After a year of renovations, CRAFT Beer Market, Restaurant + Bar opens Thursday (November 7) in the Olympic Village at 85 West 1st Avenue.
Located in the historic Salt building, the restaurant is enormous: 13,000 square feet with seating for 400 people. With towering ceilings, wood beams, and mezzanine levels for special events, the place has a spacious, airy feel.
The building dates back to the 1930s, when it was used by the Vancouver Salt Co. for salt processing until the 1980s. On the lower level by the washrooms, a glassed-in wall shows off the building's original pillars.
The first CRAFT opened in Calgary in 2011, and another is slated for Edmonton this December. This is CRAFT's first Vancouver restaurant.
The chain characterizes its menu as "new North American classic cuisine", and emphasizes locally-sourced ingredients. Gluten-free and peanut-free options are available.
As the name indicates, the restaurant focuses on craft beer. It claims to have Canada's largest selection of draft beer, with over 140 beers on tap centred at a massive bar at the room's hub. A glass-enclosed keg room holds 400 kegs, or over 19,000 litres of beer. Steel draft lines carry the beers across the ceiling to the bar.
About 50 of the beers on tap are from British Columbia.
Every Tuesday at 4 p.m., the restaurant taps a cask from a local brewery. This Tuesday (November 12), Parallel 49's Ugly Sweater Milk Stout is on offer.