Present Name: Alexandra Hotel / Vintage Tap House – Pub & Grill
Original Name: Hotel Alexandra
Address: 30 Railway Ave. W
Charlie Gutterson and Alexander Van Swelm funded the construction of the building in 1937. It was constructed by a group of Drumheller’s bricklayers who laid the brick in sections. There were there bricklayers: Bill Holoston, Jim Parsons and Fred Langford. The three of them each constructed a third of the building. Fred Langford got the idea of constructing the three diamonds that can still be seen below the window. In those days the brick layers were also the architects and it was assumed that they knew what would be appropriate to the building from past experience. Each of them agreed to make one of the diamonds simply for entertainment. When they completed It they decided that the best diamond was the one Mr. Holoston made; the one in the middle.
The tavern part of the building was also constructed in 1937 after the original wood frame building, nick named the “Log Cabin,” burned down in a fire. The tavern constructed from tile brick, which is not intended for construction but for cosmetic purposes. This brick name, like most of the other bricks used in Drumheller, from Medicine Hat, and the tile brick was used because it was much cheaper.13 The bricklayers feared that it would not withstand that weight of the corner sign, which has been restored to its original design.
One time a policeman received a call from the Alexandra that there was trouble in the bar, as there often was. He came there expecting a typical first fight, but instead he saw a huge six-foot-five-three-hundred-pound woman holding the bar tender up by his shirt collar. Her nickname was, rightly, “Big Annie” and she ran a house of ill repute in Drumheller.
“Put him down,” the policeman said. “You might hurt him.”
Big Annie set the bartender down and lifted the policeman up by his shirt collar.
“You’re cute little sucker,” she said.
After that, the policeman had no trouble with her again, and when he accosted someone on the street to check what they were doing she walked to him and said: “Are these guys giv’n y’any tr’uble?”
When the Log Cabin burned down in 1934 “Dad” Faulkner, the resident manager, lost his life in the fire. Mr. Faulkner and Mr. Nichol, another boarder, were sleeping in adjoining rooms. When the alarm of the fire was sounded in the building the halls were already full of smoke. They started out of their rooms but Mr. Faulkner returned for some possessions in a panic. By this time the smoke in the hall was far too dense to get down the hallway. Mr. Nichol tried to get Mr. Faulkner through the window. This was a difficult task as Mr. Faulkner weighed over three hundred pounds. Eventually Mr. Nichol gave up and was pulled to safety through the window onto the roof. The firemen tied a rope to Mr. Faulkner’s arm and attempted to pull him through the window, but he was too big. Eventually the rope tore the skin on his arm and they had to try something else. The firemen broke a hole through the side of the building, but by this time Mr. Faulkner had quietly expired from smoke inhalation.
This bar part of the building had soon become nick named “The Zoo” because of its rowdy nature.
In the late 1980’s, the owner of the tavern had taken advantage of this name and has turned it into a theme bar, using the nick name as its real one. The bar then became the Octane in the early 2000’s and in 2010, the Pappas Family renovated the building into the “Vintage Bar and Grill”.
In 2014 the name changed to “the Recovery” and in June 2017 owners of the Recovery Taphouse changed name to Vintage Tap House – Pub & Grill. Fall 2018 brought the opening of the new Vintage No. 2 Kitchen & Bar, and the rebranding of the taphouse to Vintage No. 1 Pub & Grill.