DINER: Heather & Hawthorn’s Finished “Bitter Tasting Room” Unveiled In Gastown

Sean Heather and Scott Hawthorn opened their long awaited Bitter Tasting Room at 18 West Hastings tonight for a brief “friends and family” soiree. We snuck in shortly beforehand and shot the place up. First, some context from a previous post…

The highly anticipated temple to beer at 18 West Hastings (across from Pigeon Park off Carrall) is coming along nicely. I’m particularly besotted by the 3/4 circular bar, which is much larger than I originally thought it would be. It juts out from a towering wall of beer fridges and totally dominates the space, which is lined with benches made of wood reclaimed from buildings in Gastown and Yaletown. Not only will it act as a wood and well for bar service, it will also do double time as the main kitchen. It comes as fully equipped as a ventless kitchen should (mise en place, lowboys, etc), and will likely prove interesting to see in action. The rear of Bitter – the semi-private room – is nearly complete as well, and will eventually sport a drop down projector screen for Canuck games. But the coolest thing by far? On one of the many pieces of paper floating around, I spied a design mock up that showed what appeared to be a blown up photo of Hastings & Carrall street scene from 1910 (or thereabouts) covering the restaurant’s street frontage (see one of the photos below). At first, I didn’t see any of the big motif started on the window, but I peeled a bit of the paper back and lo! There was a small test patch of the huge image already installed. That means, if I’m not totally mistaken, that we’ll be able to sit and drink and look at the street outside through an image of what it looked like 100 years ago. How awesome is that?

We’ve been following this project since well before Heather and Hawthorn took possession, so we invite you to take a look at the very… Read more

DINER: A Pop-Up Restaurant Concept That Promises To Take Us Down The Rabbit Hole

November 17, 2011 

This jumped out from our inbox and piqued our interest:

In the House is exploring a bit of new ground! For the first time ever, we are partnering with Swallow Tail and Pastiche Culinary Concepts to create a Wonderland themed Pop-up Restaurant (Pop-up = here today, gone tomorrow!). For food and wine lovers who want to add a little wonder to their dining experience, we have just the thing for you: Follow us down the Rabbit Hole to a secret underground space where amazing food and magical performances come together to give you an interactive and unforgettable evening! It’s fine dining, theatre and surprising delight all rolled into one!

A refresher on In The House:

The main objective of the In the House Festival is to create intimate, interesting, and unique venues where artists can freely explore their genre, perform to an attentive audience, and promote their talents. Within the intimacy of these venues, the general public is given the opportunity to widen their scope of cultural experience. The eclectic programming of the In the House Festival offers the audience the opportunity to see shows that may be of a totally different genre than what they’re used to. As a result, it potentially creates larger audiences for the performers outside of the In the House Festival setting.

So, probably pretty cool for dinner. They’re billing it as “Down the Rabbit Hole – A Fine Dining Experience Like No Other”. If they nail the food (hell, even if they don’t), I can think of few other local dining experiences that could even remotely compare on the “unique” scale. We asked for some more details, which you can check out after the jump. Its sounds crazy with a healthy dash of awesome… Read more

DINER: A Look Inside “Bitter Tasting Room” As Its November Opening Approaches

November 9, 2011 

by Andrew Morrison | As promised, I checked out the progress at Sean Heather and Scott Hawthorn’s Bitter Tasting Room earlier today. The highly anticipated temple to beer at 18 West Hastings (across from Pigeon Park off Carrall) is coming along nicely. I’m particularly besotted by the 3/4 circular bar, which is much larger than I originally thought it would be. It juts out from a towering wall of beer fridges and totally dominates the space, which is lined with benches made of wood reclaimed from buildings in Gastown and Yaletown. Not only will it act as a wood and well for bar service, it will also do double time as the main kitchen. It comes as fully equipped as a ventless kitchen should (mise en place, lowboys, etc), and will likely prove interesting to see in action. The rear of Bitter – the semi-private room – is nearly complete as well, and will eventually sport a drop down projector screen for Canuck games. But the coolest thing by far? On one of the many pieces of paper floating around, I spied a design mock up that showed what appeared to be a blown up photo of Hastings & Carrall street scene from 1910 (or thereabouts) covering the restaurant’s street frontage (see one of the photos below). At first, I didn’t see any of the big motif started on the window, but I peeled a bit of the paper back and lo! There was a small test patch of the huge image already installed. That means, if I’m not totally mistaken, that we’ll be able to sit and drink and look at the street outside through an image of what it looked like 100 years ago. How awesome is that?

ALL ANTICIPATED RESTAURANTS

DINER: Gastown’s Hotly Anticipated “Bitter Tasting Room” Issues Its First Call To Arms

West Hastings’ long (still) awaited Bitter is getting imminent by degrees, as they’re issuing their first ever call to arms tonight.

