(Crystal Laderas – 660 NEWS) by Crystal Laderas Posted Jun 20, 2017 3:06 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 21, 2017 at 4:52 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email There’s a modern kitchen and lounge open in the trendy northwest neighbourhood of Kensington, and most people would never be able to guess who owns it.North Calgary Branch No. 264 moved into a four-storey facility that houses a members lounge, office space and the 7,000 square foot 1918 Tap & Table.Six years ago, membership was dropping and the decades-old building was in rough shape. It faced similar problems that has legions across the country closing their doors.“The choice was close the legion or find a sustainable model like this,” said area city councillor Druh Farrell.“I think the public will want to be a part of this. Legions, because of their model and some of the services that they delivered in the past, were losing some relevance. They recognized that, and they’re going to be providing new services to the new veteran.””We build community in the name of the legion…,” –@nenshi #yyc pic.twitter.com/PUy25jTBNq— Crystal Laderas (@CrisLaderas) June 20, 2017Branch 264 found value in the land it owned and it signed a land swap arrangement and partnered with builder Truman Homes.Treasurer Mark Barham said the legion is debt free, and its mortgage is paid for. He added the mixed-use facility is catching the attention of branches facing closure and the dominion president who believes it’s a framework for others to follow.“Dave Flannigan indicated that this is the way of the future, this is where we have to go. Legions across the country are sitting on property, so in essence, they’re asset rich but they’re cash flow poor,” said Barham.The new branch was built on the same land as the old building. It has three revenue streams — membership, the office space for lease and the first-floor restaurant 1918 Tap & Table.1918 Tap & Table – 1st floor of legion. A non-profit restaurant, revenue will be donated to charities it supports. pic.twitter.com/dRP5Bfxp9K— Crystal Laderas (@CrisLaderas) June 20, 2017“That will generate, of course, the profit, we intend on taking that profit and kicking it back into the community. So, in essence, it’s a not-for-profit restaurant,” said Barham.Eighty-two-year-old Royal Canadian Air Force veteran, Marion Mascaro, thinks she will be sitting next to new members who are drawn in by the restaurant.“A lot of those people will end up joining because it’s a nice building and it would be a nice date,” said Mascaro. “Say you’re a dentist and a doctor or something like that and you’re having a very busy day. You can ring up the wife and say, ‘come on down we’ll have dinner here.’ It could be very convenient for people like that. Calgary|YYC Legion opens model concept branch in Kensington read more