Last week we had the chance to head down to local Gastown haunt, The Charles Bar, for the launch of their new summer menu. Never ones to pass up on an opportunity to escape the office for a little midday socializing, we happily accepted.
The Charles Bar is one of several establishments owned by Blueprint (about half of which are nightclubs, while the other half are bars in and around Vancouver). It’s not necessarily a place that we head to on the regular, though, perhaps if we lived in the Woodward’s Building above it’d fast become our local haunt. It’s ultimately geared toward city-dwellers with a penchant for places serving up casual fare with a backdrop of live sporting events courtesy of ample large screens scattered throughout the inviting space.
In keeping with the season, The Charles Bar’s new summer menu ditches those heavier, comfort-food dishes in favour of more sharable plates and lighter fare. We sampled a selection of lighter bites and have to say were impressed by the flavours, portion sizes, and look.
First off, a duo of pulled chicken tacos were delivered to our hungry crew, packed to the tortillas’ edges with slaw, diced tomatoes, chicken, and zesty salsa sauce.
Next, we noshed on their new flatbread pizza, a definite sharable dish perfect for casual snacking while watching the upcoming FIFA World Cup. It packed plenty of flavour and was a general favorite of our group – with a house made date paste, truffle arugula, diced mission figs, smoked mozzarella and creamy boursin cheese, and seasonings.
The indulgence didn’t end there as Cajun chicken and yam fries appeared (we were feeling stuffed already) and our final orders for the afternoon were taken.
A little time to breathe and chat between bites saw Blueprint’s Regional Chef Kieran Kearns make an appearance. He happily indulged us in a few insights about the various dishes as well as selection of seasonal cocktails, craft beer, and wines available.
Though we opted to go healthy with their cobb salad, we couldn’t help but drool over our dining companions’ dishes (check out the towering BBQ onion ring burger and chorizo shrimp burger with side kale Caesar salad).
The Charles Bar is the perfect place to head to after an afternoon of shopping at the many boutiques around Gastown, and its central location make it an easy stroll to and from the game or a concert at BC Place. Its bustling location and street side patio are perfect for people-watching and catching a few rays of sunshine after work, too. Find The Charles Bar at 136 West Cordova Street.
Will you be hitting up The Charles Bar? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.