Irish-inspired GPO Bar + Kitchen opens on Granville Street

Look for whisky, bourbon, and a lack of pretention at Vancouver's newest eatery and watering hole

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      Granville Street is home to a new eatery and bar that takes its name from Dublin’s General Post Office, a landmark associated with the rising that led to Irish Independence.

      The GPO Bar + Kitchen (1224 Granville Street) has books, board games, colouring sheets and crayons for adults, live music on weekends, Turntable Thursdays, and live music on weekends; then there are its extensive, accessible food and drinks menus, including brunch daily till 3 p.m.

      Here’s how the new hangout is described on its Facebook page: “GPO Bar + Kitchen is not a Cocktail Bar, Gastropub, Irish Bar, or Brewpub, though we do have elements of all the above. We aim to make great food and drink more approachable & less pretentious, in a fun & relaxed environment.”

      These aren't your kids' colouring sheets.
      GPO Bar + Kitchen.

      Irish-born bartender Kieran McGrath founded GPO, having turned to Silver Chef, a hospitality-equipment funding partner, to launch. He started working in the hospitality industry seven years ago during his first year of university, initially in a night-club cloakroom then moving his way up to glass collector, bar-stock assistant, barkeeper, and general manager. He also worked at the Quality Lab at Molson Coors to both further his knowledge of bee and put his science degree to good use.

      He’s enlisted Leonard Doody as chef, the Irish native having first taken on kitchen duties while in the Irish Navy in his early 20s. Doody applied for culinary training through the Navy, working in Dublin before eventually joining a Samuel Beckett-class patrol ship on a three-month trip to the Mediterranean. Doody catered for a crew of 60 and for more than 300 rescued migrants. He retired from the Navy last year, when he moved to Vancouver. 

      GPO’s regular menu includes items like Irish beef stew, Granville Island charcuterie board, spicy buttermilk-chicken burger, deep-fried Brie and pancetta salad, battered sausages, and taco cheese fries.

      Brunch items, meanwhile, range from a full Irish breakfast, complete with black and white pudding, to Irish rasher Benedict on house-made soda bread.

      The drinks list is heavy on whisky (Irish and other types), bourbon, gin, and beer (mostly local, but of course there’s Guinness). Wine selections are limited, with Jackson Triggs dominating. There’s Magners Irish cider, too.

      A handful of “Down the Hatch” $6.25 cocktails include the Brain Hemorrhage (Peach Schnapps, Baileys, and grenadine) and Ryan Reynolds, which consists of Butter Ripple Schnapps and Seagram’s.

      The GPO Bar + Kitchen is open every day from 11 a.m. to midnight. See here for more info.