Cheers to Inglewood cocktail collaboration: Afternoon Tea-light by espy experience

 

Afternoon Tea-light

Megan Szanik, owner of espy experience

 

What’s the inspiration behind your cocktail?

At espy experience we bring an affordable fashion destination to Inglewood, offering a refreshingly honest approach to styling while ensuring everyone who visits looks and feels their best. We teamed up with the Nash cocktail specialists to capture the essence of espy experience with the Afternoon Tealight, a fresh twist on the classic mint julep. The Afternoon Tealight is all about good times—much like an espy shopping experience—with summery but not too sweet flavours of Assam tea syrup accenting barrel-aged bourbon.

How many years has espy experience been in Inglewood?

Nine years.

How have you seen the community grow and change during those nine years?

I was one of the first clothing stores. Adorn was already here, but she was a small jewelry shop and had just become a clothing store. At that point I got on the BRZ board and really got involved. I was with them for six years to say well, how do we keep Inglewood slightly seedy and interesting but also encourage new business?

One of the things that’s so great about Inglewood is, think about it in the ‘60s—they stopped Blackfoot Trail. Ninth Avenue was going to be Blackfoot Trail. It would have been another Memorial Drive on the other side of the river, and they said no. I love that there’s a true community here.

You can pick up a hipster beard oil and an axe and some really amazing denim and eat at some of the best restaurants in town. Inglewood’s a true, original Main Street. An original Main Street had everything you needed, as does Inglewood. And that’s what I love about living here, having a business here, and it has changed because more people have started to recognize it.

And I think that’s what’s really important about Inglewood is that there’s a reason the buildings are only four storeys tall—it’s human scale and that’s how we look at it, just like how it would have been human scale 100 years ago. That’s what’s going to keep it really interesting, and people are going to want to continue to walk through here and come here. I think we’re going to see more and more businesses open over the next two years and stay. It’s a great neighbourhood supported by great people.

What are your favourite places in Inglewood?

Well, obviously, the Nash and Off Cut Bar. I spend a lot of time there. I just walk in and they hand me a glass of rose or a whiskey sour, which is great. I also think Plant is awesome. You’ll see me quite a bit at Café Gravity, which I absolutely love, and Delightful for a Vietnamese sub.

You’ll also see me at City Fit. It’s one of the best gym facilities in the city.

How would you describe Inglewood to someone who’s never been there?

I would describe it as a walking and shopping street. I would describe it as Calgary’s original Main Street, and I would describe it as one of the only places in Calgary where the buildings are over 100 years old.

How would you say Inglewood reflects your store’s brand and vision?

My store is all about making people feel good, working with the community. Espy is all about community, and I just love being in a community that’s also all about community and that 60 years ago said hell no to Blackfoot Trail and made a real difference that created this community that’s here today—that we finally woke up and said bold is interesting.

I would say that’s the community piece that probably ties me to the neighbourhood the most, and I also love the similar businesses. I was the second or third clothing store here and now there’s 11. We’re started to get like-minded businesses, and I think that’s great that people can come for a shopping district.

How would you describe style in Calgary, and more specifically Inglewood?

In Inglewood, you have a lot of the high-low. You’ve got the people that bought the river lot, built the million-dollar house, so you see beautiful clothing walking down the street. You see great style that you would see when you open any magazine, and I’m proud to contribute to that. We have people that visit us in the neighbourhood that bring us cider and wine and chocolates and they would never ever shop here because they’re kind of pithy and strange and interesting, but they’re all about community. But because of the stores that are here with The Livery, with Purr, with Bamboo Ballroom and myself and Adorn, you definitely do see a very well-dressed hipster and you see a very well-dressed woman and man because of the level of people that live in the neighbourhood.

 

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