Iconic Ranchman’s country dancehall up for lease after nearly 50 years in Calgary

 Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall, the iconic country bar that’s been home to line dancers and mechanical bull riders for nearly 50 years, is up for lease.

The bar, located at 9615 Macleod Trail S.E., offers 17,000 square feet of interior space with 5,400 square feet of patio, and sits on a 2.74-acre parcel on one of Calgary’s busiest roadways, according to the listing.

“For the first time in its history, this property is available,” the MLS listing reads.

Calls to the company on Saturday were met with an automated message, saying “This number is temporarily unavailable.”

Ranchman’s was founded by Harris Dvorkin and Kevin Baker and April 1972.

The bar started as a self-serve cafeteria, but grew into a more than 1,000 seat dance hall, and a Calgary landmark.

We hit the trails with country music star Paul Brandt to see the most meaningful places in Calgary to him. Here we visit Ranchman’s, where he got his first big break. 2:31

It was named Country Club of the Year sixteen times by Canadian Country Music Association, and launched the careers of artists like Paul Brandt. 

It’s also been featured in movies like Cool Runnings and Brokeback Mountain.

For tens of thousands of patrons each year during the Calgary Stampede, Ranchman’s was a must visit — to learn line-dancing, listen to live country music, eat beef on a bun, or ride the mechanical bull.

After Dvorkin’s death in 2017, the bar was sold to a group of local business owners, led by Doug Rasberry. Rasberry owned the Back Alley nightclub for more than two decades before the space was transformed into its current incarnation, Marquee Beer Market.

CBC News has reached out to Rasberry’s representatives for comment, and has yet to receive a response.

Ranchman’s closed on March 17, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has not been permitted to reopen since, as nightclubs remain closed in Alberta.

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