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Visiting the Lethbridge Water Tower, Lethbridge, Alberta: fine cuisine and excellent views of the Rockies also

Updated on March 23, 2015
Provincial flag of Alberta
Provincial flag of Alberta | Source
Lethbridge Water Tower at night
Lethbridge Water Tower at night | Source

Dining 12 stories high

This hub is limited to some general observations about this building. For any aspect of the services of this fine restaurant, contact should be made directly with its management.

It all started in 1958, when a water tower was built in Lethbridge, Alberta, thus serving its intended function for some decades thereafter. Eventually the tower became redundant and thus became also what many people thought to be a useless piece of real estate.

This was to reckon without the enterprising vision of a man called Douglas J. Bergen (1). A builder and developer by profession, Mr Bergen foresaw the tower being put to good use as a visitor attraction in the form of a restaurant, with fine views from its elevated vantage points. Eventually, after complicated negotiations with officialdom, much reported heartache, and a search for a franchisee, what is now known as Ric's Grill in Lethbridge opened in 2004 (2).

Lethbridge Water Tower, as managed by Ric's Grill, has become a much sought after venue for dining and social events in the city. The $2 million that was spent on the building conversion is proving its value as a popular, revenue-generating attraction. The steakhouse sits 12 stories high, in an adapted water tank with 32 windows added.

Alberta's largest city has the Calgary Tower, to be sure, itself containing a popular restaurant and is much higher and more impressive than Lethbridge's. But, like the Calgary Tower, Lethbridge Water Tower also boasts good views of the Rockies, especially on a clear day, and a fine cuisine.

How tall is it? Well, it depends on what one means: the original structure of the Water Tower is 40.2 metres tall; but together with an aerial added to the roof of the building, its total height is 58.5 metres.

As I recall, I wholeheartedly approved of the Mexican dish with which I was served aloft. The Grill also specializes in Alberta beef dishes and seafood. Situated at #200, 103 Mayor Magrath Drive South (close to its intersection with the Crowsnest Highway), the Water Tower has a parking lot which is a lot more spacious than those of some restaurants.

My hunch would be that among the citizens of Lethbridge and district the gift certificates for Ric's Grill would almost serve in some circumstances as an alternative currency!

I am wondering what Douglas J. Bergen will think of next?

December 30, 2014

Notes

(1) See also:

http://www.journalofcommerce.com/Home/News/2010/3/Lethbridge-Alberta-builder-converts-water-tower-into-restaurant-JOC037736W/

http://bergenassociates.com/?page_id=94

(2) In fact, Ric's Grill is a chain of restaurants present in various localities in Alberta and British Columbia.


Map location of Lethbridge Census Division, Alberta
Map location of Lethbridge Census Division, Alberta | Source

Also worth seeing

In Lethbridge, notable sights include the Galt Museum; the Japanese Gardens; Henderson Lake with boating opportunities; the record-breaking High Level Bridge, dating from 1909; and many others.

How to get there

Air Canada, flies to Lethbridge Airport, via Calgary, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, you are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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