How does a new kid in town snag a job at one of Vancouver’s most reputable bars and win a respected bar competition in little more than a hot rotation around the sun? Dylan Zrobek, an Edmonton native, touched down in Vancouver in October 2018, and within a few weeks had secured work at the Keefer Bar, under the highly trained eyes of bar veterans Amber Bruce and Keenan Hood. Despite his relatively light experience, Amber said he had the right energy, and the willingness to work: “A lot of people want the glory without having to do the grind. He’s put in the work, and it shows. He keeps his cool, remains calm and humble.” And that steadfast nature clearly worked in his favour given he just brought home the 2020 Barate Kid Championship Belt, a bar competition that is focused on speed, agility, and quick thinking. If you haven’t seen him in action yet, you can catch Dylan working at the upcoming Keefer Bar 10-year anniversary party on February 10. Don’t miss out, the Keefer knows how to dish out a wild night.
In mid-April, Canada’s 100 Best revealed their 2019 restaurant rankings. Now for the second year, they’re following up with a list of Canada’s 50 Best Bars of 2019, and for this ranking, Vancouver has an impressive eight spots worth raising a glass or two to.
In fact, Vancouver’s imbibers can pour one out for the always-popular Keefer Bar, which nabbed the number two spot, behind Toronto’s celebrated Bar Raval in the top rung. This is also the second year The Keefer Bar was ranked in the second spot.
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In the mood for a Sazerac? How about a Negroni punch bowl mixed with local gin and vermouth, or a playful spin on Arctic Ungava with a dash of citric acid and spritz of Laphroaig perfume? Whatever your poison, it can be found in Vancouver, home to one of the most vibrant cocktail scenes in North America.