This Much-Missed Vancouver Beer Parlour Deserves a Better First Birthday

For this edition of #ThrowbackThursday we return to the very beginnings of The Magnet, the beer-focused restaurant and bar at 309 West Pender Street.

For the TBT column we typically dig much deeper into our archives than just a year, but these images of The Magnet’s opening day in 2019 caught my eye because of how close in time we actually are to what is beginning to feel like a completely different age.

The new restaurant and beer parlour is the newest project from the team responsible for Gastown’s iconic Alibi Room and Mt. Pleasant’s popular Brassneck Brewery. It’s been about nine months in the making, with local architecture firm Simcic + Uhrich handling the old bones of the address (formerly EXP Restaurant & Bar), Post Projects doing the branding, Cam Johnson and his Harmony Pacific doing the construction and artist Perrin Grauer responsible for the coloured-triangle motif repeated throughout the interior.

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As intimated, it’s been 365 days since we published these shots. Like so many other establishments, The Magnet closed in the middle of March due to Covid-19. Here’s some sentiment from their most recent Instagram post, which announced their temporary closure some 45 days ago…

We can genuinely say that there are many of you we consider friends. We love the atmosphere you’ve created here over the short time we’ve been open. What’s going to keep us going & help us through this time is the prospect that one day soon when we’ve all picked ourselves up again, we’ll reconvene over a pint or five. Until then, miss your face.

Though these guys deserved a much better end to their first year, we’re still wishing them as Happy a Birthday as can be under the circumstances and a swift return to good sipping.


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