You, Scout reader, have good taste. We’ve always known this, but we don’t often take advantage of it. This new feature changes that. From here on in, we want your help in refining our HOODS MAP so that we can keep steering locals and visitors alike to the best of our place in the world. There are five different geo-specific questions that we need answers to this month. We’ve done the initial curatorial leg-work of narrowing down the options to a shortlist, but we need you to finish the job.
VOTE for your pick (and view results) on our OKANAGAN page.
VOTE for your pick (and view results) on our ISLANDS page.
The GOODS from Bitter Tasting Room
Vancouver, BC | After adding some new beer taps to their line-up and updating their savoury offerings, Bitter Tasting Room is pleased to announce the debut of their new menu, which continues to pair some of the best local and imported beers with tasty bar fare and some unbeatable specials including all you can eat taco Tuesday’s’ and $5 sleeves.
Inspired by the golden age of beer culture in Vancouver, a time before Prohibition put the breaks on brewing, and lagers, ales, and bitters flowed freely, Bitter Tasting Room embraces the craftsmanship of this age-old beverage.
An extensive beer list offers variants from some of the great brewing regions around the world by the bottle and a selection of local craft brews on draft. Of their 13 rotating beer taps, four are dedicated to Vancouver breweries to highlight the expert brewmasters at work right in our own backyard. The remaining nine showcase some of the many other West Coast breweries. The list largely represents BC, but also introduces a few standout beers from across the border.
Enjoy the diversity of the beer selection with a flight of three to seven draft choices to help you find your favourite. Or share the experience over a growler and some bar snacks. These old fashion jugs stand in for the classic pitcher and the updated food menu offers an assortment of bites to pair with your beverage.
The savoury food menu is designed to compliment the expertly crafted beverage list and the newly added dishes continue to do just that. Whether sipping a crisp pilsner, a smooth porter or a fragrant IPA, there is an item on the menu made to pair perfectly with those flavours. Some of the classic favourites are still featured, while a few new tastes spice things up. The popular Scotch Egg and Kale Caesar Salad remain, as does the Handmade Pretzel, while the new Chili Dog is loaded with hearty chilli. The Tacos are new and in high demand, served on soft corn tortillas with four options – the Chili Taco, Sea Taco, Pork Taco and Falafel Taco – offering something for every preference and the perfect beer & food paring.
And while a classic glass of beer is the Bitter beverage of choice, an assortment of spirits, two Okanogan Crush Pad wines on tap, and some unique beer cocktails complete the beverage list.
Whether sharing the dining experience with friends or meeting new ones at the bar, the debut of this new menu reaffirms that Bitter Tasting Room is a friendly space to enjoy a quality beer and a comforting bite to eat. Stop in to enjoy some of the new specials, with All You Can Eat Taco Tuesdays and $5 Sleeves of Dead Frog, $5 Sleeves of Mission Springs on Wednesdays, and Thursday’s offer up three Tacos and a Beer for $14. Read more
The GOODS from THE SETTLEMENT
Vancouver, BC | Vancouver Urban Winery and Belgard Kitchen are looking for some great people to join the growing team at The Settlement Building in Railtown. We’re looking for outgoing, passionate and hard working front of house team members including management, hostesses, part-time servers and support staff. We are specifically looking for a full/part-time evening manager, a weekend brunch manager, full/part-time hostesses & bussers/expos, and a part-time server. Please email your resumes to info [at] settlementbuilding.com. Read more
The GOODS from Pidgin
Vancouver, BC | PiDGiN is on the lookout for a line cook to join their talented and tight knit back-of-house team. Candidates must be innovative, hard-working and able to endure long hours, and have a passion for plating high-quality French-Asian cuisine. Requirements include a culinary school background or previous experience working the line in a fast-paced restaurant. We only put the best behind our stoves! Want to join the Pidgin team? Submit your application in confidence to resumes [at] pidginyvr.com. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
First years are tough for restaurants in Vancouver, where the market is over-saturated and the costs involved are prohibitively high. We mention this (the utterly obvious) because we were cleaning up our photo galleries earlier today and saw that it was the first birthday of Cuchillo, the Latin-flavoured DTES eatery on Powell St. from John Cooper and chef Stu Irving (pictured above). Like nearby Pidgin, they didn’t have the smoothest of starts on account of anti-gentrification activists picketing their front door, but they kept their heads down and concentrated on the things they could control, namely the service of quality food and drink (the protests backfired, handing both restaurants legions of new diners who thought abusing small businesses was an ill-considered response to a complex issue). The photos below reveal how much work went into the build. And so, with that and a sudden craving for battered rockfish tacos, we wish them a very happy birthday!
