Although it’s been open for a just over 2 years now, The Diamond is one Gastown, ahem, gem that is easy to miss. Some friends and I discovered it rather surreptitiously one evening when the street level Maple Street Square eatery we planned on trying was full. We stood in the square hemming and hawing about what to do next, looked to the heavens for an answer, and there it was: one floor up, art deco chandeliers calling to us from giant windows. But how to get into this magical, elevated place? A brief search brought us to a simple street-talker sign featuring a great big graphic of a cut diamond and behind it, a large set of stairs.
Upon entering, your eyes are immediately drawn, once again, to the chandeliers shaped much like cut diamonds and to the buzzing, young & trendy crowd. My friends and I were seated at one of the tables in the centre of the smallish sized open concept dining room or, “cocktail parlour,” as it is referred to by the staff.
Gazing out the windows you definitely get the sense of being transported back in time. The height advantage means all the surrounding century-old buildings are visible without much interference from the modern signs at street level. (On a subsequent visit I was seated at one of the tables against the windows, which is definitely the most desirable spot). Once seated it was hard to decide what to do first: should one study the decor or head immediately to the drink menu?
Drink menu of course! And what a menu it is! A beautifully curated selection of cocktails, spirits,
and wine which is clearly the result of successful collaboration between two of Vancouver Magazine’s ‘Bartender of The Year’ winners, Josh Pape & Mark Brand. Delicious flavours and winning combinations aside, my favourite thing about the drink menu were the small outlines of the type of glass in which to expect your drink. Thankfully, with a group of friends willing to share a sip, I got to try several of the offerings.
The Diamond in Gastown is located at 6 Powell Street at Carrall.
from their website: Welcome to The Diamond at Maple Tree Square - your neighbourhood cocktail parlour. Providing fresh share plates and hand crafted cocktails by night. By day we are a boutique bartending school and consultancy company.
Whether it was a Diamond original, like Bicicletta #2, or a celebrated classic, like the Vesper created by Ian Fleming, they went down easy and tingled all the right taste buds. Once we felt completely comfortable in the hands of the wonderfully friendly and thoroughly knowledgeable staff it was time to soak in the attention to detail visible in the decor. The diamond theme is echoed in the light fixtures, on the ornate wallpaper, and in the art deco design of the menus. I enjoyed the trendy, yet relaxed combination of ever so slightly mis-matched chairs, and tables with a desk-like feel. Perhaps it’s because I’m not an original Vancouverite, but I am a sucker for old photographs of the city and they’ve got one of a much younger Maple Square prominently displayed on the wall. These vintage details are right at home in this classic Gastown building with exposed brick and aged hardwood floors.
If the food is created with as much attention to detail as everything else then I expect good things. A diamond cut above the rest!
Look back at this space soon for a review of their share plates and in the meantime take a gander at their enticing cocktail and share plate menu here.
Web: The Diamond
Location: 6 Powell Street at Carrall (old Loft Six location)