Popular diner The Beltliner is back under new ownership and with a few ‘surprises’

There seem to be three different types of restaurant re-openings of late.

There’s, well, the not opening of local faves after COVID-19 due to cost, losses, etc. — which kinda really sucks.

Then on the positive side of things there are the re-openings of your regular haunts which are being done gradually and cautiously to keep the curve on the down low — same people, same places, same food and booze.

And then there’s the category of reopening as something else entirely, having used the time empty to reassess, renovate, refresh and even rebrand.

Somewhere between the good two you’ll find The Beltliner (243 12th Ave. S.W.), when it reopens its doors to the public — safely and with proper distancing measures in place, of course — on Friday, July 3.

It does so having changed ownership, with the Starliner Group last month taking over the breakfast, lunch and dinner destination in the Beltline neighbourhood.

“The Beltliner has a reputation as one of Calgary’s most beloved restaurants, known for its community spirit, cheery staff and modern diner fare and we’re excited to keep that legacy going, but with a few twists of our own,” Derek Mihalik, Managing Partner for the Starbelly Group, says in a release announcing the change and changes, which were inspired in part by a trip to Portland.

“Our vision for The Beltliner is to have fun with high-low concepts, expand the dinner and cocktail menus and grow the Coffeeland takeaway program with decadent, from-scratch pastries and house-made sandwiches.”

Mihalik is joined in the Starbelly Group, which also runs the Starbelly Open Kitchen and Lounge in the city’s southeast, by Head Chef Jason Paulhus, General Manager John Kanaroski, Marketing Director Madison Shandro and Executive Chef Justin Lall.

According to the release, what customers can expect when they return to The Beltliner is a room that looks similar, with most of the notable changes coming “on the dinner menu, with the addition of items like a tomato saffron bouillabaisse, black truffle chicken pot pie and a chana masala rice bowl.”

On the booze side of things, “an elevated drink menu will include curious craft cocktails like The Beltliner Jammer, a weekly sous-vide cocktail served tableside in a pouch, and a Fireball Whiskey Sangria, and the wine list has also expanded with choices ranging from a ‘straight outta the box’ glass to certified organic Canadian bottles, and beyond.”

Due to regulation changes, the patio on 12th Ave. has been expanded, and “will remain dog-friendly, with a new puppy menu planned for the future.”

To check out the menu for The Beltliner or make a reservation, please go to