For a lot of people the words “open jam” are cringe worthy, but the Ship and Anchor has always had a strong music culture, both through hosting shows and giving local musicians a place to drink on their nights off. Hence, the Ship’s Saturday Open Stage Jams aren’t actually a free-for-all where pub goers are forced to sit through the noodling of amateur musicians who otherwise couldn’t get a gig — the shows are more like community events where local heroes lead the pub through an afternoon of music.
The Open Stage shows are on Saturdays from 2-6, with a headliner and a guest each playing proper sets and some open stage time scheduled in between (often with buddies of the scheduled bands making appearances). It’s casual without being sloppy, with friends and families (often including kids) and tends to feel more like a well-organized house party rather than a day out at a bar.
Which is ultimately what’s at the heart of the Ship and Anchor’s popularity. It’s a house party — you may not know everybody (or even anybody) when you walk through the door, but before long you feel like you’re part of the gang. Which is exactly what a public house should be
The Ship, as it’s known by the regulars, is one of the oldest pubs in Calgary and its many patrons still haunt the bar stools. The rugged atmosphere makes it feel like home away from home. The food is elevated from pub grub to home cooked comfort food and dishes you would never expect from a pub. The menu boasts of tasty meals like the cheesiest grilled cheese, crunchy deep fried pickles and lemongrass chicken that sparks a whole new flavour in your mouth.
Holding true to British pub tradition, Shippers range from children (during the day) to punk styled guys and gals, business men and women and fashionistas. You will be loved here no matter who you are. As their website states “If a pub could drunkenly hug you this one would”. Come for a hug on one of the most interesting patios in the city.