July 29 2021
I AM GASTOWN: Laura Donnellan, Smith’s Bar & Restaurant
Written by Gastown Admin
The Spirit of Ireland in the Heart of Gastown
When designing Smith’s Bar and Restaurant, Laura Donnellan envisioned a space that represented home, family, and community. Creating the space was no small feat as every nook and cranny has a unique element true to Ireland and the Donnellan family.
“Smiths goes back three generations, prior the family was Blacksmiths, so we brought that history into Canada and the Smiths space.”
These Blacksmith nods include handcrafted stain glass windows, authentic paintings, and horseshoes sealed onto the countertops.
“A reason we wanted to be in Gastown was some the historic similarities, to back home – There was a blacksmith who ran a shop for years right down the street here. Since the 1900’s its always been a prominent place to visit”
True to her word, the place fits in classic Gastown with bold brick walls and a space larger than meets the eye.
“My husband and I both hail from Galway and we wanted to make our mark and honour the Irish culture here in Gastown. “
The space is broken up into different areas – the bar, the lounge, an open space courtyard as well as a private lounge called “The Forge”. Each space is designed to hold celebrations of any scale, with room for live music and dancing. For smaller gatherings there are authentic Snugs in the lounge perfect to cozy up in.
“What we really wanted to incorporate was the snugs. They are a huge part of the most popular pubs back home and in Covid times they offer a safe environment for your bubble.”
The bar opened earlier this year, with their courtyard and Forge following suit in July. A huge undertaking, for the family-orientated Laura and husband William, who are eager to welcome new faces into their space.
“Whether you from Ireland and are feeling homesick, or you have never visited, there is space for you here and good conversation to be had. the biggest part about an Irish bar is being part of a community and having a good time!”
Be sure to say hello to Laura, William, and the team at Smiths Bar. They could be more ready to meet you!