Colony Bar: a new neighbourhood pub for Kitsilano
On Feburary 21st Kitsilano welcomed a new additon to the neighbourhood, Colony Bar. Long regardered as one of Vancouver's top neighbourhoods for food and drink enthusiats, Kitsilano or 'Kits' as the locals call it, is not short of food and drink offerings. Colony Bar however, is looking to separate itself from the pack by establihsing itself as Kitsilano's true neighbourhood pub.
The owners of Colony Bar in Kitsilano
The Colony Bar is the latest offering from Vancouver's Blueprint Group which has been transformed out of the old Kits Billliards hall, a business that has been in the Keriasotis family for over 25 years and was a treasured neighbourhood hangout since the 1980s. Finding it increasingly difficult to connect with friends and family it was co-owner Bill Keriasotis's dream to "create a space where friends and family could spend time together". Well if first impressions are anything to go by, they have achieved this. Colony's warm and cosy interior design is friendly, relaxed and comfortable, fine for grabbing one of their $10 Weekday lunch specials but even better to settle in with a group of friends to watch a Canucks game. For those looking for something more upbeat Colony Bar even has a dancefloor and DJ's spinning on Friday and Satrday nights.
Cosy warehouse vibe
Colony features a well stocked bar and 10 beers on tap, including local favourites from Driftwood, Parallel 49 and Whistler Brewing Company and another 20 or so offerings by the bottle. It also has a great selection of wines and cocktails, so is sure to have something to satisfy your thirst. After enjoying an ice cold beer I was eager to also try something from their cocktail menu and the Maker's Sour looked like a fitting choice. This is a Whisky Sour made in its more traditonal form consisting of bourbon, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, bitters and much to my liking, just enough egg white to thicken the drink a little so you can savor it. The Bar at Colony
Loving good food as much as a drink, I was equally excited to check out the food menu. Whilst on first glance the menu appears to feature all the classic pub style dishes you would expect to see such as wings, burgers and fries, on a closer inspection there is nothing ordinary about these dishes. Another thing you will love about this menu is that all of their dishes are priced at under $20, yet despite the afforable price tag the Colony Bar is serious about putting out quality food.
Executive Chef, Brett Turner explained that with all his locations he aims to have a menu that consists of 80% of the same items and another 20% which are unique dishes for that location, "we aim to take favourites which are known and then add a twist". Colony Bar's signature dishes include the Albacore Tuna Tataki, Quinoa Veg Burger, Winning Wings and from their unique "French Fry Bar" concept, the Tri Fries. It was also great to see a number of vegetarian and gluten free offerings.
The Colony Bar Menu offering a great selection of drinks and food
It was the Winning Wings, the Wok Fried Squid and the Pulled Pork Poutine however, that stole the show for me. The Winning Wings were abtley named as they were also the winning wings of the 2012 Gastown BBQ Festival. Made with a Maker's Mark Marinade, stuffed with cream cheese, warpped in maple bacon and then deep fried and baked. These are certainly no ordinary wings and tasted absolutely amazing.
I haven't tasted calamari as good as the Wok Fried Squid in years. So often kitchens dish up the floured and deep fried variety, however the Keriasotis family take their Greek origins seriously and Chef Brett Turner was given strict orders to give this dish a twist that would remind them of something more likely to be prepared in a Greek restaurant. This strip cut squid is dusted in potato flour and then seasoned with garlic, chillies and pea shoots. Being wok fried rather than deep fried, also meant you could actually taste the fresh calamari and the spice and flavour of the seasoning.
Pulled Pork Sliders, Wok Fried Squid & Winning Wings
The final dish I tried was the Pulled Pork Poutine, certainly not a dish for someone watching their calorie intake but oh so good. Colony Bar takes their fries seriously and the Pulled Pork Poutine is just 1 of 5 different offerings in their French Fry Bar.
Pulled Pork Poutine
Although the Colony Bar is the new kid on the block on Kitsilano's West Broadway, with their friendly staff, comfortable surroundings and quality food and drink, I have no doubt it will be a mainstay for years to come.