Gastown

Gastown

  • gastown fashion 114
  • gastown 050
  • Frock Shoppe Ladies
  • Walter - Old Faithful pop-up farmers market
  • L'Abattoir
  • Sean Heather | Rainier Provisions
  • Gastown Vancouver Fashion week

Gastown, so named after one of its unofficial founders, “Gassy Jack” Deighton, occupies the western stretch of the Downtown Eastside. According to our read of the landscape, its the area between Columbia (east), Cambie/Homer (West), Hastings (North), and Water (South), save for the 300 block Carrall and the blocks of Hastings east of Abbott, which we classify as being part of the Downtown Eastside’s core. It has come a long way since its day as the Township of Granville and the great conflagration of 1886 (which burned most of it to the ground), ebbing and flowing over the decades as a hard-edged entertainment nexus where much of the rest of Vancouver feared to tread.

Over the last ten years, however, Gastown’s slice of the city’s zeitgeist was fattened by a large number of interesting, independent, and cocktail-forward eateries launched by a new generation of young restaurateurs. It also saw a new wave of higher end retail shops and fashionable boutiques open during this same time frame, not to mention the arrival of new lofts, condominiums, and the new Woodwards building. All of these new developments have transformed/gentrified the neighbourhood, some argue for the better and others for the worse. Doubtless it’s become something of an “it” destination, similar to Yaletown in the early 2000’s, which is to say it’s quite possibly cursed with a future full of stretched SUV limousines, shitty chain restaurants, and people who want to fight for no good reason at all.

History and angst aside, it’s no longer easy to get a table as a walk-in on a Friday night, so if you’re headed this way (and you really should), be sure to make at least the roughest of game plans.

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Standard post-1886 fire brick red/brown; stained copper green barrel base of the Gassy Jack statue; soft, spherical yellow streetlights at night; Blood Alley beer piss; broken fake cobblestone grey; ubiquitous Corbel Commercial Real Estate “For Lease” sign blue; Juice Truck pink; Guinness brown; green summer leaves of Maple Tree Square; the new “W” sign atop the Woodwards development; Meat & Bread house mustard yellow; cigarette filter brown.

here-you-will-find

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GOOD GRAFFITI AND WHEAT PASTE/STENCIL ART
FOOTBALL MIKE KEEPING THINGS IN ORDER
THE OLD FIREPLACES OF “THE NEW FRISCO HOTEL”
A RESTAURATEUR HAPPY HE NEVER JOINED THE FRENCH FOREIGN LEGION
ALEX “RHEK” USOW CREATING INTERESTING THINGS
AN ANCIENT, UNUSED BAR HIDDEN IN A HOTEL BASEMENT
DESIGN MASTERPIECES AT INFORM INTERIORS
THE STENCH OF STALE URINE AT THE EASTERN ENTRANCE OF BLOOD ALLEY
A PARADISE FOR SHOE FETISHISTS
SOME VERY PRETTY AXES

what-to-eat-and-drink

wildebeestgastown

THE FULL BRUNCH SPREAD AT WILDEBEEST
MAPLE BACON CHOCOLATE BAR AT MEAT & BREAD
BRUSSELS SPROUTS & PORK BELLY AT POURHOUSE
SUMMERTIME PATIO PINTS AT CHILL WINSTON
A MINT JULEP AT THE DIAMOND
THE FONDANT POTATOES AND AN AVIATION COCKTAIL AT L’ABATTOIR
A CUP OF COFFEE AT REVOLVER
PIZZA AT NICLI
BEEF & PORK ALBONDIGAS AT THE SARDINE CAN
FRESHLY MADE CHOCOLATE AT EAST VAN ROASTERS
GARLIC BUTTER & PARMESAN POPCORN AT SIX ACRES
A FISH TACO AND A MARGARITA AT TACOFINO
A PINT OF THE DARK AT THE IRISH HEATHER

cool-things-of-note

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– The triangular Hotel Europe on Powell Street was Vancouver’s first reinforced concrete structure and the first fireproof hotel in Western Canada.

– In 1971, police arrested 79 people in Maple Tree Square after a protest against drug laws and raids escalated into a bloody brawl between protestors and armed police. This is known as the Gastown Riot.

