Barman Shaun Layton To Barrel Age Two Classic Cocktails…


by Andrew Morrison | What’s the longest you’ve ever waited for a drink in a bar? Ten minutes? Twenty? Yesterday afternoon I learned that Shaun Layton, the 2010 Van Mag Bartender of the Year and Lord of the Wood at Gastown’s L’Abattoir, was about to start making a drink that could take as short as six weeks and as long as four months to adequately construct. In a first for Vancouver, a barman will age a cocktail in a whiskey barrel. It’s been done elsewhere (Montgomery Place in London, as Layton points out, and at Clive’s in Victoria, as reader MR reveals in the comments), and the results have proven especially interesting for drink wonks. For my part, I find the idea of a couple bottles of sweetened gin mutating unpredictably with hardly inert bitters for months on end inside a 3 gallon whiskey barrel to be straight up fascinating. As a fan of both drinks in sum (and of all their delightful parts), I can’t help but be freaky curious as to what they will taste like. Layton will be checking as time goes by, waiting for the perfect time to stop the woody infusion and load the mix into a few carefully considered bottles. Cooler still, he’s secured two barrels from Tuthilltown distillery in New York’s Hudson Valley: a bourbon cask and one that, until recently, contained a Yankee single malt.

And so, to soak in the bourbon barrel will go a Negroni, the ultimate aperitif of gin, vermouth and campari, whilst the single malt staves will impart mystery unto a Martinez, that maraschino-licked classic of gin, sweet vermouth and bitters (the original Martini, if the lore is to be believed). The experiment begins Wednesday, and we’ve invited Mr. Layton to keep us abreast of how things develop as the drink evolves.

PS. I’ve already called shotgun on the second sip.

Chambar’s Take On A Copycat Restaurant Opened In Shanghai


This is a goodie. From Chambar’s new website comes news that a rather enterprising fellow named Fissal Oubida has decided to open a Chambar Belgian Bistro of his own in Shanghai, China, without consultation. Chambar’s response is a little tongue and cheek, but their more than justified annoyance comes across loud and clear.

We’d like to offer our assistance with your menu, which aside from the mussels is getting repeatedly slagged on shanghai blog sites. Although this blogging phenomenon by self proclaimed food critics and possibly sex deprived individuals (why else would you be posting these comments at 2am) are not always complimentary, there are some great people who are genuinely passionate about food. Anyways, feel free to peruse the menu section of our website as it’s continually changing and an easy way for the conceptually challenged to get new ideas.

Please switch to using sustainable seafood, we know this is not a priority in China, considering they’re still serving shark fin soup – but give the our oceans a break will you.

We would strongly advise against serving half waffles (give people the whole damn thing) and DO NOT top with spray can cream and chocolate out of a tube!!

Ditch the gingham table cloths, Belgium has no alpine chalets & Heidi is not from
this country – although there are some hot blondes.

If you are going to advertise a url ( you may want to register it first. Now that we own it, it points to this news page which exposes your blatant incompetence for being original.

If you are going to blatantly steal our logo, which took owner & designer Karri Schuermans about 100 hours to create old school typography style, please don’t insult her further by adding brush script text below it, and definitely don’t add photoshop glow filters – please, this is graphic blasphemy.

It was nice of you to be a patron of Chambar while you lived in Vancouver. We hope all our guests take home a wonderful experience – but not the name, logo and concept. Granted a Belgian style restaurant is by no means an original concept, it helps to have a Belgian chef as good as Nico Schuermans. Don’t get us wrong, we take no ownership of the cuisine from this small country (with a big beer list) that many can’t locate on a map.

Be sure to take legal letters that arrive in the mail quite seriously, especially the ones stating that the ‘Chambar’ name and logo you’ve used are already registered in China. Take this from someone’s foresight, which has now become your hindsight.

What a goof.

Chambar To Celebrate “National Belgian Day” in Medieval Style


Chambar is located at 562 Beatty St. in Vancouver's Crosstown neighbourhood | 604-879-7119 |

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Join Chambar restaurant on Wednesday, July 21st to celebrate National Belgian Day with a feast fit for kings. History buffs will recognize this national holiday as a day that marks Leopold I taking the constitutional oath as the first King of Belgium on July 21st, 1831.