Bitter – a beer tasting room, is looking for servers to join its opening team. In addition to having 2 years of excellent serving experience, you must love everything about beer. We mean eat, drink and sleep beer. Ideally, you are the kind of person who plans their vacations around beer towns and breweries. Just like our brother, “Salt Tasting Room”, you will work with unique product, served with the respect that it deserves. Each beer will have a story to tell and you will be the storyteller. Proper glassware will be used for all stages from Growlers and Flights to Chalices and Steins. Beer will be paired with ‘beer food’ from all over the world, currywurst to pork pies and rabbit rillettes to fresh pretzels. There will also be a beer cocktail list and a selection of sipping whisky. Successful applicants will receive a training course supervised by Cicerone Chester Carey. Interested? Please email your resume to mike@irishheather.com

Check out some of our shots and video of the place after the jump… Read more

ART THUG: “PennySmash” Currently Impressing At The Vancouver Art Gallery

If more people put their money where there mouths were, we wouldn’t have to listen to wankers whining about cuts to public arts funding. Scott Hawthorn and Todd Falkowsky have put together something that might help to drown the din: PennySmash. For $2.01, you can can produce a squished penny with your choice of four motifs. I like the design by Natalie Purschwitz. Essentially a button kit, with instructions clearly defining where you need to drill the holes. You can also get “The East Van Cross”, which is sure to be a crowd pleaser. PennySmash is currently on display in the Vancouver Art Gallery, generating funds to help foster creative projects in Vancouver (a capital notion, indeed).

The First Look Inside Gastown’s Upcoming Beer-Themed “Bitter”

Operations manager Mike Mitchell and owner Sean Heather inside the construction site at 18 West Hastings

by Andrew Morrison | I was given a tour of the upcoming “Bitter” beer-themed restaurant the other day. The building that houses it on Hastings had been wrapped up in scaffolding for as long as I can remember, but it’s all been dismantled now and construction has begun in earnest. Scout broke the news of its coming back in January:

Sean Heather and Scott Hawthorn, partners at Salt Tasting Room and Judas Goat, are joining forces for a third time to open a new joint called Bitter. “It’s an extension of Salt, really” says Heather, “only its a beer format instead of wine”. Beers will be had in all guises and sizes, from tiny tasters to pitchers, while the food will see fresh pretzels, weisswurst, smoked sausage, house sauerkraut, currywurst, whole smoked ham hocks, pickled onions, scotch eggs, pork pies, and more. Bitter will land on the main floor of the oddly-shaped (flat-iron-ish) building at 18 West Hastings opposite Pigeon Park, and will sport some 140 seats, two entrances (one from the street and one from the back alley), a patio in Center A’s parking lot, a 20ft diameter circular bar and finishing kitchen around which diners will sit and be served, and my favourite thing of all..a neon sign flashing the word “BITTER”.

Much of the construction is being done off-site, so right now they’re in prep stage, making everything ready for plug and play installation which will probably go down in September. When it launches toward the end of October, we can expect some 50 beers available in an atmosphere reminiscent of Vancouver’s pre-Prohibition era when the ales, lagers and bitters flowed liberally from a multitude of local breweries.

A circular bar will dominate the strangely shaped space. It will be backed by what Heather calls a “tower of beer,” meaning a working, Wonka-esque display of kegs, pressure valves and lines.  Surrounding it will be wooden bench banquettes (think church pews) and walls of glass looking out onto the street and through to the white picket fence-enclosed patio (shaded by a pair of leafy trees).

True to the heritage of the building, there are mosaic floors that are in the process of being patched and restored, cool girder beams across the ancient wood-slatted ceilings and lots and lots of gnarly red brick. The back of the space, which funnels to a point like the prow of a ship (sailing toward the Pender gate to Chinatown), will see an 18 seat semi-private room with a flatscreen TV for Canucks games and, typical in Heather ventures, an alleyway entrance for take-out fare. Take a look inside below, and please forgive the shaky camera work as I just got off crutches…

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

GOODS: Gastown’s “Salt Tasting Room” Hosting Pair Of Neal’s Yard Cheese Tastings

Salt Tasting Room is located in Gastown's Blood Alley | 604-633-1912 | www.salttastingroom.com

The GOODS from Salt Tasting Room

Vancouver, BC | Salt Tasting Room is proud to welcome world renowned Neal’s Yard Dairy to the Salt Cellar Series on Monday, May 16th at 7pm and Tuesday, May 17th at 7pm. Usually the focus of the Cellar Series leans towards the grape as we invite winemakers from near and far to share an evening with us. On these dates, the focus shifts slightly as we explore the world of cheese!

