DINER: Heather & Hawthorn’s Finished “Bitter Tasting Room” Unveiled In Gastown

Sean Heather and Scott Hawthorn opened their long awaited Bitter Tasting Room at 18 West Hastings tonight for a brief “friends and family” soiree. We snuck in shortly beforehand and shot the place up. First, some context from a previous post…

The highly anticipated temple to beer at 18 West Hastings (across from Pigeon Park off Carrall) is coming along nicely. I’m particularly besotted by the 3/4 circular bar, which is much larger than I originally thought it would be. It juts out from a towering wall of beer fridges and totally dominates the space, which is lined with benches made of wood reclaimed from buildings in Gastown and Yaletown. Not only will it act as a wood and well for bar service, it will also do double time as the main kitchen. It comes as fully equipped as a ventless kitchen should (mise en place, lowboys, etc), and will likely prove interesting to see in action. The rear of Bitter – the semi-private room – is nearly complete as well, and will eventually sport a drop down projector screen for Canuck games. But the coolest thing by far? On one of the many pieces of paper floating around, I spied a design mock up that showed what appeared to be a blown up photo of Hastings & Carrall street scene from 1910 (or thereabouts) covering the restaurant’s street frontage (see one of the photos below). At first, I didn’t see any of the big motif started on the window, but I peeled a bit of the paper back and lo! There was a small test patch of the huge image already installed. That means, if I’m not totally mistaken, that we’ll be able to sit and drink and look at the street outside through an image of what it looked like 100 years ago. How awesome is that?

We’ve been following this project since well before Heather and Hawthorn took possession, so we invite you to take a look at the very…


…and as things progressed…

…and now tonight…

Break a leg Sean, Scott, Alvin, Mike et al


9 Responses to “DINER: Heather & Hawthorn’s Finished “Bitter Tasting Room” Unveiled In Gastown”

  1. raincoaster on December 2nd, 2011 9:59 pm

    Harumph. I’d like to know when I got left off that list. Harumph.

  2. Kevin on December 3rd, 2011 12:32 am

    ^^ Is that a serious comment? Seems like everyone expects to be invited to everything these days, even resorting to straight out asking “hey can I come please please please?”

    Anyways, can’t wait for my finals to come and go so I can enjoy some beer!

  3. raincoaster on December 3rd, 2011 3:43 am

    Yes, it’s a very serious comment. Look at my avatar. This is my serious face.

  4. ACMESalesRep on December 3rd, 2011 8:31 pm

    The use of the word “harumph” was a dead giveaway. Harumph.

  5. Sean Heather on December 4th, 2011 2:50 pm

    I don’t actually hold opening parties anymore.

    Too few seats = limited guest list = irked/hurt people

    Friday night was a trial run to test systems, meal times, etc our guests were our families and some of our food suppliers.

    Open for real this Monday 5th

  6. Hungry Foodie on December 4th, 2011 6:39 pm

    Monday the 5th it is. Can’t think of a better reason to drink then it being Monday.

  7. raincoaster on December 4th, 2011 9:26 pm

    Monday? How handy! I have a whole series of meetings on Monday, and I second Hungry Foodie’s comment.

  8. Hungry Foodie on December 5th, 2011 10:09 pm

    Checked it out today. Think it’ll be a great addition to the area. Looks like it still has a little work to do in the back area (the history of beer in BC). Beer was great as it should be, food was hit and miss. Pretzel was good but the salt on it was too large so it was a touch too salty. The sausage roll was superb. Chicken and biscuit was pretty good, the biscuit was one of the best I’ve ever had, chicken was good, but I hate celery (not there fault). The ling cod though was dissappointing, just lacked flavour. Look forward to see flourish and now I await the Rainer Deli.

  9. Kevin | 604 Foodtography on December 5th, 2011 11:17 pm

    Whoop. Thanks for reporting back Hungry Foodie.