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There’s no doubt that Vancouver is known for its cocktails, spirits, wine, craft beer, and vibrant food and beverage scene. Recognition was paid last month when Vancouver’s very own Odd Society Spirits received multiple awards at the Canadian Whisky Festival and Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition. The East Van distillery took home seven gold and one silver medal, plus a Best in Class and an Excellence in Terroir honor at the Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition and two silver and one bronze for its collection of whiskies at the 10th annual Canadian Whisky Awards.
One of Vancouver’s hottest new restaurants, Elisa, was recognized by Vancouver Magazine for Bartender of the Year. The title was awarded to the steakhouse’s Bar Manager, Katie Ingram. Katie is a veteran of the food and beverage industry where she has devoted her energy, skill, and creativity. In addition to her role at Elisa, Katie is one of the Canadian Ambassadors for Bittered Sling, an award-winning, locally based and internationally recognized cocktail bitters company. Ingram has received several other accolades and awards including award-winning cocktails and performances at Jameson’s Barrelman Challenge (2015), Knob Creek’s Whisky Cup (2016), and a Top 4 National Finalist for Diageo’s World Class Canada.
In addition to Vancouver’s big wins, the city has had a few big bar openings. Establishments like El Guapo, Bartholomew Bar, Brassfish Tavern, and Ventura Room have quickly made a name for themselves in the city’s bar scene.
Known for its tacos and margaritas, El Guapo opened its doors late last year. The Mexican joint can be found in Yaletown taking over the space formally known as Fayuca. The restaurants 3 – 7 PM happy hour has been a hit amongst locals and tourists alike.
Nothing feels more sophisticated than a charcuterie board and a glass of wine and Yaletown’s Bartholomew Bar supplies just that. Choose from one of their curated boards or make your own selection of cures, cheeses, vegetables, and more. Accompany your meal with one of their original cocktails or a glass of wine from their rotating selection of sparkling, white, rose, and red varieties.
Donnelly Group’s newest concept, Brass Fish Tavern, is officially open for business. The new pub is located inside Vancouver’s Marine Building taking the place of now-retired neighborhood haunt, Elephant and Castle. Top Chef Canada contestant Clement Chan, known for his reign at Torafuku and Blue Water Café, is Brass Fish’s opening chef and has put his creative touch on all the menus. The interior features an impressive marine skeleton along with brass finishing, a stylish izakaya, and an intimate mezzanine lounge.
Ventura Room, located beside Queen Elizabeth Theatre, is Vancouver’s newest destination for live music, dancing, and cocktails. A group of local mixologists and restaurateurs teamed up with Kared Hospitality and Browns Restaurant Group to bring new life to one of the city’s oldest establishments. This West Coast-inspired bar doubles as a live music spot to honour the venue that preceded it. Enjoy a house cocktail like the smoked rosemary gin and tonic, or simply sip on a grapefruit thyme spritz.