by Shaun Layton | When it comes to the Vancouver cocktail bar game, it’s not just expertly executed obscure classics, housemade bitters, and seasonal shrubs that set apart the best from the best. These days, pretty much everyone is making great cocktails, it’s little things like glassware that can elevate a bar to another level. A bunch have deep, eclectic collections, as evidenced by the gallery of images above. Here are my Top Five – in no particular order – for your ranking consideration…
Notturno | Gastown | This place is always a must-stop for a great cocktail, and invariably a unique experience to watch (and listen) to the man only known as “H”. To pair with his English accent is a collection that includes glasses used at The Savoy Hotel in London.
L’Abattoir | Gastown | Some guy who used to work there (wink wink) scoured the province (and Ebay) for years finding vintage pieces. The current staff have kept the collection going, over 150 pieces strong. All are hand-washed and polished – not an easy feat in a busy bar!
Grapes and Soda | South Granville | It might be a small bar and diminutive collection, but their proximity to Atkinson’s (a store selling crystal everything) has helped them outfit their shelves to a high level. Also, barman Satoshi is a pleasure to watch, and his drinks are fantastic.
The Diamond | Gastown | One of the first bars in Vancouver to take their glassware seriously, and they’re still going strong. The number of cocktails these guys make on a nightly basis is staggering. Mind-blowing to see them going out in pristine crystal vintage stemware. Bravo!
Mamie Taylor’s | Chinatown | Every glass (and plate) adds more to the experience. Even a pint and a shot might come in quirky glasses of some sort, making this good times bar one of the best in town for one-of-a-kind evenings. The scarf-wearing taxidermy doesn’t hurt, either.