Making Memories

Judging by the response to a Facebook post on the demolition of the Steak Pit Restaurant, this could well be the most important thing to happen in Bragg Creek in the last 20 years. In two days the post was viewed 8,300 times, received 56 likes, 43 shares and 36 comments. Many people said the restaurant was where life changing or momentous events were celebrated. The outpouring of sentiment was extraordinary. Arguably, water services, the floods and development have affected the community profoundly. But, people had a special relationship with the restaurant. It made memories. The interesting thing is, this story combines all of those events and also marks the . . .

End of an Era – July 17, 2017

The Steak Pit Restaurant was reduced to a pile of rubble today. It was all but destroyed in the 2013 flood, but the hope that it might recover lingered. Now, we have Carl’s Jr. drive through.

The Steak Pit opened in 1961 and became an instant Bragg Creek institution, serving a classic Alberta beef meal in a rustic atmosphere, owned by Gordon Shoults and Joyce Kelly who used to sing, accompanied by a piano. Do you have one of their trademark routered nameplates that reserved your table? Many thousands were hand crafted by Gord Shoults. You could take them home and hang them on your property. They had the three A-frames out back; the only commercial motel accommodation in Bragg Creek. It is missed.

The good news is, there’s a plan to replace it with a seniors’ residence. I guess that’s the story here – things are changing.

The Steak Pit Review

I’m pleased to be able to share a copy of “The Steak Pit Review”. It is an eight-page, tabloid format newsletter, produced by the restaurant; editing and photography by Deryk Bodington. It is a wonderful record of the history of the restaurant, the people, the Bragg Creek lifestyle and history as reported in the 1970s.

Download an Acrobat version of   The Steak Pit Review

Selected and edited comments from the Facebook Post

  • A lady posted a photo of three Steak Pit Nameplates on her driveway gate
  • Sad to see it go. Hoping future changes can maintain the character and charm of the hamlet.
  • I think that is the take-away message. Generations of people have worked hard to make Bragg Creek unique. Let’s not let it slip away. We need appropriate development, not multi-story, high density, franchised, dollar-driven development. The criteria should be, what makes this unique – what is the link to our heritage? It could be disruptive – just not boring.
  • Photo of “Help Save the Steak Pit” banner posted
  • I was there for dinner when they celebrated 50 years, just before the flood happened, so sad to see it gone and not rebuilt.
  • As a kid, I thought the stream that ran thru the restaurant was the neatest thing. Sad to see it go.
  • It was one of our favorite places, listening to Joyce Kelly sing was a treat along with a nice medium rare steak.
  • Remember every moment of those wonderful bus trips and lunches. Gord and Joyce are wonderful musicians and I was blessed to work with them at CBC radio too. What a terrific place this was. Memories to last a lifetime. Thanks for posting.
  • So many memories. Someone had their wedding there, one lady said her Mom and GrandMom’s 80th birthday party were celebrated there and another had her first sip of champagne. Good times and good memories. It wasn’t just a place – it was part of our lives.

Steak Pit Photo Gallery

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