Chillabong's staff showing off some cocktails
Jul 2

Tourism Talk Tuesday with Chillabong’s Bar & Grill

Part of the Red Deer community for over 25 years, Chillabong’s Bar & Grill has been serving up feel-good food and drinks since 1996

Part of the Red Deer community for over 25 years, Chillabong’s Bar & Grill has been serving up feel-good food and drinks in their friendly neighbourhood pub since 1996. If you haven’t come to know this local favourite, then you will want to add them to your dining plans very soon.

Chillabong’s Bar & Grill is family owned and operated and heavily involved in the community, from the popular Chillabong’s Stage during Westerner Days to supporting various charities like the United Way, Make-a-Wish Foundation, The Mustard Seed and Central Alberta Woman’s Outreach, this restaurant embodies what it means to be a good neighbour.

Whether you are a Chillabong’s regular, a newbie or somewhere in between, you will want to read ahead for a look at what has made this Tourism Red Deer member the community icon it is today.

The front of Chillabongs building and their patio
A line of VLTs light up
The front of Chillabongs building and their patio
What makes you different, unique or stand out?

“We have remained the same style place since the get-go, from branding to our menu items,” says Pilar Vasquez owner/operator of Chillabong’s Bar & Grill. “Most restaurants shift or change their menu frequently or with the seasons. For us, it is about familiarity, customer favourites and good pub food.”

Pilar and the Chillabong’s team cherish and maintain the neighbourhood pub feeling, where everyone feels welcome from the first visit to the tenth. “You will feel like you are coming home for a visit with family,” says Vasquez. “We love getting to know our customers and strive for an inclusive and enjoyable atmosphere.”

Throughout the ups and downs of COVID-19 restrictions, restaurants were forced to rethink how they would continue operations and keep their businesses open. Like their peers, Chillabong’s began shifting from inside dining to patio service (when able) and filling takeout and curbside pickup orders.

“Sure, people could order some food to enjoy at home once in a while, but we couldn’t pack up the Chillabong’s experience in a to-go box,” says Vasquez. “This has been our biggest struggle throughout the pandemic. For some people we were their only socialization and connection during the day, this element has been incredibly missed.”

Why do you do what you do?

“My father-in-law is a fairly social person and has always been very passionate about the hospitality and tourism industry,” says Vasquez. “Going out for a drink, getting something to eat and connecting with people and community was how it all started.”

Pilar and her husband began taking over management of the family business in 2003 and after having their child, Pilar left her financial background to embrace Chillabong’s full-time.

“We love Red Deer, the community and the businesses are amazing and so are the people,” says Vasquez. “We have a great relationship with our vendors and local breweries like Troubled Monk. Tourism businesses around here work well together, they take their best assets and come together for the better good of the community.”

What can guests (local or visiting) expect to experience?

“We want visitors near and far coming in to visit, to enjoy the atmosphere, have a fantastic meal and experience the best service,” says Vasquez. You know you’re in for a hearty meal with menu items like the Nacho Poutine or their very own Chillabonger burger, but do offer lighter options like Fish Tacos or the Steak Salad.

“Our menu is full of traditional pub favourites, including everything from burgers and steaks to chicken wings and salads,” says Vasquez. “Our cooks use fresh ingredients to make sure that your food always tastes great AND we have the coldest beer in town!”

Chillabong’s Bar & Grill is an adult-only (18+) establishment and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily food/drink features and Happy Hour from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm every day. VLT machines and an ATM are available on location.

“We are well known for our Wing Night Wednesdays (the wing box),” says Vasquez. Their Steak Sandwich is another big hit and made affordable at $12 a plate from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. “We get lots of compliments on the quality and we only use local Big Bend Market steaks,” says Vasquez.

Chillabongs Steak Salad
Chillabongs Steak Sandwich and fries with a side salad
Chillabongs wings with dip
What is new or upcoming?

“We are OPEN for patio and indoor dining!” exclaims Vasquez.

As the easing of restrictions continues to progress past June 10th, Pilar hopes they can once again open their arcade games and pool table, but time will tell. “We are beyond excited to have people back in the bar again,” says Vasquez. “They can look forward to great food and drink specials, VLT's will be back on, and they will receive A++ service!”

Pilar mentions for those coming in to please remember to social distance and wear a mask when not at your table (max of 6 people). “We will continue to offer takeout and curbside options and delivery is FREE within Red Deer,” says Vasquez.

With a menu as inviting as the atmosphere, this is a place that will have you coming back for more. Be sure to pop in, say hello to Pilar and her staff and make yourself at home at Chillabong’s Bar & Grill as you continue to #ExploreRedDeersBackyard.

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