While the pub itself is a draw, the Ship and Anchor expands in both size and appeal in the warmer months when its mammoth patio opens up. The sidewalk level patio is right on 17th Avenue and those picnic bench-style seats are among the most coveted spots in the city in which both to see and to be seen. Again, the idea of sitting right on top of one of the busiest (and loudest) strips in the city while trying to enjoy a beer in the sunshine may not make sense to visitors, but day drinking at the Ship on a busy afternoon is part of the ritual of being an urban Calgarian.
Part of it has to do with getting out and enjoying the sunshine whenever we can — but again, that small-town in the big city feeling is something that so many Calgarians thrive on. No matter what you do when you’re not at the Ship — and it could be anything from working construction to trading stocks — if you have any kind of social life in the Beltline you can bet that you’ll see someone you know walking by as you bask on the patio. And if there’s an empty seat at your table they’re not going to be able to resist walking around the fence and joining you for a pint. Essentially, that whole stretch of sidewalk becomes a pub where everybody knows your name.
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.