DINER: Mark Brand Picks Up New Gastown Digs For 120 Seat Craft Beer Bar “Portside”

by Andrew Morrison | Gastown restaurateur/entrepreneur Mark Brand (see also Save On Meats, The Diamond, Sharks + Hammers, Boneta, Catalog Gallery) has picked up the liquor primary space formerly known as Post Modern at 7 Alexander Street (next to Chill Winston). We’ll be sharing all the details once all of his ducks are aligned, but in the meantime you can start looking forward to a three level, 24 tap craft beer bar and live music venue called Portside. It will see some 120 seats and a standing capacity for about 240 people, with a pronounced Halifaxian vibe (the managerial staff being east coast ex-pats). It will be managed by Newfoundland import Andrew Flynn, most recently of Chinatown’s East of Main. Brand says his ultimate goal with the place is to make it “the friendliest pub in Vancouver”. If all goes according to plan, construction will begin in January. We’ll be taking a look inside and detailing the food concept in the coming days, so stay tuned.

PS. What’s in a name? “Portside” comes from Portside Park (the original name of nearby Crab Park).



Andrew Morrison lives and works in Vancouver as editor-in-chief of Scout, food columnist at the Westender, and National Referee & Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He also contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and television shows on local food, culture and travel; collects inexpensive things; and enjoys rare birds, skateboards, cocktails, shoes, good pastas, many songs, and the smell of camp fires.

17 Responses to “DINER: Mark Brand Picks Up New Gastown Digs For 120 Seat Craft Beer Bar “Portside””

  1. giselle on December 10th, 2012 3:22 pm

    240 is about the capacity of the media club … how much of a ‘live music venue’ will it be?

  2. Organmorgan on December 10th, 2012 3:38 pm

    Reality TV told me he was an embattled businessman just barely getting by.

  3. Hungry Foodie on December 10th, 2012 5:56 pm

    I’m a big MB fan but have to agree this is starting to get a bit too much, Step back Mark and enjoy what you’ve built. Please fix the issues at SOM’s butcher shop, it’s still too steeply priced for most locals, it’s gotten better but not there yet, It needs to be saved though as it’s a valuable asset. Also would’ve loved to seen the original Boneta space, where everything started built to better use. Sean Heather you can take a break from expanding too once Rainier is open. I love you guys but we don’t want to risk the potential formation of another Donnelly group.

  4. Samantha on December 10th, 2012 8:47 pm

    I like Mark Brand and most of his spots but not a huge fan of dhm… I’m surprised these two teamed up. Very curious to see what they do with the old modern and what this means for other locations.


  5. Robert on December 10th, 2012 11:10 pm

    I disagree Hungry Foodie. I’m all for Vancouver building a better pub culture and if Mark Brand is willing to contribute… then by all means. And, Sean Heather helped get the pub culture rolling in Vancouver. Don’t stop Mark & Sean! Keep doing what you’re doing.

    Very excited for Rainier & Portside… it’s those dudes from Alberta you should be watching out for.

  6. Sean on December 11th, 2012 10:47 am

    @OrganMorgan, I was thinking the same thing.

  7. David J. Cooper on December 11th, 2012 11:14 am

    Samantha. dhm?

    Put me down as a huge fan of Boneta and of what Gastown has become. It’s like Tribeca with people.

  8. Sean Orr on December 11th, 2012 2:35 pm

    Keep going! Don’t stop. There is no such thing as gentrification in Gastown! It was saved from gentrification in the 70s!!

  9. B, Mindfull on December 11th, 2012 9:26 pm

    I think the location is problematic for a live music venue. The PostModern caused numerous problems for local residents with noise issues and drunk crowds. Major renos may help with the noise issues – if not then this site will be plagued with complaints from neighbours.

    Mark, if you read this then make sure noise leakage and the issue of adjoning foundations are addressed. Crowd control, on what is a residential street, is also an issue.

  10. Lori on December 11th, 2012 10:26 pm

    There is no such thing as Halifaxian…..people from Halifax are known as Haligonians…. So it would be a Haligonian vibe…. Which I assume means lots of friendly drunk people dancing to some east coast/irish music…. Maybe they will even serve real east coast donairs with donair sauce outside?!

  11. Lori on December 11th, 2012 10:28 pm

    It would be “Haligonian” vibe actually:)

  12. Scout Magazine on December 11th, 2012 11:48 pm

    Yes, I got a phone call earlier today from a Haligonian who kindly set me right. I said I’d leave it as “Halifaxian” for now as a testament of my ignorance. Thanks for reading.

  13. GregEh on December 12th, 2012 10:24 am

    The good news I read from this is that it will suck in suburbourists and keep them from going as far as Alibi.

  14. Dennis on December 12th, 2012 12:47 pm

    Please let people bring in their own food, like the best beer bars do in PDX ^_^

  15. Mike on December 12th, 2012 6:18 pm

    Yeah ‘Dennis’ great idea! Then he can put BYOW in as well, make no money and close in 3 months. What’s the point of a restaurant/pub if everyone brings their own stuff in? Might as well open a hall.

  16. 7 Alexander Will Now Be in the Very Capable Hands of Mark Brand — Gastown Real Estate on December 14th, 2012 5:57 am

    [...] Scout Magazine: Gastown restaurateur/entrepreneur Mark Brand (see also Save On Meats, The Diamond, Sharks + [...]

  17. anne marie slater on January 27th, 2013 8:17 pm

    I live east of Main, DTES/Gastown for over 20 years. I am a Media Artist and Community Cultural Development Specialist. ON my way home after walking my daughter to Waterfront I noticed another new place. Used to dance in this venue in 80′s 90′s and someone was coming out and I asked new place. And he said yes opening tonight in 10 minutes. I said cool I will check it out. Friendly. NO. I walked in 6 people standing there and I was told RSVP come back later. When I taught marketing for 8 years I would share with my students. Word of mouth, Neighbourhood feel is important.
    Mr. Brand says his ultimate goal with the place is to make it “the friendliest pub in Vancouver”. Take a step back and talk to your neighbours,