Editor’s note: The Restaurants of YEG blog series reaches out to local restaurants we love to share their story by having them answer a short interview by email. Responses are shown as submitted. Get in touch with us if you know of a restaurant we should feature!
With the massive growth of the Alberta craft beer industry, more and more customers want to see beer brewed near them served at the restaurants and bars they frequent. But Arcadia, a cozy bar on 124th street, has served nothing but locally-brewed beer and spirits since it opened. Their commitment to local even got the Molson corporation riled up during the Oilers’ 2017 playoff run, but they still held fast to their mission.
Arcadia has continued to be the little bar with the biggest heart, hosting and supporting local musicians and comedy acts while also contributing proceeds and encouraging customer donations to Boyle Street Community Services through their Be More Kind campaign. Along with special one-off cask nights from local breweries, trivia nights and even musical bingo, this is the neighbourhood pub you’d be proud to call your second home. We interviewed owner Darren McGeown to learn more, and are proud for Arcadia to be our second feature of our Restaurants of YEG blog series.
What’s your name and how long have you lived in Edmonton?
Darren McGeown, 35 years.
What’s one of the biggest struggles you’ve had to deal with as a local restauranteur?
Getting your name out there.
What’s your commitment around local and organic food?
We serve Alberta beer & Gin only. I find it important to serve and support local because it’s what I ask of my customers when they come to Arcadia. So I should be doing the exact same.
Is there anything you do to be a greener restaurant?
We are mostly vegetarian and vegan, so we hope to leave our footprint in that aspect.
Where do you eat out when you go out? What are your top three places for food and drinks in town?
I’m loving Mayday Hot Dogs, Plaza Bowling and Daravara.
Where do you see your restaurant in the next three years?
I hope to expand and brew our own beer.
What’s your take on the Edmonton local food and independent restaurant scene?
It’s unbelievable how fast it’s growing and how supportive everyone is of each other.
What’s one thing that the City of Edmonton could do to support establishments like yours?
More grants, lessen patio restrictions and speed up permit processes.