The scene: Friday night in Gastown for a joint graduation party for two of my boyfriend's pals. We started out at Chill Winston, about which I feel rather blah. It seems a victim of its own success, and has been the favoured hangout for newly minted adults and the bridge and tunnel crowd for some time now. Plus, why would I hang out there, when the Diamond is right across Maple Tree Square, glowing warmly at me from its lovely windows?
We had a quick bite at Vera's (always tasty, and gets the job done, leaving more room in the evening's budget for craft cocktails!), then headed to CW. After a while, it became time to move on, and the plan was to head downstairs to Guilt & Co. What? Double what? Apparently this place has been beneath Chill Winston for more than a year, but it somehow escaped my notice. I guess I must have had my snobby blinders on with regards to that side of the square. One look at the sign promising board games, and I was sold. Oh, I was sold.
The line was short and the cover non-existent (hopefully they can sustain the latter). Many bonus points for the extensive board game menu (Battleship, Connect 4, Catan, and more!), as well as the speakeasy in a cave nature of the decor. The crowd was fun, the bathrooms unisex, the very creative cocktails refreshing and expertly mixed, and the Jenga blocks gigantic. I will certainly be back another night to sample the live music and other performances (never has a venue in Vancouver been more perfectly suited to burlesque!) and the food menu, which includes chunks of cheese. Awesome. The familiar font and wording of the printed ephemera hinted subtly at ownership shared with CW upstairs, but I much prefer what they've done with this place. I hope it can hang on to its relatively chill and secret vibe.