Food & Beverage Project
Fergus & Bix Restaurant & Beer Market
Food & Beverage Project
Fergus & Bix Restaurant & Beer Market
Seeking an experienced local partner
Fergus & Bix’s Director of Concept Development works regularly with contractors in Calgary, but wanted to
work with a local, mid-sized company for the Canmore restaurant project. He was looking for a team that could tackle challenges like supply chain issues with a positive attitude and open communication.
A collaborative process and agile approach
ACS worked closely with Fergus & Bix to design and build a custom, high-end restaurant on Main Street in Canmore from the ground up. This involved collaborating with the best project team and sub-trades
in the Bow Valley to make the restaurant’s dream a reality.
An outstanding guest experience
Together, ACS and Fergus & Bix built a restaurant with an exceptional atmosphere for guests. “People come in and say, ‘Wow, this is my new favourite place,’ before even trying the menu,” the Director of Concept Development says. Even better, the project was completed on time and on budget.
AT A GLANCE
- 3 restaurant locations in southern Alberta
- 98 maximum occupant load in new Canmore restaurant
- Project completed on time and on budget
“I don’t think there’s another restaurant in Canmore built to the level of quality that ACS helped us create.”
Director of Concept Development,
Fergus & Bix
A passion for exceptional guest experiences
The Fergus & Bix restaurant brand started 15 years ago in Calgary, Alberta. The company is guided by the belief that to create an exceptional product, you must truly love what you do. People can find a bite to eat and a beer most anywhere, but serving fresh, hand-made food with high-quality, local ingredients is what Fergus & Bix loves to do. This makes all the difference. The company is passionate about striving to provide the highest level of guest experience possible.
It was only natural, then, that when the restaurant’s owners decided to expand into Canmore, Alberta they wanted to find a construction partner who could make their vision a reality. A team that could deliver a result everyone involved in the project would be proud of, on budget and on time.
In this story, you’ll learn how Fergus & Bix’s new Canmore location came to life, and we’ll walk through the construction process leading up to the restaurant’s opening in July 2022.
Avoiding inflexible processes and unnecessary costs
The biggest challenge when starting a new restaurant is securing a good location. Fergus & Bix’s Director of Concept Development had been looking at space in Canmore for over 20 years. He knew he wanted the restaurant to be on Main Street, the heart of downtown Canmore. So, he jumped at the opportunity to open a venue there when space became available.
Being in the restaurant business for almost 30 years, the Director of Concept Development has been involved in building more than 15 restaurants. He works regularly with contractors in Calgary, but wanted to work with a local, mid-sized company for Fergus & Bix’s Canmore restaurant project.
“I don’t work with large construction companies, because they tend to be less flexible,” he says. “Everything has to go through head office to be signed off on, and you end up incurring a lot of additional costs for change orders.”
Nonetheless, building a restaurant is a huge undertaking. It was important to Fergus & Bix that the construction company they chose had solid experience, and could tackle challenges like supply chain issues and rising costs with a positive attitude and open communication.
“I had a good team in Calgary, but I thought it was important to establish relationships with trades in Canmore,” says the Director of Concept Development. “Restaurants need a lot of repairs, so working with locals makes more sense than having people run out from Calgary all the time.”
Finding an experienced, trustworthy construction partner
As is good practice during the vetting process, Fergus & Bix was also considering other construction companies for their project. However, two industry colleagues of the Director of Concept Development had worked with Ashton Construction Services (ACS) in the past and highly recommended the team.
“I talked to them to make sure they had a good experience with ACS, and they did,” he says. “So, I went through ACS’ whole portfolio and I was impressed.”
With over 15 years of commercial construction experience, ACS has a proven track record of building successful and memorable restaurant businesses. The company was the kind of partner Fergus & Bix was looking for.
“The team and I hit it off, and I trusted them,” the Director of Concept Development says.
Another key factor in the decision to work with ACS was that the company had built the base building in which Fergus & Bix would be renting space. The landlord gave ACS another positive recommendation.
“There was a big advantage to having the same company construct both the base building and the restaurant,” the Director of Concept Development says. “They took care of the water lines and electricity needed, and they were able to start that work ahead of time.”
A highly collaborative and organized process
ACS worked closely with Fergus & Bix to design and build a custom, high-end restaurant on Main Street in Canmore from the ground up. This involved collaborating with the best project team and sub-trades in the Bow Valley to make the restaurant’s dream a reality.
Fergus & Bix experienced ACS’ collaborative working style from day one. The two companies started working together prior to having a design in place, to establish the restaurant’s construction budget and construction management program.
ACS’ team visited both of Fergus & Bix’s other locations and reviewed them in detail. The team even stayed for a meal to understand which aspects of the construction were most important for the guest experience.
The building needed a complete renovation, including a new HVAC system, fire alarm, water, power, kitchen ventilation, and more to suit this new restaurant. The construction also included specific high-end finishes such as real leather upholstery, solid wood millwork, and granite.
Some of the major project milestones included finishing the floor, which has 21 lines of beer running underneath; putting a new facade on the building exterior; and framing the coolers, kitchen, bar, seating, and restrooms; then selecting the interior finishings.
Case study by Scribe National
Photos: Eva Urbanska Photography
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