Gastown is a neighbourhood of possibilities. You’ll never walk the same road twice, as each step brings you somewhere you haven’t been before. There are twists and turns along Water Street, leading to magical little side streets that become alive to the senses. Today we explore Gastown’s Abbott Street.
We begin at the French inspired, Jules Bistro. An intimate, pleasing restaurant, complete with a quiet patio looking out beyond lush greenery, towards the folks passing by. There are two chefs at Jules – Owner and Head Chef Emmanuel Joinville -born and raised in Dijon, France, and Sous Chef Atsuo Nomura of Nagoya, Japan. You’ll be happy to find classic French cuisine at Jules – Moules et Frites, French Onion Soup and Vanilla crème brûlée. Mais Oui!
Crab Park Chowdery brings New England clam chowder and sourdough rolls a la San Francisco style, to the neighbourhood. This great little nook on Abbott, serves comfort food that comes up fresh and quick. The location is bright, friendly and full of character. Choose from classic clam chowder, smokey tomato, vegan chili or the chowder of the day. All can be served in a sourdough bread bowl and prices range from $7 – $12.50
The Plus Shop sells Nike (and off white) and rare Supreme sneakers. For streetwear sneaks Plus Shop is one of the best sources in the city.
New to the neighbourhood, Lemongrass House Canada is an award winning maker of spa and body care products. All products are sulphate and paraben free and have never been tested on animals. Lemongrass House has a strong commitment to the environment using only the freshest and most natural ingredients. This is the company’s first store in North America.
On to the Revel Room. The music never stops here at Gastown’s Revel Room. It’s hopping 6 nights a week with dueling pianos and lots of Rockabilly Swing. Their Sour Hour – Tuesday to Friday, 4pm-6pm is lead by the Legendary Mike Van Eyes and his Boogie Piano tunes. Their seasonal menus are inspired by the flavours of the South from New Mexico to New Orleans. You can eat here late – the kitchen is open until 12:30 (Tues-Thurs) & 1:30am (Fri/Sat).
Clough Club is a dark and dreamy place for cocktails. There, they will mix you up a fine pour – one that will leave you in no illusion that you’re drinking alcohol. Named after a one-armed 19th century Gastown lamp lighter, the entrancing draw of this 110-year-old building will softly call, beckoning you in from Abbott Street to bask in the green neon glow.
The Metropole Pub has plenty of character. Exposed brick, aged tiled floors, stained glass and good vibes. What’s also awesome about it is the fact that The Metropole Community Pub proudly donates 25% of it’s annual profits to charitable organizations in Gastown and the Downtown East Side. Right on! Notable nights at The Met include $2 Tuesday with DJ Brook, rotating hip hop and funk DJs Thursdays, party rock from rap to electro on My Radio Fridays & Black Label Saturday dance parties.
Since 2000, Bruce Eyewear have established themselves as curators of stylish and unqiue eyewear brands, many which are logo-free. They carry quite an assortment of high end frames including Kuboraum, Theo, Leisure Society and Thom Browne.
There is an Italian hat shop on Abbott Street named Cappelleria Bertacchi. The chapeaus are imported from Tuscany and these are the real deal. Here you can find all sorts of lovely hats made from linen, cotton, straw and wool. They also have caps and Panama hats. Give yourself time to try on the many different styles that are available. They’re all so wonderful….You’ll wish you had three heads.
Nika Design is a Swedish inspired shoe repair and leather goods store. Build out of a 100 year old elevator shaft, owners Neda and Dino Pessione, deliver nothing but excellent service, every single time. They have some beautiful shoes from Europe as well as leather jackets and bags.
A fine shop indeed is Barber & Co. Inside you’ll discover a line of restored Belmont barber chairs along with classic theatre seats, facing a view of the electric current flowing through Abbott Street. They have a dartboard, racy mirror art and friendly, eccentric barbers.
JD’s Barbershop – the original location opened for business in Gastown in 2002 – is a relaxed environment where guys and gals can feel comfortable and can walk out looking their best. Owned and operated by master barber, Judah Down- a hairdresser and colorist with fifteen years experience doing hair for men and women.
Tees.ca is more than just a t-shirt shop. It’s almost an art gallery of sorts. If you like the print, you can buy it and then wear it. That’s pretty cool. Many of the unique designs are crafted here in Vancouver. Known for carrying one-of-a-kind prints, Tees.ca collaborates with up-and-coming artists from around the world, transferring their unique artwork onto T-shirts, in exclusive, limited edition collections.
Montauk Sofa. Their website alone is worth the visit. But let’s tauk sofa’s, shall we? What’s a visit to Abbott Street without Montauk Sofa. There are beautiful pieces of furniture here, including chairs and tables. Have a look around their Misfits section for a deal or two.