurs explained that the current situation had them questioning what the “new normal” was going to be once things began to reopen.
In their discussions, they realized that it would not be feasible to continue on in their former manifestation — serving incredible Chinese and North American cuisine, it should be noted — and would instead return as something new entirely.
They’ll be reopening the upstairs restaurant in July as A1 Bodega & Café — “a small neighbourhood grocery and casual restaurant” — while the basement Tea House would be something else yet to be announced.
During their almost three-year run, Two Penny earned accolades and awards for their cuisine and will, undoubtedly, be missed.
But owners are making it known that it’s not a goodbye, and that many of the same faces will be part of their new incarnation.
Read the complete announcement below:
Goodbye old friend, hello new world…
It is with mixed feelings of sadness, humility and excitement that we announce we will be permanently closing Two Penny Restaurant and The Tea House.
When the Covid-19 Pandemic struck, we were uncertain of what the future of Two Penny, The Tea House and the restaurant business in general, would look like. The question of what the “new normal” is going to be is full of uncertainty. Not only were we dealing with a global pandemic, but also economic instability in our city and province. We were forced to evaluate our business, and quickly made what we believe is the best decision.
We are extremely proud of Two Penny, The Tea House and everything we built. Our amazing team poured their hearts and souls into the business for almost three years, and we were thrilled to receive such a warm welcome from the city and our community along with receiving awards in Avenue Magazine and Best of Calgary.
Despite our love for Two Penny and The Tea House, we wanted to make a change. A change that would serve our community in a different way. A change that would be driven by our people, and our communities new needs. A concept to serve the people surrounding us in the neighbourhood of Victoria Park and beyond. A space that would serve people through hospitality in a more affordable and accessible way.
As a business we saw that the way people were going to live, shop, eat and entertain themselves was going to change, and we needed to adapt. Although this change has been drastic, we believe there are some silver linings in all of this:
-There is a strong sense of community in Calgary right now. People are both thinking and living more locally.
-People seem generally happier working from home – getting to work on your own schedule, spending time with your family, spending more time outdoors, living a healthier lifestyle, saving commuting time, etc.
-People are re-discovering the joy of cooking at home (although doing the dishes sucks).
-Mother Nature gets to take a break. There are strong environmental desires in our community. Food waste, single use plastics, vehicle and transportation emissions are all huge environmental issues that can benefit from a sense of locality.
While it is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Two Penny and The Tea House, we are excited to meet these challenges head on and to introduce you to A1 Bodega & Café — our humble service to our community launching soon. So stay tuned for more info, and don’t worry, the familiar staff and faces of Two Penny will be back to greet you when we re-open.
We want to personally thank you so much for your support throughout the years. We cannot begin to express how grateful we are to be part of such an incredible community and look forward to being part of it for many more to come.
The Two Penny & Tea House Family
Q: What are you guys doing upstairs?
A: The main floor, formerly Two Penny, will be converted into A1 Bodega & Café – a small neighbourhood grocery and casual restaurant.
Q: What’s going on with the Tea House?
A: Stay tuned!
Q: Will I still be able to use my Two Penny gift cards?
A: Absolutely. All Two Penny Gift Cards will be transferred automatically to A1 Bodega & Café. Unfortunately, they cannot be transferred to other Thank You Hospitality restaurants.
Q: Is it still the same owners and people
A: It sure is!
Q: When are you re-opening?