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New restaurant to open in Lethbridge’s iconic water tower

After being vacant for over a year, the Lethbridge water tower is once again going to be a restaurant.

Calgary-based Vintage Group is hoping to open the Water Tower Grill before the start of July.

“When we were approached in January about it, we went back and forth and finally agreed to it about three months ago,” said Vintage Group president Lance Hurtubise.

The restaurant is currently being renovated and is expected to have 40 employees.

“The important part here is that a Calgary-based, successful business that has multiple locations has made a perspective that Lethbridge is a place to make an investment,” Economic Development Lethbridge CEO Trevor Lewington said. “They look at Lethbridge as a growth market and it’s exciting to see them make an investment in our city as opposed to open another location back in Calgary.”

New life is coming back to what is perhaps the most iconic building in the city. The water tower is a building one expert believes could enhance the tourist experience in Lethbridge.

“I think it is a unique product offering for sure,” said William Slenders , the executive director of the Lethbridge Destination Management Organization. “The experience that any individual has here in Lethbridge is one that we really want to relay to a number of different consumers in the province.”

The tower’s last restaurant tenants, Cut & Char Chophouse and Rogue, said low sales and high costs forced them to close.

Hurtubise says he understands the risks involved but is excited for the challenge ahead.

“We’re not kidding ourselves. We’re not saying, ‘If you build it they’ll come,’ by any means,” Hurtubise said. “We need to earn that and we will earn that.

“It’ll be a process. I think we have one shot right out of the gate as something new in Lethbridge and then after that, we need to prove ourselves every day.”

On Wednesday, water tower owner Douglas Bergan told Global News his goal in bringing in another restaurant is to ensure the tower is a public space that will continue to allow people to enjoy the view of the city.

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