Some big news in Vancouver’s beer-drinking community was handed down to us this morning: treasured neighbourhood bar, beer-lovers’ “go-to” and Vancouver restaurant institution, Alibi Room, is changing hands at the end of December.
Although the Alibi Room will continue to sling pints (under the management of Victoria, BC-based hospitality group, Four Top) the last day of service under their current ownership of extended family members – Nigel and Kerry Springthorpe, Raya Audet and Chef Greg Armstrong – will be Friday, December 23rd, 2022.
From what we’ve been told, the Alibi vibes that we know and love will remain intact, and there will still be plenty of familiar friendly faces and reasons (like, hopefully, train-watching from beloved Table #11 and a killer local-dominated 50-tap beer list) will continue to make it a drinking and eating destination… but gone will be the odd chance Nigel encounter (who we have so far had the pleasure of interviewing not once but twice over the years), nor with any of the other awesome superpowers running the BOH and FOH scene since 2006. You’ll have to post up at The Magnet and/or Brassneck Brewery for that.
Scout Magazine’s Co-founder, Andrew Morrison, had these kind words to say about Alibi, back in 2013:
The Alibi has acted as the de facto schwerpunkt for Vancouver’s craft beer renaissance over the last seven years, with beer wonks making plans for home brews on the backs of countless napkins and finding inspiration in every other sip. Considering the recent explosion of new craft breweries across the Lower Mainland, I reckon that one day – when our old liquor laws and affections for Bud Lime are both retired – the gem will be seen as one of the most historically significant establishments in the province.
Alibi Room owner, Nigel Springthorpe, shared this goodbye letter earlier today:
Make a point of clearing a little space on your schedule on Thursday, December 22nd, 2022 to drop into the Alibi to toast the end of an era. Thank you to Nigel, Kerry, Raya, and Chef Greg for so many wonderful years. We love you!
Absolutel local legends whose passion, creativity, care, and sense of community means so much. Love to all, and above all else: THANK YOU!
I just cried. I’ve sat at that bar countless times watching the trains, and having such great chats with the evolving and always amazing staff. It was always like walking into a best friend’s house, comforting and always welcoming. It’s the heart and soul of Vancouver’s beer scene, hands down. Nobody does it better. Much love crew.
The Alibi brought so much to Vancouver, and to me personally. I have probably spent more time in this room than any other in this city. I have raised many a glass here in celebration and in grief. The Alibi Room will always hold a special place in my heart!
🍻 To Nigel, Kerry, Raya, Greg, and the Alibi family both present and past!
Xoxoxo – Kat
My now husband and I had our first date at the Alibi Room on October 11, 2003 (after meeting on LavaLife) On October 11, 2013 we went there to celebrate our 10yr anniversary of that special day. We look forward to celebrating our 20th in 2023. Pretty special that the Alibi Room has continued on (and that we have too!)
From beer parlours in the Seventies and neighbourhood pubs in the Eighties, we’ve come some way to learning what pub culture can really be, in no small part to the Alibi Room. The dream team of Nigel, Kerry, Raya, Greg, and their dedicated staff demonstrated that absolutely no part of the pub-going experience — food, drink, service, ambiance — should be downgraded simply because you were a beer drinker. And for those who found it challenging to meet people in Vancouver, the Alibi’s communal tables and lively atmosphere were a powerful antidote to loneliness on a grey winter’s eve. Deservingly, the Alibi Room achieved a legendary status in BC’s third wave of craft beer. I may shed a tear in my beer on December 22 when raising a pint in gratitude to the Fantastic Four, but I do hope the “Following Four” will succeed in curating this cultural gem for many more years.