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The fresh, lush tasting room at Please Beverage Co. redefines the cocktail bar aesthetic.
Once upon a time, this high-ceilinged space in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood was chock full of old Cadillacs and Lincoln Continentals: a car repair shop, albeit one that happened to be lousy with natural light. Today, the vehicles may have puttered away, but the lofty room remains open and airy—with tasty cocktails on tap to boot. It’s the home of Please Beverage Co.’s new tasting room; a space for the distillery to serve up flavourful infusions like their rhubarb fizz.
Table Architecture Collective helped reimagine the space—architect Bill Uhrich has a history of working with breweries and coffee shops, making him an ideal fit for the project. “It was a little rough around the edges,” admits Uhrich. “But it felt expansive in height, which is a bit of a surprise in this city.”
Within this expansiveness, creating moments of intimacy would be key: a space as good for team happy hours as it is for date night. A canopy adds a sense of scale and keeps the room from feeling cavernous. (Climb the stairs to find a private room for group bookings.)
A visit to Please’s recipe lab (and the resident “drinks explorer,” Stephen Tufts) inspired the palette. “He had 300 samples of plants I’d never heard of, in these beautiful ambers and vanillas and pinks,” Uhrich remembers.
The architect defined the perimeter and edges with layers of plants, and local artist Mega McGrath painted a lush mural with those lab-inspired hues. Milltown Contracting came on board to craft rolling planters and bench seating out of ash wood. Those planters shift to create spaces for groups of two, four, or longer seating arrangements.
“It was a fun project to work on,” says Uhrich. Though we can’t help but wonder: is that because of the professional satisfaction of a job well done… or the unspoken perk of designing a cocktail tasting room? “The Paloma’s my go-to,” the architect admits with a laugh.
This story was originally published in the January/February 2024 print issue of Western Living magazine.
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