Owner of Telegraph Taphouse moves new restaurant into Lethbridge’s water tower

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Owner of Telegraph Taphouse moves new restaurant into Lethbridge’s water tower
WATCH ABOVE: An iconic Lethbridge building won’t sit empty for much longer. The owner of a pair of existing local businesses is trying his hand at opening a new restaurant in the city’s water tower. Danica Ferris has more. – Dec 5, 2019

Lethbridge’s Water Tower Grill closed nearly two months ago, but the historic building it used to operate in didn’t sit without a tenant for long, with a new restaurant slated to open Jan. 2.

“I am very excited,” said new owner Ram Khanal, “[It’s] a little bit scary, because whatever businesses have started here have failed, so chances I fail are greater… but I like to take a challenge.”
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The building’s previous business lasted just 15 months, and Khanal said he jumped at the opportunity to move in shortly after hearing the news.

He and his family have lived in southern Alberta for seven years. Khanal said he has a full-circle connection with the water tower.

“I’m from Nepal — seven years ago I moved to Canada — and the reason I moved to Canada [was] because of the water tower.”

The job that brought Khanal and his family to the area was one that was left vacant when someone else left to work at one of the previous restaurants in the water tower.

He then received permanent residency and moved to Picture Butte, where in 2015 he opened the Picture Butte Hotel and Tavern.

Two years later, his family opened Telegraph Taphouse.

Khanal has managed to find such success in a region his family previously had no ties to.

“Google,” he laughed. “Literally the place was up for sale [and] I looked it up on Google.
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“That’s what immigration looks like, because when you move to [a] country that you don’t know anything, you can go anywhere.”

With less than one month until he opens the Water Tower Grill and Bar, Khanal believes that price point will be the biggest difference between his restaurant and previous ones that have failed in the location.

“We’re going to run it [as a] more affordable restaurant. It will be like affordable, casual-gourmet restaurants, whereas up until now you had to break the bank to come here,” he said.

Khanal has crafted the menu himself, one he calls locally-sourced and internationally-inspired, with the same food available in the dining room and lounge.

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