– Blood Alley’s nomenclature is not so spooky: the alley is actually named Trounce Alley, and the connected “Blood Alley Square” was named by a city planner in the 1970s as part of a project to revitalize and draw attention to the area.

– In 1869, Vancouver’s first jail was built in the Township of Granville (informally known as Gastown). It consisted of two cells constructed of logs, and later was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1886.

– The Boulder Hotel at 1 West Cordova (the original Boneta location, RIP) was once the central point of the Granville Township in the 1890’s, and features stones mined from Queen Elizabeth Park.

– The massive 1972 street “renovation” of Gastown was noted as being the first time in North America that perfectly good roads were torn up to be rebuilt in the old style.

– The “historic” steam clock, an iconic Gastown landmark, was actually built in 1977 and features three electric motors.

– Chef/Restaurateur John Bishop got his start cooking in Gastown in the 1970’s.

– The NABOB Coffee Company was founded in Gastown in 1896, in what is now The Landing (home to the Steamworks Brewing Company).

current-poll

  • Board Of Trade Timo Weiland Camisol
    Board Of Trade Timo Weiland Camisol
  • Cocktails at Wildebeest are always a fine idea
    Cocktails at Wildebeest are always a fine idea
  • Justin and his chicken
    Justin and his chicken
  • Nuba for lunch (Najib's is on the way). @nubatown
    Nuba for lunch (Najib's is on the way). @nubatown
  • Shady Gastown Dealings...
    Shady Gastown Dealings...
  • The Avalon Hotel, on the edge of Gastown
    The Avalon Hotel, on the edge of Gastown
  • Josh Pape, Mark Brand, James Iranzad | Gastown
    Josh Pape, Mark Brand, James Iranzad | Gastown
  • The Remedy from The Juice Truck
    The Remedy from The Juice Truck
  • Corner of Cambie and Hastings (Victory Square)
    Corner of Cambie and Hastings (Victory Square)
  • Nelson The Seagull
    Nelson The Seagull
  • Lunch Plate at Nelson The Seagull
    Lunch Plate at Nelson The Seagull
  • Zach serves Chef Curtis a slice
    Zach serves Chef Curtis a slice
  • Gastown's Hotel Europe dominates Maple Street Square
    Gastown's Hotel Europe dominates Maple Street Square
  • Chef Lee Cooper of L'Abattoir plating a halibut dish
    Chef Lee Cooper of L'Abattoir plating a halibut dish
  • Paul Grunberg and Lee Cooper in the original Irish Heather space (before it was L'Abattoir)
    Paul Grunberg and Lee Cooper in the original Irish Heather space (before it was L'Abattoir)
  • Strut strut pose strut strut | Vancouver Fashion
    Strut strut pose strut strut | Vancouver Fashion
  • Cauliflower Steak, Lentils, Cucumber & Mint Raita. @pourhouse #workinglunch
    Cauliflower Steak, Lentils, Cucumber & Mint Raita. @pourhouse #workinglunch
  • The crew on the patio | Tacofino Gastown
    The crew on the patio | Tacofino Gastown
  • Tacofino Gastown | Blood Alley Entrance
    Tacofino Gastown | Blood Alley Entrance
  • Katie and Shelley @ The Window
    Katie and Shelley @ The Window
  • Tacofino Commissary Feast
    Tacofino Commissary Feast
  • On the roof of Inform Interiors
    On the roof of Inform Interiors
  • The grass rooftop patio at Inform Interiors
    The grass rooftop patio at Inform Interiors
  • Save On Meats on Hastings Street
    Save On Meats on Hastings Street
  • Detail | IDS West Opening Party | Inform Interiors
    Detail | IDS West Opening Party | Inform Interiors
  • Long Table supper at the Irish Heather
    Long Table supper at the Irish Heather
  • Container Gardening 101 at Old Faithful © Scout Magazine 2011
    Container Gardening 101 at Old Faithful © Scout Magazine 2011
  • Jean-Pierre at Old Faithful
    Jean-Pierre at Old Faithful
