Back to the future

Glamour is back on the menu at Notch8 Restaurant & Bar

Bartender Philippe Grandbois.

Glamour is in the Hotel Vancouver’s bones. From its early years as the jewel of Canadian Pacific’s hotel empire, to its current position as one of the Fairmont’s luxury destinations, the iconic Vancouver hotel understands what it is that makes customers feel special.

And that commitment to customer service has recently been boosted once again, with the arrival of Philippe Grandbois as General Manager of the hotel’s swish Notch8 Restaurant & Bar.

“Our whole approach here is the ‘new age of glamour,’” Grandbois says, explaining how he’s been digging through the hotel’s archives, poring over the carefully preserved menus and cocktail lists of yesteryear.

“Much dust has been disturbed,” he laughs.

His mission is to live up to the restaurant’s name: Notch8 refers to the eighth notch of throttle power in an original steam locomotive, the point at which the train was running at its most efficient.

“That’s what we are aiming to do here,” Grandbois notes. “We are taking our bar and food program up to Notch8.”

To do that, Grandbois is focusing on the period between the 1890s and 1930s.

The new bar menu invokes that era with Crab Louie salad, and a modern play on the restaurant’s original prime rib—all using the best quality ingredients available now.

Quality is the watchword behind the bar, too. Notch8’s Old Fashioned uses 12-year-old Glenlivet and bespoke Hotel Vancouver Old Fashioned bitters. Those looking for a Manhattan may customize their drink from a choice of 55 whiskies and four vermouths, and have the cocktail finished sweet or dry to taste.

“We’re making the best possible versions of those classics,” Grandbois insists.

“It’s about top quality spirits, house made syrups and shrubs. And every single cocktail listed, from the Saratoga to the Grasshopper—will have been on one of those original Hotel Vancouver menus.”

Notch8 Restaurant & Bar, Hotel Vancouver
900 West Georgia Street, 604-662-1900,

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