A fiasco

A few years ago the first Fiasco Gelato opened up in Kensington — a popular urban shopping, eating, walking, coffee drinking, chilling out part of Calgary. As the city thawed and spring hit us Fiasco became a thing to do, a place to be, you know, happening and what not.

There were lots of flavours and it was delicious. It was always a struggle to narrow it down to just a couple and we would always push the limit of number of sample scoops on small fluorescent plastic spoons that looked more like shovels. There were kind of enough chairs, depending on how busy it was and whether it was warm enough to sit outside and not shiver while eating.

There was a Vespa parked out front with the Fiasco logo on it. I wanted a Vespa. It was the shit.

Another store opened on 17th Ave — another popular shopping, eating, walking, coffee drinking, chilling out part of Calgary. It was a great spot on a warm day.

Everything was going right for Fiasco Gelato and then they disappeared. A couple of years after the first one opened both of them were gone. Why they had closed no one knew. There were rumours that a fire forced a closure of the Kensington location.

Fiasco was gone.

Maybe people just didn’t want gelato during the frigid Calgary winters? This didn’t seem possible. Amato Gelato opened a few months later down the street — but in a less happening, lower walking traffic, still urban but not the shit part of town — and did very well.

As time went on a couple of different tenants occupied the spaces where Fiasco had been. On 17th the building was renovated and a fast food Asian food chain moved in. In Kensington a cell phone company and a short-term moneylender stayed for a while. The punk and random drug paraphernalia store next door moved to a location down the street and was replaced by a semi-fancy restaurant. Eventually, Wake, a breakfast place opened up where Fiasco had been.

One morning I went to wake for brunch and noticed a large cooler — the type used to house gelato. I asked out waiter about it and he said the owner was trying to bring in some Fiasco Gelato but on the first weekend they tried to have it their breaker blew and they lost $5000 dollars of gelato. They knew people missed Fiasco but it was touch and go.

Now they seem to have overcome their electrical challenges and Fiasco is back where it began.

I don’t know if it will last. It seems to be expensive — $5000 is a lot of gelato to lose — and there may not be room for two Gelato places that close together.

Either way, it is nice to have one more place open later in Kensington — many places close early due to reduced foot traffic and high rent — and maybe, just maybe, the Vespa will make a long overdue reappearance.


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