  • Gastown restaurateurs and staff show up to help The Pourhouse crew drop their bar in place
    Gastown restaurateurs and staff show up to help The Pourhouse crew drop their bar in place
  • There's always a little art downstairs
    There's always a little art downstairs
  • Heel scale | Vancouver Fashion Week
    Heel scale | Vancouver Fashion Week
  • Gassy Jack Deighton statue in Maple Tree Square
    Gassy Jack Deighton statue in Maple Tree Square
  • Neil Ingram pours a glass at Boneta (now closed)
    Neil Ingram pours a glass at Boneta (now closed)
  • Opening day at Wildebeest on West Hastings
    Opening day at Wildebeest on West Hastings
  • Caleb Beyers show opening at th original location of Catalog Gallery
    Caleb Beyers show opening at th original location of Catalog Gallery
  • Reader MS | Woodwards Gastown Vancouver BC 612pm
    Reader MS | Woodwards Gastown Vancouver BC 612pm
  • Ham gam | Local chefs drool over the Fermin Jamon Iberico de Bellota in the Salt Cellar
    Ham gam | Local chefs drool over the Fermin Jamon Iberico de Bellota in the Salt Cellar
  • Hotel Gastown
    Hotel Gastown
  • Looking south up Cambie from Cordova
    Looking south up Cambie from Cordova
  • Detail inside East Van Roasters
    Detail inside East Van Roasters
  • Opening day at Revolver in Gastown
    Opening day at Revolver in Gastown
  • Opening day at Wildebeest
    Opening day at Wildebeest
  • Gastown Vancouver Fashion Week
    Gastown Vancouver Fashion Week
  • Pigeons taking off
    Pigeons taking off
  • Fresh chocolate at East Van Roasters
    Fresh chocolate at East Van Roasters
  • Looking east down Powell and Alexander from Gassy Jack Square
    Looking east down Powell and Alexander from Gassy Jack Square
  • Strappy shoes under rolled chinos at Catalog Gallery
    Strappy shoes under rolled chinos at Catalog Gallery
  • Peckinpah | Tyson Reimer and Ryan Murfitt
    Peckinpah | Tyson Reimer and Ryan Murfitt
  • Freshly roasted coffee at East Van Roaster
    Freshly roasted coffee at East Van Roaster
  • Cooks taking a Blood Alley smoke break
    Cooks taking a Blood Alley smoke break
  • Construction at Wildebeest
    Construction at Wildebeest
  • Construction at Wildebeest
    Construction at Wildebeest
  • Gastown all a-glitter after the rain
    Gastown all a-glitter after the rain
  • Joseph Sartor, Cord Jarvie, Frankie Harrington before the opening of Meat & Bread
    Joseph Sartor, Cord Jarvie, Frankie Harrington before the opening of Meat & Bread
  • Underneath Salt Tasting Room in Blood Alley (Salt Cellar)
    Underneath Salt Tasting Room in Blood Alley (Salt Cellar)
  • Vancouver Fashion Week
    Vancouver Fashion Week
  • Jenni at the Frock Shoppe
    Jenni at the Frock Shoppe
  • Josh Pape + Shaun Layton
    Josh Pape + Shaun Layton
  • Ashley tries on a hat at Frock Shoppe
    Ashley tries on a hat at Frock Shoppe
  • Gastown alleyway
    Gastown alleyway
  • The staff at the bar, tasting and debating before opening night
    The staff at the bar, tasting and debating before opening night
  • A fizzy berry dessert at L'Abattoir
    A fizzy berry dessert at L'Abattoir
  • From D.D. | Carrall & Cordova in Gastown | Vancouver, BC | 11:14pm
    From D.D. | Carrall & Cordova in Gastown | Vancouver, BC | 11:14pm
  • Scott Hawthorn, co-owner of Judas Goat
    Scott Hawthorn, co-owner of Judas Goat
  • Staff discussing the food...
    Staff discussing the food...
  • Designer Craig Stanghetta | Revolver in Gastown
    Designer Craig Stanghetta | Revolver in Gastown
  • Peckinpah | 2 Water Street (taken from the Chill Winston patio)
    Peckinpah | 2 Water Street (taken from the Chill Winston patio)
  • On the pass during the first service at Gastown's L'Abattoir