For one night only, Chambar will celebrate this momentous occasion medieval style with communal tables loaded with platters of meat, seafood and of course, Belgian beers. Outside on Beatty Street, Chef Nico Schuermans will be roasting a pig on a spit, while inside Chambar staff will serve beers by the glass or the metre. Guests should note that due to the medieval nature of this celebration, eating is going to be a hands-on experience only. Please note that vegetarian options and cutlery will not be available. Costumes and furs are deemed festive, but not essential. Get ready to be a little debaucherous… Read more

Chambar Takes Home Gold At The Van Mag Restaurant Awards


Chambar is located at 562 Beatty St. in Vancouver's Crosstown neighbourhood | 604-879-7119 |

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Chambar Restaurant was recognized on several fronts at the Vancouver Magazine 21st Annual Restaurant Awards. The Beatty Street sensation was awarded Gold for Best Other European, with Pastry Chef Eleanor Chow receiving an honourable mention for Best Desserts and Wendy McGuinness’ bar program given an honourable mention for Best Bar/Lounge. In addition, Chambar’s Guest Relations guru Eryn Collins was honoured with a Premier Cru award for her outstanding contribution to Vancouver’s hospitality industry over the past 10 years.

“There is an incredible amount of talent and ambition in Vancouver right now,” says Chambar owner Karri Schuermans, “it’s wonderful to have so many members of the Chambar family recognized for their extraordinary efforts and achievements.” Read more

Chambar To Celebrate Craft Beer Week With Special Dinner


The award-winning Chambar is located at 562 Beatty St. in Vancouver | 604-879-7119 |

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | In celebration of Vancouver’s inaugural Craft Beer Week Beatty Street’s Belgian sensation, Chambar Restaurant, will be putting on a five-course meal steeped in beer and paired with authentic Belgian brews including the restaurant’s own Chambar Ale. Being held on Tuesday, May 11th at 7:30pm, the dinner will be led by Chambar Bar Manager Wendy McGuinness and Chef Nico Schuermans. Tickets are priced at $100 (excluding tax and gratuity) per person. The full menu is available below after the jump… Read more

Gastown’s Legendary Alibi Room Joins The Scout Community


The good people over at our favourite watering hole, Gastown’s Alibi Room, are now proud member supporters of Scout. We will be publishing their news and press releases on our front page and hosting a page for them in our list of recommended restaurants. Click ahead or jump to their Scout page here. Read more

Dinner & Drinks On The House At Chambar For Canuck Medalists

February 19, 2010 


Award Winning Cuisine for Award Winning Athletes at Beatty Street's Chambar

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Beatty Street’s hot spot, Chambar Restaurant, will congratulate Canadian 2010 Olympic Winter Game medalists with a celebratory dinner for them and a guest on the house. Owners Nico and Karri Schuermans want to recognize the accomplishments of Canadian podium-bound athletes by offering them an evening to indulge in Chambar’s award-winning menus, service, atmosphere, and perhaps a little civilized debauchery. Read more

Chambar Highlighting Work Of Vancouver Artists During Games

February 14, 2010 


EAT, ART, AFTER DARK | Chambar is located at 562 Beatty St. in Vancouver | 604-879-7119 |

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Chambar restaurant will feature the work of two Vancouver artists during the Olympics, with the intention of sharing with the world some of the fantastic young artistic talent that the city has to offer. With Chambar’s close proximity to BC Place and Canada Hockey Place, thousands of Olympic visitors will have the opportunity to view local artwork as they dine on fresh BC mussels and chef Nico Schuerman’s Belgian inspired cuisine.


Josh Van Dyke turns retired skate decks into hunting trophies

Chambar owner Karri Schuermans has maintained a commitment to the arts community since she and husband Nico opened the Beatty Street restaurant five years ago. “It has been important for us to use Chambar as a place for guests to explore the dynamism of Vancouver, not just on their plate, but through their entire dining experience.” Schuermans typically rotates exhibitions in the restaurant every four to six weeks. Running for the duration of the Olympics, the sculptural work of Josh Van Dyke and large format resin paintings by George Vergette will adorn the restaurant’s heritage brick walls. Read more

The Commitment-Free New Years Eve Experience At Chambar

December 17, 2009 


At Chambar, check commitment at the door and celebrate New Year’s Eve any way you want to...

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Chambar Restaurant is letting you call the shots this New Year’s Eve. Recently appointed GM Sebastien Lagors has opened the books and will be accepting NYE reservations from 5:00PM until 10:00PM eschewing the usual practice of set menus and scheduled seatings. On December 31st, revelers will be able to enjoy Chambar the way they want to, on a night reserved for good friends, good food, and of course, a healthy dose of bubbly. Read more

Chambar Lands Vets Sebastien Lagors And Robert Stelmachuk

December 6, 2009 


Chambar appoints new front of house leaders, GM Sebastien Lagors and Sommelier Robert Stelmachuk

