Hit the Cascade Room on Vancouver's Main Street for a staggering selection of scratch-made cocktails
This here review needs a little backstory to set the stage: Rewind to a couple of years ago when we first started this caper (to wit, a couple of jug-heads like us reviewing bars) and The Cascade Room got the “honour” of being one of the first places we ever reviewed...
The Cascade Room
2616 Main St, Vancouver
And how did it go? Well, let’s put it this way—summoning all the power of our sophistimicated wordsmanship, one bar received a glowing review illuminatingly titled “Bar of the Month.” The Cascade review, on the other hand, was brief, brutal and bore the headline "Not Bar of the Month" in our newsletter.
In short, we trashed it.
We’d heard so much buzz about the place and ended up being colossally disappointed—mainly by the drinks.
But before you hardcore Cascadians start baying for our alcohol-saturated blood, like many did after our first review, keep in mind that we did give them the benefit of having an “off” night and actually went back a couple of times, only to be let down twice more. So we wrote it off.
Cascade Room revisited
Fast forward back to the here and now, and legions of Main Street hipsters and thirsty Vancouverites have proved us wrong—obviously—‘cause the joint’s going gangbusters. So we thought it was about high time we put first, second and third impressions aside and made a return visit. We’ve got to admit, we were a little bit nervous. It was kinda like repeating a blind date that didn’t pan out.
But we’re happy to say it was a way hot date, yo. The place was packed, the tunes were pumpin’ and the drinks were… well, way tasty.
And judging by the wait to get in, the Cascade’s reputation for said bevvies precedes itself. You can sit at the moderately sized bar if there’s room, but there are plenty of tables in all manner of configurations in a big cosy room decorated with a mash up of 1940s style wallpapers. But let’s face it, we weren’t there to eat.
A metric shit-ton of cocktails
To their obvious credit, the ambitious folks at The Cascade offer up a metric shit-ton of cocktails—too many to list here—but most range from a bit over $8 to just under a tenner, all containing a generous 2–3 ounces of booze and made right with fresh, housemade ingredients.
We recommend getting a drink before you start reading, lest you die of thirst before you make it through it. But so you’re not totally overwhelmed by choice, their extensive cocktail menu is nicely categorized:
- Vintage Standards (Daiquiris, Bloody Marys, Tom Collins etc.)
- True American Players (Manhattans, Bronx Cocktails etc.)
- Deeper South (think Mint Juleps and Old Fashioneds)
- Champagne Supernova (4 different champagne-based cocktails)
- Other European flavours (Sidecar, and for the brave/foolhardy – an Absinthe cocktail)
- Old School Classics (think Mojito, Pisco Sours and more)
- Martinis (more than you could probably name)
Specifically, we were digging the Ward 8 (Tennessee sour mash whiskey, lemon and orange juice, and a dash of housemade pomegranate grenadine) and the signature Cascade Room Cocktail (bourbon shaken with apple and lime juices, vanilla bean, bitters and egg white). Actually, we were digging several of them.
Local beers on tap at the Cascade
They’ve got an admirable selection of seven local brews (Red Racer, Russell Cream, Driftwood Ale to name a few) and three imports on tap all in proper 20-ounce UK pints ranging from $5 to $7, and they offer half pints at—wait for it—just about half the price (huge shout outs for doing the right thing)!
Plus, there's a good 20 or so beers from around the world available in bottles or cans.
“Where’s that girl? I need more booze!”
Our only real complaint was slow service. Hence the quote of the night: “Where’s that girl? I need more booze!” (classy, huh?). But hey, it was busy.
So kudos to the Cascade. You won us over. At last.