The Mercury Room: Concerts, Cuisine, & Community


When Trevor Belsher and Rylan Krause first walked into Blue Skys Arts Lofts, they were looking for something simple – a commercial kitchen space. Six months later, they stand in command of The Mercury Room - a kitchen, restaurant, bar and venue aimed at providing musicians, chefs, and a wide range of artists a chance to showcase and launch their work.


Krause, a red seal chef with 12 years kitchen experience, and Belsher, a restaurant manager with 27 years spent in front-of-house, met while working at local conscious eatery Noorish, bonding over their shared interest in restaurant culture (“We’re really nerdy about it,” Krause admits). Their talk quickly turned to their own visions of an ideal space, leading to their arrival in the Mercury Room.


While their initial plan was to create a culinary incubator for aspiring chefs and restaurateurs, the possibilities of their new location quickly expanded their vision.It wasn't in our plan to take on a room or venue,” Krause recalls, “[but] we started talking about it, hashing out ideas. The space opened up and we decided we should try. [Now] it's evolved in that we have a restaurant [with] a live music venue, and a bar space.”


Their partnership quickly evolved as well, expanding to include veteran Edmonton music promoter, Steve Derpack of JCL Productions. “The thing that appealed to us,” says Krause, ”is that he reflected our passion about investing in others, providing opportunity and building community, but in music instead of food. He’s a tireless worker. His work ethic is contagious.”


It didn’t take long for the trio to begin putting their new space to use. In September they unveiled a regular Saturday brunch and a full slate of performers ranging from young bands just starting out, to established locals like The Fuzz Kings, and Canadian luminaries like Matthew Barber and The Grapes of Wrath.


Show attendees can partake in a rotating selection of quality vegan cuisine including pulled pork tacos, greenonion donairs, pretzel reubens, and thai curry sandwiches – a menu Krause & Belsher hope to eventually expand and offer for regular dinner service.


“There is a very vibrant vegetarian and vegan community [in Edmonton],” says Krause, “and I'd like to add our own little piece to that. It's the most inclusive cuisine. We're passionate about these ingredients and we get to share that.”


While Krause’s creations take culinary center stage, The Mercury Room is also launching a series of Wednesday night pop-up dinners featuring other local chefs. Krause notes that while there are venues for bands and artists to try out new material and gain experience, there’s nothing similar for food. “I'm ecstatic,” he says, “I had a company I started on the side that was all pop-ups. Now we have a space where others can come and do that.” The first pop-up, featuring La Oliva Gluten-Free Kitchen, takes placeNovember 5.


Krause and his partners are also excited by the momentum they see building around them as part of the North Edge. “I feel very comfortable here,” Krause says. “There's a ton of residential. It's feels very welcoming. It has the air of change and growth, and the feeling that you're part of something that is evolving. We love the feeling of community - of building up something with like-minded passionate individuals.”



10575-114 st
Edmonton, AB
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