In this post, I am getting a more intimate look at Gastown, and you can too at the upcoming Meet Me in Gastown block party. From the same show runners that brought the city the Strathcona Block Party comes one for one of Vancouver’s oldest communities.
On August 31st from 3-7pm Gastown is closing its iconic street and blocking it off so that guests can stroll their cobblestone unencumbered by traffic. Worth mentioning is that this is also the proposed closure that the city is toying with, to make the area more pedestrian and tourist friendly.
The partial closure is of Water Street from Carrall Street to Abbott Street, where local shop vendor and performers will then line the streets with games, art, activities, live music and more.
As taken from the press release. From 3-5pm event goers can listen to the tunes of Emmett Jerome and Hayley Wallis at the Maple Tree Square Stage. Followed by a performance from the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra on the Abbott Street Stage from 5-7pm. This will conclude with a surprise grand finale performance at the Abbott Street Stage.
Local shop owners will have their own in-store specials and discounts to encourage you to support your favorite Gastown businesses. Not just souvenirs, but the area is also known for many designer boutiques.
Shop for speciality pieces at Oak + Fort’s flagship location in Gastown. They are a women run clothing company focused on selling local and sustainable, affordable luxury basics. Their style is inspired by Japanese and Korean fashion that includes jewelry and accessories.
Latest Scoop is one of my favourites shops for women’s fashion. I always find myself here when I visit Gastown for a mix of classics and statement pieces of good quality with plenty of longevity wear. They also curate unique home decor and great gifting solutions. They started as a pop up and continue to focus on small buys done frequently to foster that feel. The goal is to not have too much depth in their selection so you see a good rotation and mix of different things whenever you visit. So with them, get it if you like it and want it.
Another great option for unique wardrobing that won’t have you looking like everyone else is “One of a Few”, established in 2005 and known for their focus on stocking emerging and well established designers. Makes and labels once unknown, that have now have grown their global presence and audience. For example, they have been carrying Rachel Comey goods since their origin. And are also proud to source labels like Arc and Bronze Age, which are local. With much pride “One of a Few” showcases the incredible talent in our fair city.
Looking for some food and drink during “Meet me at Gastown”? Grab a pint at Portside and while you are there take in their oyster shucking competition starting at 5:30pm.
Restaurant and lounge Monarca and Guilt & Co. are setting up a joint pop up patio where you can enjoy a cocktail in Carrall Alley.
Other restaurant options to consider are the long standing Old Spaghetti Factory for a classic pasta dinner that still concludes sides and a desert at an affordable price.
And if you are looking for something a little different Kozak Restaurant is a great spot for authentic Ukrainian cuisine. I highly recommend their dark chocolate babka. This is one of their our most popular pastries, and having had it for myself, I can certainly vouch it is worth travelling for.
Looking to stay and sip a while longer? Pourhouse has a relaxed speakeasy vibe with an extensive bar to match. Not to mention an elevated menu that includes their house burger, debatably one of the best in the city, and the likes of foie gras.
And if you are in the mood for an Afterparty? The many Freehouse Collective Public Houses that call Gastown home are always a good time. Lamplighter and Clough Club in particular have a historic tie to the area, as hinted by their names.
I am in particular a fan of Greta. This is a neon glowing arcade and bar fusion concept; where you can play you favourite racing, shooting, or one on one fighting game. All while toting your drink in hand. I typically gravitate towards the basketball free shoot and skeetball with stops at Mario Kart and old school Street Fighter and its joystick action; on my latest visit. The best part is you don’t pay per game, but pay per hour, so can play as much as you want. This is basically like all you can eat, but for arcade games.
In short, Gastown is a destination for shopping, food, and views and you can explore all three on more detail at the upcoming Meet me in Gastown event, Thursday August 31st, 3-7pm. See you there.