The GOODS from Les Amis Du Fromage
Vancouver, BC | Les Petits Bonheurs started as a bakery concept between two good friends who share a love of sweets and desserts. They specialise in classic French desserts, specifically choux à la crème (cream puffs). Les Petits Bonheurs sources all of their staples locally and try to source the best ingredients for the flavour components (matcha, pistachio, fresh lemons etc) and do not use preservatives. They make everything by hand to coax out the best texture and flavour. Their treats are made on a smaller scale, that way you can always have more than one! Drop by our East Vancouver les amis du FROMAGE on Saturday July 5th between Noon and 5pm, and indulge yourself in this “little piece of happiness”. Read more
The GOODS from Big Lou’s
Vancouver, BC | Big Lou’s Butcher Shop is pleased to announce the arrival of a shipment of fantastic, 55-day dry aged Certified BC Beef from the Horn Family Ranch outside 100 Mile House. These humanely-raised, unmedicated cattle are grazed on the natural pasture in the ranchlands around 100 Mile House and raised without hormones or antibiotics.
While most beef is butchered before dry-aging, this beef is uniquely dry aged as a full carcass allowing for a longer dry aging process – 55 days – and ultimate taste and tenderness. Big Lou’s Butcher Shop is offering a wide range of cuts, including strip loins, sirloins, and more.
The Horn family has long history of ranching in the 100 Mile House area dating back to the 1940s when Chris and Helen Horn founded the ranch. Much later on, the Gregg family moved to 100 Mile House and Karl Gregg of Big Lou’s vividly remembers standing next to the fence as a child, impressed at the size of the cattle grazing in the next farm over. Who could guess at the time that years later, Karl would be stocking Horn Family beef in his own butcher shop? Read more
by Shaun Layton | “The Brickhouse? Wait, where’s that?” That’s the reply you’d likely get if you mentioned one of my favourite dive bars in the city. Still, on occasion, you might just get an enthusiastic “I fucking love that place!” in response. And for good reason.
The Brickhouse, located on Main St. between East Georgia and Union, has been pouring beer and whiskey to DTES, Chinatown, and Strathcona locals for around 25 years. It’s definitely one of my “go to” spots for an after work solo pint, a game of pool with the lads, or a stop on the list if I’m touring out-of-town industry friends around town.
When you walk in on busy nights you’re greeted by a hostess at the front door. On slow nights, you can enter through the back in the alley by the Jimi Hendrix shrine. Old brick arches carry you through the cavernous space through to the main room, where you’ll be delighted by the character bar. Expect big fish tanks, lava lamps, shitty old red couches, pool tables, dart boards — it’s pure magic. One should never be bored sitting in this spot; the walls are covered with so much nostalgia. I’m not sure what the space used to be, but let’s hope it’ll never be anything else. It has such an interesting layout.
The atmosphere is incredible during either busy or slow, and the service is as adequate and genuine as it needs to be (as sure a sign of a great bar as there is). I recently visited a new self-styled “neighbourhood dive” and experienced quite the opposite. The place was empty (early on a Sunday) and the cool kid staffers couldn’t have cared less about the four guests in the bar. Service was non-existent. But perhaps that’s what they were going for, that whole “you should be honoured to be in such a cool bar” vibe. Alas, this isn’t Bushwick, or whatever part of Brooklyn they were trying so hard to emulate. That shit doesn’t fly in Vancouver.
