Behind the Bar – Gastown
TheDiamond
Eat & Drink

August 7 2015

Behind the Bar

As restaurants continue to thrive in the neighbourhood, Gastown’s cocktail culture is brimming with Vancouver’s finest bartenders who revive old-fashioned recipes and invent their own original libations.

An extensive cocktail menu has put The Diamond on almost every ‘Best in Vancouver’ list. Chandeliers and candlelight create a swish parlour feel, while bustling barmen liven up the room. Crafted originals like Colin’s Lawn & Buck Buck Mule are signature favourites, but for a unique sip, ask busy tenders to whip up a custom cocktail.

Forget Tinder, you can easily engage in convivial sips with visiting strangers at the prohibition-style, Pourhouse. Gregarious bartenders are among the most talented in the city, mixing original concoctions on the spot. Perch yourself at the barstool and pick their brains for cocktail tips. Both staff and regulars are friendly.

Barrel aged libations are a specialty at Clough Club, a dark spirits tavern named after John Clough, and furnished with mirror illusions and intriguing curios. Characterized by its intimate ambiance, Clough Club brings a solid cocktail program and serves up tropical sips on Tiki Tuesdays. Behind the bar are a roster of gifted cocktailers who’ve contended in prestigious mixology competitions.

Revel Room shakes things up in true Southern fashion. Live rockabilly sweeps the room while bourbon-forward drinks keep the conversation flowing. Drinks are a steal during Sour Hours, and after that, you can play your hand at cocktail roulette for a surprise concoction.

Notturno is a sophisticated Italian boite with rustic cicchetti plates and grappa infused libations. Award-winning bartender, H, creates a unique craft cocktail menu that rotates monthly.

Over at Tuc Craft Kitchen, staff take a modern twist on classic drinks, mixing refreshing and spirit-heavy tipples for thirsty patrons.

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L’Abattoir hits all the high notes. Classic French tiles and refurbished brick offer a visual feast that sets off Chef Lee Cooper’s creations. A unique cocktail list makes the experience one to remember, and not just after dark. Breakfast cocktails and daily feature vermouth on the rocks are offered during their bustling brunch service.

Bauhaus recently launched a cocktail program and it’s expected to be as exceptional as its menu. We’ll have more on this new addition to the neighbourhood next week.
 

Bambudda takes a fun approach to cocktailing delivering creatively presented drinks to up your Instagram game. Take a few moments to snap before you dive in.

With sleek lounge interiors and a sprawling patio, Chill Winston provides an atmosphere where you can sip, nibble and relax. Cheeky cocktail names like Spooning Jesus make for the perfect icebreaker when striking up a conversation with the table next door or grabbing a seat at the bar.

What can we say, Gastown’s history naturally lends itself to a diverse and bustling cocktail scene. Gassy Jack set up his first saloon known as The Deighton House in Maple Tree Square, which became a popular meeting place for those who laboured nearby. In 1925, The Lamplighter received Vancouver’s first pub license and was the first to serve ‘intoxicating refreshments’ to ladies.

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Restaurants & bars fill the bones of old buildings that date back to the 19th century, giving each establishment a distinguishing personality. Both The Diamond and Bambudda pay tribute to the neighbourhood’s storied past with drinks like The Gastown and Powell St Sour.

The spirit of Deighton House lives on as locals converge in Gastown for a relaxing nightcap. After-work cocktails have become a modern day ritual – and enjoying a drink in Gastown is a heck of way to end the day.