The folks behind The Shameful Tiki Room on Main St. are getting close to opening a positively spooky new concept in the Fraserhood called The Dark Manor Inn.
When I first got wind of the The Dark Manor Inn several weeks ago, I didn’t believe it. The haunted mansion-themed restaurant and whisky bar seemed a little too far-fetched an idea to actually be real. But I assure you that it is. Owner Rod Moore was kind enough to show me around the upcoming spot a couple of days ago.
Located in the old Sun Lok restaurant location at 4298 Fraser St., the 1,400 sqft address has undergone quite the transformation, surrendering all the natural light that used to shine in from windowed frontage in favour of chandelier and sconce-lit Victorian spookiness. When it officially opens in early November, The Dark Manor Inn will have room for some 60 people to drink and dine in inarguably one of the oddest food and beverage environments in Canada.
The walls of the 19th century parlour and library are hung with all manner of weirdness, from period portraits of freaky-looking nabobs (and their terrifying infant offspring) to skulls, gargoyles, stuffed owls and bric-a-brac galore. There’s no gore or violence depicted or suggested anywhere, but the motif throughout is purposely macabre and borderline campy.
The Dark Manor Inn is not trying to be cool or trendy. Rather, it’s trying to offer Vancouverites an altogether different kind of night out. And for that reason I love the hell out of the idea. I don’t like horror films, haunted houses and anything that might scare me (that especially goes for you, spiders!), but I dig a good whisky bar, and I’ll test drive any food program that deviates from the norm. The draft menu I saw by chef Daniel Andrews (Shameful Tiki) was a period piece in and of itself with old school items like braised beef and leek pie, mustard-rubbed pork medallions and devilled eggs. Bizarre? Yes. Off trend? Very. Delicious? I hope so!
The cocktails should be interesting, too. I’m told bartender Rhett Williams (Nightingale, Shameful Tiki) and some creative allies have put together a list of atypical whisky drinks, experimenting with dry ice and so on. I’m totally in the dark (no pun intended) on what they might look like, but I trust they’ll fit the mood of the place and help tie the whole thing together.
They still have a couple of weeks to go before they host their friends and family Halloween party, but it’s obvious (from the photos) the direction they are going in, and I love it. When they open to the public in early November the hours will be from 5pm to midnight, seven days a week. Take a look…