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

December 2, 2011.

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…

beginning…

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…and as things progressed…

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…and now tonight…

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  • Bitter Tasting Room | Solid pub chow and plenty of beer | 16 West Hastings St. | DTES
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  • Alvin at Bitter Tasting Room
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  • Bitter interior looking north from the private room to the main bar area
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Break a leg Sean, Scott, Alvin, Mike et al

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