Whether it’s for après or waiting out a no-snow day, the mountain village has plenty of fine drinking options. And if what you crave most is a beer while watching the game in good company, you’ll find the locals huddled at Stinky’s on the Stroll and other casual watering holes!
Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar
Whistler’s most-lauded new restaurant is fronted by a big, beautiful, boomerang-shaped bar, just as pleasant a place to while away an evening as the plush, shiny dining room: the full menu is available at the bar, and service is superb. Crush a plate of raw oysters with a Martini (there are six on the menu, but ask for one made with Copperpenny 006 Oyster Shell gin), and try creative mixology like the Phoenix, a Lot 40 Rye sipper fortified with Cocchi Americano Rosa and sherry, and topped with Laphroaig for a smoldering, savoury finish. A helpful glossary of “Intriguing Techniques & Ingredients” is your cheat sheet to deciphering some of the complex culinary-bar techniques used here. The B.C. edition of Fernet Hunter (a collab with Endeavor Snowboards) is available here, and would make an amazing amaro caldo on a chilly day.
Watch for: An eye-popping $49 deal this winter for a three-course menu during the week (Sunday through Thursday).
At The Watson, it’s all about a laidback vibe and well-travelled cocktails
The late afternoon light filters through the window, casting a lazy haze over Main Street’s newest bar, The Watson.
The crew preps for opening, whirring around the dark wood and green leather interior accented with marble and gold fixtures. The space feels simultaneously Parisian yet West Coast, Art Deco yet contemporary.
Bar manager and partner Jordan Coelho says he wanted it to feel like a library and gestures to the apothecary shelf behind the bar that he hopes to deck out with homemade bitters. Their house-blend amaro already sits in pride of place, aging in Woodford Reserve barrels.
As opening approaches, shakers are already ringing out in the capable hands of bartender Thomas Dodds (previously of The Diamond).
Look for the sign and go up the stairs to this sexy, intimate spot for drinks and snacks—soon!
The only tell that there is a sexy, intimate Japanese-inspired cocktail and raw bar tucked in the space above a bustling Fraser Street Greek restaurant is the clever metal sign positioned above eye level to the right of an unadorned orange-hued door.
The concept is “neighbourhood watering hole-meets eclectic cocktail room,” in the 52-seat, 900-square-foot space.
Revellers can expect to find live music and comedy served up alongside fun drinks and eats created by the Havana team.
“Our live stage will be a hub of local talent and personalities, bringing our community together through performances that make each visit a unique experience,” said Tyson McNamara, Stage Manager, in a media release from The Flamingo Room. “We believe in the power of supporting local artists, providing a space where their creativity shines.”
Food and drink menu: Shareable dishes, cocktails and mocktails with tropical vibes
The Flamingo Room’s executive chef, Andrew Hounslow, will serve up a food menu of playful snacks with a South Floridian twist, like a share-able Cubano sandwich (on a stick!), Huevos Diablos, Tajin-spiced compressed watermelon, and a jicama and chickpea “ceviche.”
The drinks program was created by Beverage Director Alexa Greenman, and features several tropical drinks (including zero-proof mocktails). Expect to find shareable cocktails for groups and a locally-focused beer and wine list, too.
The Flamingo Room’s food, drink, and merriment will be showcased in a space described as offering “a lush space layered full of playful textures and saturated colours” with “banquet booth seating, decorative lighting, a warm wood bar, and a forthcoming bespoke feature mural wall.”
“We look forward to welcoming guests into an intimate, tropical space, where inventive drinks and snacks are underscored with amazing live music and comedy,” said Reuben Major, Managing Partner of Havana Vancouver and The Flamingo Room.
“I’m so proud of our team for their dedication and hard work bringing The Flamingo Room to a reality. It’s been a long time coming, and we’re excited to open our doors!”
When The Flamingo Room (1212 Commercial Dr) officially opens on Dec. 6, it will operate Wednesday to Sunday, from 5 p.m. to late.
It goes without saying that a stop at Canada’s Best Bar, Civil Liberties, is essential. Now, you can also grab some bottled Civil Pours from the same mixologists: they recently ran a Bloor West pop-up, and watch for wider availability soon. A stop at Mother Cocktail Bar, an inventive Toronto fermentorium that’s steadily climbing the ranks of North America’s 50 Best Bars, is also a must. For the speakeasy set, there are inception-style spots tucked inside Coffee Oysters Champagne and under the restaurant Little Sister, but we won’t spoil those secrets here. Make your reservations now for these buzzing bars.
It’s “Vancouver’s first jungle-inspired cocktail lounge.”
Keen-eyed Vancouverites have been watching the West End space at 961 Denman St since late 2021, when signs went up for a “health bar and cocktail lounge” called The Jungle Room moving in where the Dover Arms pub stood for many a year.
Getting inside Vancouver’s newest bar involves placing a wager on “King Louie.”
The team behind the hidden Chinatown bar Laowai is opening another underground watering hole, this time inside the (faux) Happy Valley Turf Club off-track betting shop (518 Main St).
Bagheera is an homage to India and the cultural crossroads of Three Kingdoms Hospitality co-founders Lewis Hart and Brij Rathi. While Laowai is modelled after Prohibition-era Shanghai, Bagheera is named for the black panther in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and was inspired by India at the turn of the 20th century.
Brand ambassadors have a huge influence on what and how we drink. But who are they, and what do they really do?
On any given day, Kevin Brownlee drops in at local bars and restaurants to visit with his bartender colleagues. In the evening, he’ll hit a nightclub or two, or hang out at an event like Dish ’n Dazzle. Or he’ll jet off to some exotic locale, Puerto Rico, say, or maybe Miami.