News from Scout supporter Chambar

Vancouver, BC | Chambar Restaurant is thrilled to announce the addition of two industry leaders to the front of house team: GM Sebastien Lagors and Sommelier Robert Stelmachuk. Following the celebration of their five-year anniversary in September, Chambar continues to grow. “Our goal has always been to elevate and evolve the experience at Chambar,” says owner Karri Schuermans, “with a young family and recent expansions of Café Medina, The Dirty Apron Cooking School and Chambar Ale, we’re excited to expand our team. We believe Sebastien and Robert have the dedication and ambition to enhance the Chambar experience.” Read more

Chambar’s Very Own Ale Starts Rolling Off The Bottling Line…

September 10, 2009 


These sneak peek snaps of the first bottled Chambar Ale come direct from the bottling line. I’ve been told the branding and lettering is done in 14ct gold, with the axiom “In heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here” spelled out in four languages on the back.  The award-winning restaurant celebrates its 5th birthday this Saturday with a block party in the day and a raucous shindig at night (I hope to see you at both). Full press release after the leap… Read more

Alibi Room



157 Alexander Street @ Main | Vancouver, BC | MAP
Telephone: 604-623-3383
Website: | Twitter: @alibiroom




Nigel Springthorpe | Owner & Chief Beer Selector
Raya Audet | Owner & Manager
Greg Armstrong | Chef

About Alibi Room


In the summer of 2006, after working under the previous ownership for over seven years, Nigel Springthorpe with his sister-in-law Raya Audet, decided to take the ridiculous risk of buying the Alibi Room.

They opted to keep the name, but try to re-invent the concept (Restaurant Hari Kari, many would have thought!). But after almost 4 years, the Alibi Room that used to be is a faded memory. Now, under the skilled and experienced hand of Chef Greg Armstrong, we know where we stand in the very exciting and competitive world of Vancouver restaurants. We have never tried to re-write culinary history. We just want to produce familiar, comforting dishes without cutting corners or compromising the quality of our ingredients. All of our food is prepared from scratch utilizing the local bounty of naturally raised, organic or wild proteins and produce.

And then of course there’s the beer thing. Over the past few years we have developed an excellent relationship with the BC Craft Brewing scene. We are in the very privileged position of getting some special treatment from the best of our local brewers and breweries. Most of our 25 taps and 3 beer engines pour beers available only at the Alibi Room (outside of the brewery or brew pub). We’ve put together a showcase of the best local beers from around the province.
We call ourselves a “Modern Tavern”. We feel this best sums up all the elements of the Alibi Room: a 100 year old heritage building (with trains trundling by so close to the windows you can almost reach out and touch them). Quality food. Many beers.

Awards & Press


Camra Vancouver -  Best restaurant, café or pub – silver 2008, Gold 2009, Gold 2010
Northwest Brewing News – Best Restaurant/Pub, BC – 1st Place 2009/2010
Northwest Brewing News – Nigel Springthorpe | Best Bartender, BC – 1st Place (remember its beer specific!)
Vancouver Courier “Stars of Vancouver” – Best Pub – 1st Place 2010
NBC – Official Olympic Website – Top 5 places to go in Vancouver for a beer.
Lonely Planet “Vancouver Encounters” – Alibi Room & Nigel Springthorpe, Profile & photo feature.
Lonely Planet “Pacific Northwest Journey’s” – Alibi Room & Nigel Springthorpe, Feature.
Vancouver Magazine
Westender -






568 Beatty St, Vancouver, BC | V6B 2L3 | MAP
Tel: 604-879-7119 | Fax: 604-879-7118
Open 7 days: 8am to Late
Private events upon request




Owner / Operators: Nico and Karri Schuermans
Nico Schuermans
Executive Chef: 
Tia Kambas
General Manager: 
Justin Tisdall
Bar Manager: 
Wendy McGuinness
Jason Yamasaki

About Chambar


Chambar offers a unique pairing of Belgian and North African influences. Wherever possible, organic and local ingredients are combined to create fantastic food that reflects the seasons. The menu is a diverse offering of appetizers, moule frites, and main courses of lamb, duck, and venison. A variety of Belgian beers are also available, and can be paired with any item on the menu. At the bar, an award winning cocktail list boasts an extensive array of infused spirits and fresh local fruit. The long walnut bar is perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner dinner drink or to catch up with old friends. In the dining room blood red booths are high enough to allow for privacy, and maybe just a hint of debauchery, while Italian designed chairs and an eclectic and rotating art collection complement Chambar’s heritage surroundings beautifully. Open for breakfast, lunch, brunch & dinner 8am – late.



Vancouver Magazine – 2005 Best New Fine Dining
Vancouver Magazine - 2008-2009 Best Other European
Georgia Straight – 2005 Best New Restaurant
Vancouver Courier – 2005 Best New Restaurant
Vancouver Magazine – 2011 Chef of the Year
Georgia Straight – 2008-2014 Best Independent Restaurant