A few weeks ago, the team behind gone-but-not-forgotten board games bar Storm Crow showed off a new venture in Vancouver: a pet psychic located in Gastown.
Bad news if you were hoping to get your chinchilla’s mind read, though—the whole thing is a front for an occult speakeasy, with a splash of a 1930s French salon. With plenty of dark wood, candles, and eerie touches, the vibe is more mystic than kitsch.
“Arcana is not just a bar, but a portal to another world, offering an array of experiences from serene tarot readings to lively themed nights,” reads text on the bar’s booking page. “Whether you're seeking a cozy corner for a quiet drink or an immersive journey into the esoteric, Arcana promises a unique and memorable experience for every visitor.”
The cocktail lounge offers nine drinks based on Major Arcana from the tarot, answering once and for all what Death really tastes like (bourbon, Cynar, Averna, black cherry syrup, citrus and absinthe, served in a skull with flame and fog).
There are also some other signature cocktails and classics, including a Cthulhu Tiki that nods to Storm Crow’s eldritch past; and the Wheel of Fortune, which sees drinkers spin a wheel to let fate decide the spirit and style of their drink, in a less chaotic callback to the roll-a-D20 shots.
For sustenance, the food menu covers everything from snacky olives and kettle chips to full slates of steak, or a “ouija board” of fine cheese.
While walk-ins are available, eager cocktail connoisseurs can guarantee a spot by booking online.
Arcana Spirit Lounge
Where: 238 Abbott Street, Vancouver