BarKeep 101 is Canada's oldest and newest bartending school! How is that possible? Read our story below to find out how. 

passion of bartending


BarKeep 101 started out as Fine Art Bartending in Winnipeg, Manitoba on June 1st, 1973. At that time a Bartender was a true gentlemen. The first owner,  John Barkman, started the class as a 2 week course design for people to learn the "fine art" of cocktail preparation. He always wore a three piece suit and had very high demands for the students. He was doing such a good job that he started opening new locations. He opened Calgary in 1982.



In 2001 Fine Art Bartending was purchased by Troy and Todd based out of Kelowna. They had big dreams of having locations in every major city in Canada.  They developed the course into a franchise and started opening additional schools. 


During the peak of that dream they were coast to coast with 10 locations across Canada; Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Halifax. 


In 2015 the current owner of BarKeep 101, Chris McCaig, got involved and he initially bought the Saskatoon school. After some time he then purchased the Winnipeg and Hamilton locations. He also opened the Halifax school. 


Chris was unhappy with the customer service and the website that the Fine Art brand was providing so in 2018 he decided he had no choice but to re-brand his three schools into what we now call BarKeep101.  



In the future...

In order to open up new markets in Canada, BarKeep 101 plans to develop a 20 hour online training program that will be available to everyone in Canada. 


BarKeep101 is also planning an online store so all Canadians have access to the bartending tools and equipment they need to succeed.