Meet Dewey, The Stylish Deer Behind The Bar At The Diamond’s ‘Elk Room’

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When most of us sit down at the bar, we usually have two things in mind: a drink and a brief but much needed escape from the stresses of daily life. More often than not, we are so focused on this mission that we overlook our surroundings. But if we studied the shelves of liquor we’d likely find the most curious of items: an old trinket, a hand-drawn octopus, scribbled upon note of foreign currency, a random, dusty can of spam. BARTIFACTS looks to trace the origins of these artifacts, one bar at a time.

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Hidden away behind the north wall of The Diamond in Gastown is a small, secret room with a big name. The Elk Room is a bar within a bar. From the brightly painted portion of floor (complete with bikini-clad snorkeler) to the extensive collection of knick knacks behind the bar, curiosities lurk in every corner. Perhaps the most curious of them all is the taxidermied beast affixed to the right of the bar. Wearing a sailor’s cap and looking tough with a pair of boxing gloves hanging from his neck, you’d assume the mascot for The Elk Room would be…well…an elk. Alas, you know what they say about assumptions…

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Word has it that once upon a time ‘Dewey the Deer’ lived at Les Amis Du Fromage but was set aside during renovations. Around the same time, the original Boneta was being built (where Bauhaus now stands) and there was a heated debate among the owners as to whether or not the deer head would find a new home in the restaurant. The nays, however, won out and it wasn’t until 2009 that he resurfaced with the opening of The Diamond. The shots below show it under construction that year, complete with the Dewey-less Elk Room…

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  1. The Diamond space has an impressive history as a west coast blues venue in its earlier days (1970’s), to my recollection! A historical review would be welcome if someone could put it together.

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