    On the pass during the first service at Gastown's L'Abattoir
  • Josh Pape of Wildebeest, Shaun Layton of L’Abattoir, Ben de Champlain of Boneta,
    Josh Pape of Wildebeest, Shaun Layton of L’Abattoir, Ben de Champlain of Boneta,
  • Looking up at the new Woodwards Building
    Looking up at the new Woodwards Building
  • Nadia having a taste...
    Nadia having a taste...
  • Woodward’s Building, Gastown Vancouver 915am
    Woodward’s Building, Gastown Vancouver 915am
  • The Diamond | Mexican food and excellent cocktails | 6 Powell St. | Gastown
    The Diamond | Mexican food and excellent cocktails | 6 Powell St. | Gastown
  • October-in-Gastown
    October-in-Gastown
  • Nu Gastown
    Nu Gastown
  • Gastown
    Gastown
  • Gastown Vancouver Fashion week
    Gastown Vancouver Fashion week
  • Revolver in Gastown
    Revolver in Gastown
  • Revolver in Gastown
    Revolver in Gastown
  • Hastings mural
    Hastings mural
  • Opening night at L'Abattoir
    Opening night at L'Abattoir
  • Shopping for Vans at Hitz
    Shopping for Vans at Hitz
  • Board Of Trade
    Board Of Trade
  • Mint Julep at The Diamond
    Mint Julep at The Diamond
  • The original
    The original
  • Josh Pape | Wildebeest
    Josh Pape | Wildebeest
  • Gastown Alley
    Gastown Alley
  • Salt Tasting Room | Vancouver, BC
    Salt Tasting Room | Vancouver, BC
  • Salt Tasting Room | Vancouver, BC
    Salt Tasting Room | Vancouver, BC
  • The Sardine Can | Proprietors Chris Stewart and Andrey Durbach
    The Sardine Can | Proprietors Chris Stewart and Andrey Durbach
  • The Sardine Can | Manchego and tomato toasts
    The Sardine Can | Manchego and tomato toasts
  • Bitter Tasting Room
    Bitter Tasting Room
  • The lost ladies of last call, Saturday night in Gastown, desperate for a Skytrain in the rain
    The lost ladies of last call, Saturday night in Gastown, desperate for a Skytrain in the rain
  • Hotel Europe Interior
    Hotel Europe Interior
  • Bitter Tasting Room
    Bitter Tasting Room
  • Bitter Tasting Room
    Bitter Tasting Room
  • Robert Chaplin and a pint at The Irish Heather
    Robert Chaplin and a pint at The Irish Heather
  • Inside Lynn Steven | The original Bodega Hotel floor
    Inside Lynn Steven | The original Bodega Hotel floor
  • Inside Six Acres
    Inside Six Acres
  • Peckinpah | Solid BBQ and deep-fried Mars bars | 2 Water Street | Gastown
    Peckinpah | Solid BBQ and deep-fried Mars bars | 2 Water Street | Gastown
  • Nicli Antica Pizzeria
    Nicli Antica Pizzeria
  • Nicli Antica Pizzeria
    Nicli Antica Pizzeria
  • Frock Shoppe Maidens | From left to right: Sarah LaGreca Marla Reichert Liz Krebs Mary Jane Cox Jenni Lee Nelson Dori Abernethy
    Frock Shoppe Maidens | From left to right: Sarah LaGreca Marla Reichert Liz Krebs Mary Jane Cox Jenni Lee Nelson Dori Abernethy
  • Wing's Cafe
    Wing's Cafe
  • Lynn Steven Window
    Lynn Steven Window
  • Salmagundi West | Gastown
    Salmagundi West | Gastown
  • Salmagundi West | Gastown
    Salmagundi West | Gastown
  • L'Abattoir | Glasfurd and Walker
    L'Abattoir | Glasfurd and Walker
  • Community Vintage Frock Shoppe
    Community Vintage Frock Shoppe
  • Frock Shoppe - Ashley tries on sequin dress
    Frock Shoppe - Ashley tries on sequin dress
  • Frock Shoppe dressing room
    Frock Shoppe dressing room
  • Frock Shoppe opening
    Frock Shoppe opening
  • Revolver in Gastown
    Revolver in Gastown
  • Gastown antiques
    Gastown antiques
  • Gastown Vancouver Fashion week 8
    Gastown Vancouver Fashion week 8
  • Gastown Fashion Week
    Gastown Fashion Week
  • L'Abattoir | Glasfurd and Walker
    L'Abattoir | Glasfurd and Walker

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