Story by Adrian Brijbassi
Vacay.ca Managing Editor
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — Beer companies and music festivals have been synonymous for a long time. Rarely, however, do you find the brewery playing both sponsor and host. Red Truck Beer Co. in Vancouver has been hosting a summer music series on their gravel parking lot for three years and the 2016 edition reaches new heights thanks to its most outstanding lineup yet.
The three-show lineup features groovy blues and soul masters Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears (June 11), a band influenced by James Brown and which has won wide acclaim for both their music and live performances. Other headliners include Ottawa-based indie rockers Hollerado (July 9) and country artist Jon Pardi (August 6).
Each show in the Truck Stop Concert Series will feature a number of opening acts and run from 4-10 pm at the Red Truck Brewery site (295 East 1st Avenue) in East Vancouver.
“People don’t get it until they turn the corner and see what a scene it is with the stages all set up,” Red Truck Brewery general manager Jim Dodds says. “We have a capacity of 1,200 people and it’s a real party, right here in the parking lot.”
Dodds says hosting the concert series has created a spin-off effect as other music festivals have contacted Red Truck to come on as sponsors or organizers of similar events.
If you’re visiting Vancouver and looking for a unique and fun music experience, this “concert in the city” offers a lot to like, partly because you can easily walk or take public transit to the venue and dine at a number of great establishments in the east-side neighbourhood that’s close to Gastown and Main Street. Tickets to each of the three shows costs $35 each, with a Tailgate Pass available that offers entry to all the shows for $85. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketzone and more information can be found on Red Truck’s website.
Bauhaus Marks One Year in the City
Last May, Michelin-starred chef Stefan Hartmann arrived and immediately elevated the dining scene in Vancouver with culinary talent and pedigree that stands above the rest of the city. Yet, Bauhaus has struggled to fill its seats, proving that great food isn’t enough to make a successful restaurant. Quality of service means as much, if not more, to many diners than the quality of food.
Problems in the front of the house at Bauhaus had played a role in keeping it from meeting the level of acclaim that Hartmann’s resume promises. That seems to be changing, though. When I spoke to owner Uwe Boll earlier this month, he said he is addressing the issues of service and lack of publicity.
My expectation is it won’t take much longer for people to realize the dining experience Bauhaus presents is sensational. During my most recent meal, Hartmann served a dish that was meant to be a deconstruction of a German breakfast with warm mackerel served below pumpernickel spice and sea foam. It was among a range of other creative and exceptional menu items. The word in the food community is also extremely positive as more and more media members I speak to are praising the Bauhaus menu. If you try it, let me know what you think.
Reflections Refreshed at Hotel Georgia
Hawksworth isn’t the only notable establishment inside the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver. For many years, Reflections has been a go-to spot for the city’s business and glamour crowd. The space on the fourth-floor terrace has received a beautiful renovation, featuring updated furniture, warm decor, and revamped drinks and food menus.
Vancouver is lacking in elevated patios and having a sophisticated, secluded one in what is arguably the city’s best hotel is certainly a terrific amenity for both travellers and residents.
Tacofino Expands to Yaletown
Everyone’s favourite taco joint is broadening once again. After successfully launching its Taco Bar and Burrito Bar establishments in Gastown in 2014, the team at Tacofino is bringing its crowd-pleasing fare to trendy Yaletown in June. The new restaurant at 1025 Mainland Street will have 56 seats, including 16 on a patio, and offer take-out service.
If you can’t make it to one of the Tacofino restaurants in Vancouver, you can always look out for one of the company’s food trucks, which roam around downtown daily, serving fish tacos, burritos and plenty more.
Gotham Launches Outdoor Dining
The best steakhouse in Vancouver? Gotham would get my vote and many others as well. Most diners don’t realize the restaurant has a garden patio nestled within its heritage building. With the very early arrival of summer weather to the city, the steakhouse has opened up its al fresco dining option sooner than expected. It serves lunch and dinner daily.
Divine Salads at Field and Social
Owner Stephen Collins brings his experience from running one of Copenhagen’s most popular cafes back to his hometown as he launched Field and Social (415 Dunsmuir Street) earlier this spring. The restaurant focuses on providing high-quality salads with locally sourced ingredients for lunch diners. All salads cost less than $15 and include interesting selections such as a Black Kale Caesar ($13) that features applewood-smoked chicken thigh and smoked paprika croutons, and Sen Lek Smoked Tofu ($12.50), with a ramen egg, shiitake mushrooms and rice noodles. You’re not going to find a better choice of salads in the city — which is ideal if you’re looking for a midday bite between visits to the downtown area’s attractions.