The capable crew behind Bartholomew Bar in Yaletown is filling the void at 3080 Main Street (formerly home to plant-based ‘Kind Cafe’, which closed doors earlier this year) with a new cocktail-forward restaurant called The Watson.
Named after the less-travelled Watson Street running behind the Main Street address, and a reference to the Victorian-age character companion to the world-renowned detective, Sherlock Holmes (of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic collection of narratives), The Watson moves into the 2,200 square-foot concrete and glass storefront immediately next door to the recently opened Street Hawker, and across from Brewery Creek Liquor Store. But the decidedly more boozy concept aims to fill another, less literal gap between Mount Pleasant’s long-standing casual bar situations and the fine dining establishments that have come onto the scene more recently. Plus, offers co-owner Michael Gayman: “I live in the neighbourhood, and I selfishly wanted to build the kind of bar that I wanted to go to… somewhere casual, with good atmosphere, good drinks and good food.”
Things seemed 100% ready to go when I took a look around The Watson yesterday, as the team was setting up for their friends-and-family service test-drive. Thanks to a design assist by Erica Colpitts, what was once a cavernous concrete space full of bright light and echos has been turned into a comfortable, sultry and inviting room with 75 seats spread between the main floor and a mezzanine seating area. When put on the spot to choose his favourite seat in the house, Gayman had this to say: “I really believe there isn’t a bad seat in the place, but I think my favourite spot is upstairs at the mezzanine railing bar looking down at everything happening below. You really get a great view of the space and can watch the bartenders at work.”
The overall aesthetic alludes to the aforementioned Victorian era with details including lavish chandeliers, a majestic 15-foot back bar, and massive commissioned artwork – all of which help to anchor the room with the warmth and texture that was missing from it’s previous incarnation.
Although much of The Watson’s focus builds on the team’s strong cocktail background, the new project also hopes to provide a relaxed setting for casual evening dinners, simple lunches, and weekend brunches. Food-wise, think small plates and things to share with the table – all of which will pair nicely with libations… I have yet to actually taste anything, but I have read through the menu (see below) and already have my eye on a combination of Fennel & Orange Salad with lemon-dill vinaigrette and pickled blueberries, paired with a “Trade Route” cocktail (tumeric infused Flor de Cana, Giffard Banana du Bresil, vanilla and lime).
The Watson officially opens doors tomorrow, Thursday, July 27th. In the meantime, have a look at the photo gallery below, and then skip over to their IG profile here to stay up to date.
Jordan Coelho | Bar Manager + Partner
Adam Coppell | Executive Chef + Partner
Michael Gayman | Managing Partner
Sean Raven | Director of Operations
Erica Colpitts | Designer
Pacific Solutions | Contractor