That being said, a good dive bar should never be concerned with doing anything especially well, except keeping glasses full, music flowing, and me (the customer) coming back. The Brickhouse does exactly that, all while being laid-back and completely unpretentious. The two bartenders I’ve encountered are a younger lady who’s been there for over 8 years, and the owner, “Leo”, whose reputation precedes him in industry circles. Both are great bartenders, but only one is a legend.
The younger lady is very friendly, remembers what you drink, and keeps ‘em coming. Leo, one the other hand, is just something else altogether; a three-way cross between Seattle’s favourite bartender, Murray Stenson (pouring for over 30 years), a very regimented and stern blackjack dealer, and the soup nazi. Leo epitomizes efficiency; he doesn’t even look like he’s moving that fast (he isn’t), but every move he makes is calculated and with purpose. He just gets things done. On a Friday night, watching this guy take orders from the weekend warriors is something else!
I prefer the place early week, and so should you. On a quiet Sunday you’ll find locals reading books, out-of-towers (who must have cool friends who told them about it), and industry staff enjoying their “weekend”, such as they are. A B & T crowd kinda spoils the joint on Fridays and Saturdays, but that’s true of most places worth going to city-wide.
Oh, I nearly forgot! The food. A great selection of bags of chips is on offer here; my favourite being a bag of Cheezies to go with my Pacifico. It’s the perfect combo as I wind down after work, listening to the oldies rock ‘n roll soundtrack. If you haven’t been before, bring only your worthy friends, and don’t tell too many people. Places like The Brickhouse need to stick around!
Shaun Layton has helped to maintain a top notch bar scene in Vancouver for ten years, and since day one at Gastown’s L’Abattoir, where he is the Bar Manager. He also runs his own consulting company, designing bar programs and training staff locally and as far away as St.John’s, NFLD. Layton has competed and travelled throughout the USA and Europe, touring distilleries, breweries and bars. He was recognized in 2012 as the Bartender of The Year by Vancouver Magazine.
The GOODS from Pidgin
Vancouver, BC | From June 1st to 10th PiDGiN joins leading restaurants, bars and food trucks from around the globe in raising money and awareness for the fight against AIDS in the EAT (RED). DRINK (RED). SAVE LIVES campaign. For ten days, partial proceeds from the sales of PiDGiN’s classic Boulevardier cocktail will go directly toward (RED)’s Global Fund for HIV/AIDS.
(RED) was created in 2006 to engage millions of people in the fight to end AIDS in Africa, which is home to 2/3 of the world’s estimated 35 million people with HIV/AIDS. (RED) works with the world’s most iconic brands and organizations to develop fundraising campaigns through products and services that trigger corporate giving to the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS. Funds are then invested in HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, with a focus on countries with a high incidence of mother-to-child HIV transmission. Read more
The GOODS from Bambudda
Vancouver, BC | Bambudda is looking for a server with at least 3 years experience. This is a part time position to start. Candidates must have good knowledge of food and wine/spirits in addition to a genuine passion for hospitality. The position will require you to work Friday and Saturday evenings. Please send your cover letter and resume in confidence to ray [at] bambudda.ca. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
A new cafe has taken over the space that used to house Solder & Sons bookstore, right next to Super Champion Specialty Cycle Shop on the Downtown Eastside. It’s named (rather lazily) after the address, 247 Main [Street], so don’t start thinking it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
While they serve up Bows X Arrows Coffee in different ways and tea from Granville Island Tea Co., the main attractions are the juices, which are excellent. There are three combinations on offer. On our last visit, owner Joda Clément was serving up carrot, apple and ginger; orange, ginger and pineapple; and beet, apple, carrot, and mint. Expect these combinations to rotate in and out with others. The fruits/veg are fresh and juiced to order, and the prices are darn attractive (small 2.75, large 4.25).
As far as food is concerned, there is none. Clément says he might add small bites in the future, but since there’s no kitchen we don’t see it ever being a significant facet of the operation.
The bookstore side of things sees a mix of used books and small run, artist-produced books, the latter curated by Denise Ryner of Committee Artist Books. Expect book-related events – eg. launches, author talks, readings, etc. – to start rolling in the near future. Take a look the next time you’re in neighbourhood.
