Dream team

Sabrine Dhaliwal takes over the guest experience at UVA

Sabrine Dhaliwal didn’t have to join UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar—with her bartending pedigree she would have had her choice of bar manager positions in this town. So why sign on to run the room that had, to date, been defined by Vancouver’s cocktail queen Lauren Mote?

“Why not?” Dhaliwal counters, with a playful smile. “I’ve known Lauren for about five years, so I’ve been fortunate enough to see how she built her cocktails and what avenues she goes in. I’m fortunate in that way to have an insight into that realm.”

Since December, Dhaliwal has been focused on not only maintaining Mote’s fine legacy, but expanding on it.

“I’ll put my own personality, my own touch on the cocktail list, which is what I’ve been working on for the last few weeks,” she explains.

To that end, she’s tight lipped at this point about what her menu-in-progress has in store, but she does let one hint slip.

“We’ll have a seasonal page of about four drinks,” she reveals. “It will be really bright and refreshing, with some floral, some maple. I grew up in back east so cabane à sucre (sugar shack) has always been a thing for me. That’s the name of one of the cocktails,” she admits, with a grin. “I’ll give you that.”

Prior to joining UVA and its highly decorated hospitality team (which includes sommelier Jayton Paul and assistant bar manager Lily Duong), Dhaliwal had been winning international awards from behind the wood at West. Since making the move, however, she says she has truly been able to let her mixologist talents shine, especially given the volume of drinks flying over the bar.

“This room can change in an instant. It can go from calm and quiet to full in a matter of five minutes and you just have to crank it out—you just have to put it into high gear and just go with it,” she laughs. “This room is so much fun when that happens. Everyone’s here to have a good time, and I really love that energy.”

UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar,
900 Seymour St.,

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