135 Keefer Street
T: 604 688 1961
Brief Description: Are you tired of choosing from uninspired drink menus at bars that all look the same? Want something different? Perhaps try The Keefer Bar located in Chinatown – I doubt that you’ve sampled concoctions like these in Vancouver before.
The Keefer Bar is a small, dark, sexy spot located in bustling Chinatown, just down the street from the ever-so-popular Bao Bei (I can’t write a review of either place and not mention the other). I′ve heard the atmosphere at The Keefer Bar described as a seductive opium den, which seems like an appropriate description. With a small outdoor patio, mood lighting, and an apothecary feel, The Keefer Bar is unique. And so are their tincture and herb infused cocktails.
The drinks menu is full of buzz-inducing cocktails with tongue-twisting names; such as Wēnxù (vodka, grapefruit, lemon, ginger syrup, red ginseng tincture), the Buddha’s Kiss (shochu, pearl sake, sweet plum syrup, lychee nut bitters), and Riding in a Rickshaw (G’Vine Floraison, Jasmine green tea, honey, immunity tincture). They have many more cocktails available than just what is listed on their website so whether you like bourbon, vodka, rum, or something completely different, you′ll find something to suit your tastes here.
The Dragonfly – Dragonfly gin, pearl sake, lemon, ginger syrup and magnolia bark tincture.
Even with the Chinatown location, prices are still about the same as what you′d pay at any of the hip drinking spots in Gastown (say Pourhouse or The Diamond) so go in knowing that prices are around the $10-$14 mark.
There is a limited food menu to provide sustenance and to help soak up the strong drinks. With menu items such as Peking duck sliders, braised pork belly tacos, BBQ pork pizza, spring rolls, dim sum, and a meat and cheese plate, the theme of the menu is hard to nail down. The dishes that I had were satisfactory but I would be more inclined to visit for the drinks rather than for the food. Although, with that said, the Chinese Churros (fried Chinese doughnut, with salt and dulce de leche) were delicious.
Peking Duck Sliders – $9
Braised Pork Belly Tacos – $10
As your friend, I′m letting you know that people do seem to get dressed up to come here so you might feel more comfortable if you make a bit of an effort. See, aren′t you glad you know now than when you arrive at the bar in your yoga gear? Oh, and single guys, I′ve seen a lot of beautiful girls at this bar so grab some guy friends and head on down!
Final Thoughts: It is great to see some more independent bars opening up in Vancouver. The Keefer Bar is certainly worth a visit if your mission is to try some interesting and unique cocktails. I′d recommend it for a sexy date night or perhaps a night out with the girls (you could catch the burlesque show on Thursday nights).