January 28, 2017 5:25 pm
Updated: January 29, 2017 3:06 pm

Iconic water tower restaurants in Lethbridge closes its doors

For nearly 13 years, residents and tourists have enjoyed meals in what used be the Lethbridge's iconic water tower. Saturday, Cut & Char Chophouse and Rogue Restaurant closed its doors. Joe Scarpelli reports.

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After nearly 13 years, Cut & Char Chophouse and Rogue Restaurant in Lethbridge’s iconic water tower closed its doors.

“Kind of unfortunate and saddening,” Susan Sherring, a customer, said.

Global News learned Friday afternoon that the two restaurants in the tower would close down after its Saturday night crowd.

General manager Brandon Boorsma said it was the decision of the tower’s owner, Douglas J. Bergen and Associates. Mr. Bergen did not confirm or deny this.

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“You don’t want to see any businesses close. But at the same time, I guess there’s a lot of competition in town…maybe it wasn’t totally surprising but it was always hoped that it would stay,” Bob Johnston, a Lethbridge resident, said.

The main restaurant level sits 102’ above ground and has a view not many others can compete with.

“I love the view,” Sherring said. “I’m going to be really sad.”

“I’d chalk it up to a landmark like our high level bridge,” Kyle Szabo, who had his wedding reception in the tower four years ago, said.

Global News had several conversations with the owner and general manager. Neither agreed to an interview, but GM Brandon Boorsma provided us with the following statement:

“We are closing for the same reason any business would close, lower sales than we would hope for and costs that are higher than we would like. We have attempted to do this in as honourable a way as possible, paying suppliers and giving staff as much notice as we could,” Boorsma sated. “The building owners will be putting a new concept in and will accept any gift certificates there. We are grateful for the support we have received from the community but of course we all grieve the loss of jobs and of the restaurants for this city.”

The Lethbridge water tower was built between 1957- 1959 and stopped functioning in 1999. According to bergenassociates.com, Bergen bought the building from the city in 2003 after it was slated for demolition. Fifteen months later,  it was open for business.

Bergen said he plans to rebrand and open new restaurants to be run under a new general manager.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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