17th Ave is one of Calgary’s most storied and iconic streets, and is home to several long-standing businesses who have served the community for decades. From a family-owned stationary store to beloved bakeries and coffee shops, here are some of the historic Red Mile businesses you can still visit today.
17th Ave Framing
The building located at 1232 17th Ave SW has been the home of framing businesses since 1974 when it originally opened under the name U Frame It. In 1999, the current owner, Bernard Drouin, took over the framing-centric business, but changed the name to 17th Ave framing, the trusted and long-standing business that remains today. 17th Ave Framing still offers various types of framing, glassware, in-store art and more.
1232 17 Ave SW, 17thavenueframing.com
Although Steeling Home has only been on 17th Ave since 2009, it has been operating in Calgary’s downtown since 1993. What originally began as an artist-run co-op showcasing local work – the focus was on hand forged iron and steel items, which consequently resulted in the name it still bears – slowly evolved into the collection of home decor items, books, puzzles and other functional items you can still find today at its beloved 17th Ave location.
1010 17th Ave SW, steelinghome.ca
It might surprise you to learn that despite its reputation for authentic Italian fare, Buon Giorno was originally home to the Prairie Dog Inn, a primo Mexican restaurant in the early 1960’s. The original owner slowly began incorporating more Italian dishes into the menu, and it was rebranded and renamed Buon Giorno in 1987. For more than 30 years, Buon Giorno was owned and operated by the Battistessa brothers, one of which brought over his passion and skill for cooking from his time at culinary school in Viareggio, Italy. In 2020, Buon Giorno was bought by David Harrison, whose goal is to keep the legacy of the Battistessa brothers and the Boun Giorno experience alive.
823 17 Ave SW, buongiornos.ca
Mona Lisa Artists’ Materials
In 1959, John and Hannah Beeger began selling artist materials in the back room of what used to be the ‘Buy Rite’ grocery store on the corner of 17th Ave and 7th Street. The pair quickly realized their goal of creating a respected art salon and framing shop, and in 1968, opened Mona Lisa Artist Salon in its new location where it still stands today. Since then, this fourth-generation family business has become one of the most well-known art suppliers in the city with more than 25,000 different art supplies for people of all skill levels.
1518 – 7th Street SW, monalisa-artmat.com
This enduring family-owned and operated business has called 17th Ave home since it was founded by John and Moira Reid in 1984. Since then, Reid’s has been a staple amongst artists, crafters and collectors alike for its selection of stationary and fine writing instruments, craft supplies, gift wrap, ribbon and party supplies, journals, books, toys and MUCH more. Reid’s experienced staff offers tons of knowledge and expertise to visitors, and their extensive collection of fine writing instruments, including limited edition versions, is one of the best in the city.
710 17th Ave SW, reidstationers.com
Rustic Sourdough Bakery
For more than 40 years, Rustic Sourdough Bakery has been a staple in Calgary and the 17th Ave community for its expertly crafted and hand-made sourdough, wide selection of imported goods from all of Europe, 80 different types of deli meat, 40 different types of cheese and their extensive list of baked goods. Find bread, buns, pound cakes, tortes and more at this authentic and legendary Red Mile bakery.
1305 – 17th Ave, rusticsourdoughbakery.com
This magical, family-owned and operated gallery opened up on 17th Ave nearly 50 years ago in 1973, and since then has been a destination in Calgary for all things jewellery, glass art, home decor, furniture and apothecary products. Their large collection also features more than 500 different artists and designers working in a variety of different mediums, with a gallery that is constantly evolving throughout each season. Stop by for vibrant fall colours or fresh spring products, and of course, their beloved holiday and christmas selection, a can’t-miss for many Calgarians.
722 17 Ave SW, rubaiyatcalgary.com
European Bakery and Deli
European Bakery and Deli opened on 17th Ave 15 years ago in 2006, but the Duraj family has been on the journey to create the perfect bread and burek since long before that – European Bakery and Deli owner, Shaqir Duraj’s father was crafting these delicious baked goods in Kosovo, Prishtina since 1965. Now, Shaqir is carrying on his legacy in Calgary at this beloved 17th Ave bakery. Take your taste buds to paradise at EB&D, where you can get their popular bureks, bread and other baked goods such as tortes, cake, strudel and more.
#160- 515 17th Ave, eurobakerydeli.com
Since 1990, people from all walks of life and every corner of the city have been coming to Caffe Beano to get their daily coffee fix, indulge in fresh-baked goods and relish in the community feel at this iconic downtown cafe. They serve fresh-baked goods made daily with local ingredients, fair-trade coffee, and their central 17th Ave location boasts a puppy-friendly patio!
1613 9 St SW, caffebeano.ca
Leo Boutique has been a staple on 17th Ave since 1997 when it first opened its doors and introduced Calgarians to their exclusive collection of emerging brands and designers. They have been go-to for stylish Calgarians through the years, and have been a destination for ethically-made, sustainably sourced and independently designed collections.
810B 16 Ave SW, leoboutique.com
Stay tuned, because 17th Ave is home to numerous other long-standing businesses, which you can learn more about in upcoming blogs!
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