We spill the beans on Calgary’s new ‘secret’ lounge and event space.

Last week, we shared with you the genius that is Hudson. Today, we’re descending all the way to the basement of the iconic Hudson’s Bay building for a look at a second exciting space in this dreamy building. If you watched The Great Gatsby, and longed to join Leo as he ducked covertly into that secret basement speakeasy, we’ve got good news for you: Sub Rosa, a “hidden” underground lounge in Calgary, is going to make your dreams come true. Ok, we can’t guarantee that Leo will be there, but all of your other dreams.

Sub Rosa – which translates to “under the rose” in Latin – knows how to work a theme. The location is given on their website as, “hidden beneath the heritage building at the corner of 8th Avenue and 1st Street,” and you’re directed to enter under a neon triangle symbol. The secret society concept is even carried through to their Instagram account, which is set up as private – meaning you have to request access. Talk about exclusive. The lounge is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights only, and believe us, you want to go.

The in-person experience does not disappoint. The entrance is indeed located beneath a small, illuminated triangle, where we were greeted and escorted down to the lounge via elevator. Once inside, there was no shortage of rich visual inspiration, all perfectly on-point with the prohibition, secret society concept. The fabric elements alone are to-die-for: dramatic drapes hang from the ceiling, there are brown tufted-leather couches to cozy into, and everything features beautiful romantic patterns and rich textures that juxtapose perfectly with the historic brick walls. We also loved the curious artwork hung around the space, and gold birdcage light fixtures.

In addition to sampling (delicious) cocktails during the public lounge hours, you can get your hands on the space for private events Sunday through Thursday. We’re already dreaming of the most perfect luxury events that we could stage here. Not only is the setting beautiful, but rental needs were thoughtfully considered during the planning and design of the venue. For instance, the hanging drapes are meant to divide the space as needed, allowing you to adjust the rental square footage according to your needs. High-end props and furniture – from couches to cocktail and dining tables – are already in the venue, and are movable. And while larger lounges are not technically allowed to be rearranged or removed from the space, word is if you know the right people, even that can be arranged… and we happen to have just the kind of connections something like that takes. You didn’t hear it from us, but if you’re intrigued, you can contact Rhys Higham at rhys.higham@oliverbonacini.com to inquire.

As gorgeous and enticing as this space is, it probably won’t stay ‘secret’ for long. Make sure you’re in the know by  checking it out for yourself – and be sure to let us know what you thought!