The team at Salt takes it’s cheese very seriously. Sean Heather, co-owner of Salt, visits cheese-mongers both locally and around the world for the best products he can find, and when you’re talking about the best, the conversation has to involve Neal’s Yard Dairy in the UK. They are quite particular about the cheeses they represent (and who represents them) and this is your chance to see why. We are privileged to have Chris George from Neal’s Yard Dairy join the team at Salt in hosting these two events, pairing his cheeses to fine wines and condiments. Details after the jump… Read more

Sean Heather To Open “Bitter” Joint On The Downtown Eastside

Sean Heather and Scott Hawthorn, partners at Salt Tasting Room and Judas Goat, are joining forces for a third time to open a new joint called Bitter. “It’s an extension of Salt, really” says Heather, “only its a beer format instead of wine”. Beers will be had in all guises and sizes, from tiny tasters to pitchers, while the food will see fresh pretzels, weisswurst, smoked sausage, house sauerkraut, currywurst, whole smoked ham hocks, pickled onions, scotch eggs, pork pies, and more. Bitter will land on the main floor of the oddly-shaped (flat-iron-ish) building at 18 West Hastings opposite Pigeon Park, and will sport some 140 seats, two entrances (one from the street and one from the back alley), a patio in Center A’s parking lot, a 20ft diameter circular bar and finishing kitchen around which diners will sit and be served, and my favourite thing of all..a neon sign flashing the word “BITTER”.

We’ll be giving you the first look very soon, probably tomorrow after we launch the new version of the site. Until then, dream a little dream of pork hock and ales…

ALL ANTICIPATED OPENINGS

Howe Sound Bringing Its Ales To Salt Cellar This Monday Night

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Salt Tasting Room is located in Gastown's Blood Alley | 604-633-1912 | www.salttastingroom.com

News from Scout supporter Salt Tasting Room

Vancouver, BC | Gastown’s Salt Cellar at Salt Tasting Room is excited to host B.C.’s own Howe Sound Brewing as part of the ongoing Salt Cellar Series on Monday, April 19th at 7:00pm.

Howe Sound Brewing provides premium quality, all natural, micro-brewed beers to BC’s Sea To Sky Corridor, from Vancouver to Whistler BC. All of their ales and lagers are handcrafted with no preservatives and they’ve garnered many awards and medals for their efforts.

Salt look forward to hosting the folks from the brewery to taste through an array of their lagers, ales, bitters, imperials, and stouts. The beers will be served in two flights, paired with delicious charcuterie from J, N & Z Deli, Oyama Sausage Company and Moccia’s Italian Meat Market. Artisan Cheeses from the UK, Spain, Italy, France & BC will be on offer along with artisan breads and more.

For more information, and to buy tickets at 40 bucks a pop, visit http://www.salttastingroom.com/cellar or call 604-633-1912 Read more

The Long Awaited “Judas Goat” Opens In Gastown’s Blood Alley

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Co-owner Scott Hawthorn mugs through a Hunter & Gather designed felt peephole in the entrance to Judas Goat

Judas Goat has finally opened in Gastown, and it looks great for a shoebox hideaway that doesn’t take itself too seriously. For an explanation of the art within from co-owner Sean Heather and shot shots of the pre-opening interior shots of the 21 seat, Spanish-inspired tapas micr0-restaurant and wine bar, click here. For shots from their first full day in action, check below for several… Read more

Salt’s All-Stars Welcome Locals And The World For 2010 Games

January 20, 2010 

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Gastown's Salt Tasting Room sees a homecoming of alumni just in time for the Olympic Games

News from Scout supporter Salt Tasting Room

Vancouver, BC | The team at Gastown’s award-winning Salt Tasting Room, renowned for artisan cheeses, handcrafted charcuterie and constant Golds for their wine program, will be open and accessible throughout the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, both in the main Tasting Room and underground in the 50 seat Salt Cellar.

To accommodate thousands of locals and tourists, Salt has assembled it’s own Olympic team, beefing up their staff with an All-Star selection of Salt alumni and some of Vancouver’s favourite wine professionals.

Alumni-wise, Jake Skakun (former Manager) and Miguel Quezada (former Server) are flying in from San Francisco and New York respectively, plus making Salt cameos during the Games will be AltoVin’s Mark McNeil (former Chambar Sommelier), The Province’s wine writer James Nevison (author of the bestselling Had A Glass series) and many more surprise appearances. Read more

Holiday Hours & Happenings At Gastown’s “Salt Tasting Room”

December 23, 2009 

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Salt Tasting Room | Blood Alley, Gastown | Vancouver, BC | 604-633-1912 | www.salttastingroom.com

News from Scout supporter Salt Tasting Room

Vancouver, BC | Salt Tasting Room will be open for your wine, cheese and charcuterie pleasure throughout most of the holidays. We’ll be open both day and night on Christmas Eve! Take a break from dashing around during the day or to celebrate your last minute shopping finally being done at night! Read more

Salt Tasting Room Brings Moccia’s & Driftwood Together

November 10, 2009 

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Monday, November 16th, 7:00 p.m. - $40 | 604-633-1912 | SaltTastingRoom.com

News from Scout supporter Salt Tasting Room

Join us for a fun, casual evening with the boys from Moccia’s and beers from Driftwood in the Salt Cellar on November 16th at 7:00 pm. Learn about the classic art of charcuterie, sample a variety of styles, and enjoy some phenomenal local craft beer. Read more

Gastown’s “Judas Goat” Inching Toward Early 2010 Opening…

I took this video today of construction continuing apace at Judas Goat, the tiny tapas joint going in right beside Salt Tasting Room in Gastown’s soon-to-be-much spiffier Blood Alley. Look for it in January. Read more

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