When we were building Cibo, we put a great deal of thought and effort into choosing building materials that were not only repurposed – but materials that had a story of their own, which now become a part of our story.
The wine shelves on the lower floor were made from old restaurant signs we found through out Calgary. The wine rack behind the bar on the upper level was a wine barrel recycled from the Okanagan. And while using the upstairs washrooms it might be interesting to know that the vanities were once the prop maker’s tables in the Grand Theater right here in downtown Calgary. The awning over the kitchen was once the awning of a building from the 1850’s.
All the multi coloured wood that you see on the fronts of the bars is wood that has been repurposed from various heritage buildings throughout Calgary and Fort Macleod. Though it can be hard to trace the original home of each piece of wood, generally they came from turn of the century buildings. We do know, however, that the coloured wood around the kitchen & the big pillar on the upper level is from the original pool hall in Fort Macleod.
One of the most interesting projects in the building is our floor tiles on the lower level. As many people know, many of our pine forests have been plagued by the mountain pine beetle. These beetles burrow into the pine trees, killing the trees but also making the wood useless because of the internal damage. However, a few highly-skilled local craftsmen were able to work with the imperfect wood to create our floor.
The long communal table at front of the restaurant is cut from a single Sitka tree sourced from Vancouver Island. The wood is naturally a light colour but is darkened by fire treating. You can find the same wood used in the tables along the front windows and in the dark wood along the stairs.
This innovative repurposing doesn’t stop inside. On the patio, the walls and the tabletops were originally the doors of a B-17 hanger from RCAF Station Ft. Macleod, a World War II British Commonwealth plan (BCATP) flying training station which closed in November 1944.