Olympic Village Beer Tasting
Craft Beer Market opened it’s Olympic Village location in December of 2013. The highlights for us include the terrific use of the heritage Salt Building and 100+ beers on tap with a rotating 6 pack sampler. The menu and food are pretty good. The low lights for us have been the service (or lack there of) and the slowness with which you can actually get seated at a table or the bar even when seats are clearly available. This same thing happens at the Cactus Club Coal Harbour. All I can say to these places is get more staff or we will go elsewhere with our $$. So enough on the negative – we do like the location, building, beer and the food.
The Salt Building
Built around 1930, the 13,000 square-foot building originally was used to refine salt that was shipped to Vancouver for secondary processing under the name of the Vancouver Salt Company. The building was converted into a paper recycling plant by 1980 and then fell into disrepair. Owned by the City of Vancouver the building underwent a restoration before the 2010 Winter Olympics, with the foundation upgraded and a basement added. During the Winter Games it played host to the Olympians, being dubbed the “athletes’ living room.”
Brunch is served from 10am to 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. For the rest of the opening hours (11am to midnight Monday to Friday and 10am to midnight Saturday and Sunday) the menu is the same and includes burgers, flatbreads, pastas and a selection of snacks and salads. We have had both lunch and dinner and the food was good. Favorities include the Red Racer IPA Taquito Skillet and the Housemade Bolognase.
The Bar Policy at Craft Beer Market
As much as we enjoy Craft Beer Market they do have their issues! On a recent visit Jeff arrived early at Craft knowing it would be busy. There was a line, but he walked into the bar area where there were 6 open seats in a row at the bar so he grabbed two while waiting for friend. After being completely ignored for 5 minutes he saw a “Manager” holding a menu and asked for it. Since he didn’t have one, the Manager figured Jeff seated himself (which he did) and promptly told him to get back in line to be seated by the hostess. After waiting 5 minutes while the reservations team talked among themselves and to customers but no one seemed to no what was going on Jeff was given a beeper and asked if the bar or a table was preferred (either was fine). After another 5 minutes and asking another hostess at the front why we were waiting when seats were available he got the standard company line (we are seating everyone as fast as we can, there is nothing I can do, you just have to wait).
So bye bye to Craft and hello Tap and Barrel. Jeff handed in his beeper and left, texting his friend the new location on the way. When he arrived at Tap and Barrel, there were two seats at the bar. There was a small line up but he asked the hostess if he and his friend could sit at those two seats at the bar. They went over sat down and 30 seconds later the bartender was over to serve them. They each had several or more beers and dinner and were very happy with the experience.
We understand the table policy at Craft but they need to change their bar seating policy or will probably lose business. It is not a great experience. Since, of course, the incident did not go un-posted on Twitter we have been contacted by the marketing team at Craft but have declined to meet. We like the food and the variety of beer and love the building but the bar policy sucks – bottom line. If you are reading this let us know when you change it and we will be back.
We, Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other a Biz Blog where we comment on business best practices and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf Solutions for 7 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries. We DO NOT get paid for ANY of the blogs on our website. These are the places we visit and the things we do because we want to. When we say that we like or dislike something or have a good or bad experience this is our opinion and the truth as we see it. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us anytime.