East Vancouver will see a brand new bar open doorways earlier than the top of the yr – and it comes with a comforting title that, given the occasions, everybody can recognize: “It’s Okay”.
Behind the venture are co-owners Colin Canning (Tacofino/Blueprint), Michael Sanderson (La Bomba), and Alex Dulong (Hero’s Welcome/GoodCo. Bars). Whereas the idea – a correct neighbourhood bar – has been a shared dream for a number of years, the group was patiently ready to seek out the fitting tackle earlier than their imaginative and prescient might unfold.
They knew Hastings-Dawn was the place they needed to be, so when the previous Grasp Chef house (additionally What’s Up Sizzling Canine, and most just lately Dangerous Apple) on East Hastings got here obtainable, they pounced. The scale of the room (which clocks in at 900 sqft, with 35 seats whole together with a ten on the bar) felt proper, the neighbourhood was ultimate, and it didn’t harm that it got here with candy 2am licence. The group picked up keys to the house earlier this month (September 1st, 2022) and on Wednesday I took a tour to listen to about their plans….
Coming into the darkish room, I’m met by a complicated patchwork of multi-coloured partitions and remnants of the earlier tenant’s tools in a disarray of containers perched on nearly all of obtainable surfaces. I make a remark that they’ve a problem on their fingers. Smiles instantly crack throughout every one of many homeowners’ faces, in addition to the faces of Kate Snyder and Jessica MacDonald of Studio Roslyn. They comprehend it, and they’re excited.
Once I dig a bit deeper to seek out out what it’s about Hastings-Dawn specifically that resonates with them – sufficient to encourage making the daunting leap into opening a brand new enterprise – they chalk it as much as the neighbourhood’s various and loud “large metropolis” vibes. I get it. The bones are good, and this block, this neighbourhood, this room are all prepared for one thing new. So what’s the plan?
Drawing inspiration from 1970’s New York, the imaginative and prescient for the inside is to offer an immersive expertise with traditional bar decor that brings artwork, design, music, and a trend-forward aesthetic to the forefront (Snyder and MacDonald of Studio Rosyln are on the job to ensure that the look hits good). As Canning explains: “We’re impressed by small east coast bars in Toronto, Montreal, New York and Philadelphia. We wish to be a spot you already know could have chilly beer ready for you at completely happy hour, a spot the place you sit till final name with a buddy going via a break-up, or only a place the place you will discover a seat on a foggy afternoon. We wish to be the form of bar that gives a reprieve from the day-to-day. You’ll be capable of depend on It’s Okay as someplace to discover a smiling face that remembers your title.” (Cheers reference meant).
Foods and drinks shall be easy and approachable: count on snacks, salads and sandwiches, in addition to a curated beer checklist, traditional cocktails, and considerate desk wines. Naturally, Dulong shall be main the aforementioned bar program, though the chef who shall be helming the 14-18 merchandise meals menu has but to be named.
Knock on wooden, by mid-November it would all come collectively – with the fashionable help of Calgary/Saskatoon-based Bamff Studio (branding) and Studio Rosyln, in fact. The massive image for this small bar: “To turn out to be an establishment, with many good occasions alongside the way in which.”
Keep tuned for updates by following It’s Okay on instagram right here.