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Upscale pub sets sights on St. Albert

Central Social Hall to open sometime in 2014

By: Viola Pruss

  |  Posted: Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 06:00 am

PREMIUM PUB – Central Social Hall will offer an upscale environment for socializing. The owners say the St. Albert location will be somewhat different than their first location on Jasper Avenue.
PREMIUM PUB – Central Social Hall will offer an upscale environment for socializing. The owners say the St. Albert location will be somewhat different than their first location on Jasper Avenue.
Supplied photo

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When Central Social Hall opens in St. Albert in the spring, there won’t be any Canadian sports or outdoor paraphernalia on the wall.

Like its sister location in Edmonton, the pub will focus on socializing and good entertainment, said co-owner Jesse Kupina.

That’s why they pride themselves on high definition TVs, excellent décor, good food and wine on tap, he said.

“Whatever community or area we go to we want to be the centre for people to get together and socialize and have a cocktail or have something to eat,” Kupina said. “Or just get together and watch a hockey game.”

Kupina said the second location for the Edmonton-based pub is now under construction at 525 St. Albert Trail – the same shopping complex that will house a GoodLife Fitness centre and Visions Electronics store in the future.

Construction of the building is expected to finish in the new year, and Kupina remains cautious about giving a specific opening date, or detail on the décor.

What he did say was that the one-storey, 6,000-square-foot pub will be able to accommodate between 200 and 250 people.

He promises that the new location won’t be an exact replica of the first one, on Jasper Avenue in Edmonton.

“It won’t be something where you have an individual location that will replicate the exact same food and layout of their other places,” he said. “We are treating every location as a new project.”

When Kupina first created Central Social Hall, he didn’t want to copy his competitors but rather place emphasis on bringing his customers a premium pub, he said. So while his TVs may air the latest hockey games, the Edmonton location also has a dance floor, wood-paneled rooms and retro wallpaper.

There are more than 21 beers on tap (the restaurant is sponsored by both the Oilers and Molson brewery) and they have “pub food with a twist,” he said.

The owners chose St. Albert as their second location because of its demographics, its local hockey scene and the size of the city, he added. While there is competition in the area, he expects they will make a nice addition to the other, local pubs.

“We are going in there as what we call a premium pub. So we are open late and we have food right until we close,” he said. “The plan right now is to open with the same hours we have downtown, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day. So you can get great food late and that is what we are going to bring to St. Albert.”


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