Music and More: Blue Chair Cafe

I’m always happy when I can finally scratch a restaurant off my “to try” list, particularly when the restaurant has been on the register for a number of years.

I had initially added Blue Chair Cafe onto said list when I started to hear great things about their vibrant, packed-to-the-rafters, story slam events. The Journal recently reported that the relationship has since ended, but the restaurant has now started hosting their own version of the off-the-cuff narrative competition (on the second Wednesday of every month).

So while it would be logical to think my visit there two weeks ago would have been to attend a story slam, instead, a group of us from my workplace went to support a musically-inclined colleague of ours. He plays in a band called Le Fuzz, who bill themselves as “Alberta world beat fusion”. The quintet are super-talented, vivacious and upbeat, and every time I see them perform, I am amazed at how seamlessly the band is able to transition from one style of music to another. Moreover, they are known for songs sung in languages other than English – including Spanish, Swahili and Mandarin.

A long history as a performance venue (I couldn’t get a clear shot of Le Fuzz…they don’t stand still!)

A coworker commented that the layout of the Blue Chair reminded her of the now-departed Sidetrack Café, with the stage set back into a corner, and a mezzanine level ensuring that even those seated far back had a clear view of the band. With a packed schedule that includes a different performer almost every night, the Blue Chair has to be one of the busiest live music venues in the city.

Interior

I loved the bold wall colours, eclectic art, and the globe light fixtures that had been hung at different heights. Combined, the décor made for a very cool but comfortable feel.

A cozy two-top

I had also heard positive reviews about the food, though, as stated on the menu (on the flip side of a record sleeve!), the restaurant is hampered by a small kitchen. I ended up ordering my second choice (they had already run out of turkey chilli), the pad thai ($16).

Cool menu

As it was an absolutely full house, I was expecting a long wait, but was pleasantly surprised. While it was not the most authentic pad thai I’ve had (saucy, mild, and made with vermicelli instead of a flat rice noodle – similar to The King & I’s version), I enjoyed it, and liked the rich peanut and coconut flavours in the sauce. There were also a fair bit of vegetables (julienned carrots, blanched green beans, bean sprouts) included, which added great crunch and colour to the dish.

Pad Thai

To enjoy their last song and encore, a few of us found our way to some empty space and made a dance floor (okay, I joined them only for moral support). The wait staff who had to make their way around our cluster were definitely a patient bunch!

In all, Blue Chair Cafe provided a great space to unwind after a long work week. I hope to be back in the future to finally witness a story slam!

Blue Chair Cafe
9624 – 76 Avenue
(780) 989 – 2861
Monday – Sunday 10am-10pm

5 thoughts on “Music and More: Blue Chair Cafe

  1. Blue Chair is awesome. I’ve never been there for dinner, but their breakfast is fantastic.

  2. Debra and Simon – I was impressed by the menu variety (a coworker next to me had goat curry, the couple in front of me had ceviche and shrimp rolls). I’ll have to consider it for brunch sometime as well then!

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