247 Main Cafe | 10am-6pm Tue-Fri | 11am-5pm Sat+Sun | Website
The GOODS from Big Lou’s
Vancouver, BC | While BBQ and beer is a combo which tastes great at any time of year, there’s something about summer sunshine which makes it taste even better. That’s why Big Lou’s Butcher Shop is so pleased to announce the launch of a series of regular Sunday BBQs this spring and summer at 33 Acres Brewing.
The Big Lou’s Butcher Shop team will be on hand cooking up a range of locally-sourced slow-cooked treats to enjoy with some delicious 33 Acres beers. Alongside signatures like the Big Lou’s Red & White Burger and Pulled Pork Sandwich, the menu will include meaty treats that haven’t been served at Big Lou’s before.
33 Acres Brewing Company is an ideal partner for these BBQs, sharing the same dedication to small-batch crafted excellence. Located just off Broadway at 15 W. 8th Avenue, the Sunday BBQ at 33 Acres will be convenient one-stop for delicious summer eats and drinks, whether enjoyed in the tasting room or taken away to be enjoyed in the sunshine. Details after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Les Amis Du Fromage
Vancouver, BC | The Salty Cookie Company and The Lemon Square join forces for a Pop Up Shop at les amis du FROMAGE in Strathcona on Saturday May 24. This pop-up will showcase the talents of these two fresh start-up pastry companies. It will run from noon to 5pm at the East Vancouver location of les amis du FROMAGE at 843 East Hastings Street in Strathcona. Take this opportunity to do some sweet shopping and show some support for these new start-up businesses!
The Salty Cookie Company is the dream child of pastry chef Meredith Kaufman. Having been a pastry chef since 1999 and a mom since 2004, cookies have always been a part of her life. What started off as a hobby of dropping off cookies to friends and loved ones, turned into a full time venture. Thus, The Salty Cookie Company was born.
The Lemon Square is a small slice of paradise. Handmade and all wrapped up just for you. Not your typical lemon square, this one is made with fresh lemons, BC butter and dusted with coconut. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked. Read more
by Stevie Wilson | It has been renovated and repurposed as one of Gastown’s most popular restaurants, yet the Alibi Room at 157 Alexander Street still retains much of the unique character and historic architectural features of the building’s many previous iterations. Constructed on three small lots in 1913 by E.W. Cook & Co., the Classic Revival-style building was designed by famed Canadian architect William Marshall Dodd and is celebrated as his only example of commercial architecture on record in Vancouver.
Originally, this address served as the warehouse for Jacobsen and Goldberg Co., one of the thriving businesses engaged in the province’s fur trade. Later, the “White Seal” mittens decal across the western wall of the building (now covered) advertised the products of White Manufacturing Co.. The BC Grinnall glove manufacturers were another company found on the ground floor. The H.G. White Manufacturing Co., a shipping company, purchased the building circa 1919, when the address was 149 Alexander. The property was an excellent location for each and every one of its successive businesses, including Burnyeats B.C. Limited in the 1930s, due to its proximity to the nearby port and the CPR Railway.
The exterior of the building remains virtually untouched, including the mock voussoirs above the first-storey windows and brick corbelling across the top. The original glass in the arched fenestration on the ground floor, reminiscent of the building’s original commercial purpose, is still intact (the glass on the bottom half has been updated for safety reasons).
In later decades, the address’ upper storeys were converted into offices, and by the 1970s the ground floor was known as the Banjo Palace, a 20’s-themed club boasting the country’s largest circular barbecue. The owner, George Patey, had purchased pieces of the brick wall involved in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and had it re-constructed in the men’s room (true story).
Prior to the Alibi Room (which was reopened in 2006 after a change in ownership), the address was home to the Archimedes Club, an infamous watering hole for Vancouver’s taxi drivers where a signature on the membership book got you access to $5 pitchers (or so go the legends).
The historic brick interior is still on display all throughout the Alibi Room, where they have since turned the basement – once an office space – into a secondary seating hub perfect for a few pints with friends. The next time you bend an elbow within its cozy confines, let your eyes wander and your ears imagine all the old brick walls have heard in the last 101 years.
Special thanks to Perrin Grauer at the Alibi Room