Vincent Vanderheide leads a talented bar at Victoria’s Boom + Batten
Boom + Batten is a dazzling contemporary hot spot with a prime location on Victoria’s Inner Harbour. It’s also one of the city’s best places to get a well-made cocktail, thanks to the skills of beverage director Vincent Vanderheide and his team. “I always like to say it’s not a bad office,” he says with a laugh.
Vanderheide is a veteran of the Victoria cocktail community who has worked at the Fairmont Empress, Canoe Brewpub and Pagliacci’s, where he learned his love of cocktails from general manger Solomon Siegel. “I have my International Sommelier Guild diploma as well, but cocktails are what got me excited about bartending back in the day,” he says.
He joined Boom + Batten shortly after it opened in June 2019, a bright, modern 6,900-square-foot restaurant built over the water. Big as it is, these days it’s so busy that even on a rainy Monday night there’s a wait list for the 25 bar seats.
“The energy is really good, which is exciting to see,” he says. “I feel like busy begets busy and people want to be where other people are.”
Boom + Batten has also become such a glamorous see-and-be-seen location that Vanderheide jokingly advises his team to make drinks pretty for the ’gram and includes “cheeky” categories on his menu like “There’s Nothing More Important than Being Popular” for best sellers such as the Earl Grey Martini.
Above all, he believes in the power of a good bar to bring strangers together and to understand each other a bit better. “If that happened enough times,” he muses, “we could have world peace. Maybe we won’t get there in my lifetime, but hopefully we could get a little closer.”
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Boom + Batten
2 Paul Kane Place, Victoria, B.C.