An evening spent at Glowbal Collection’s Coast Restaurant on Alberni Street will leave your belly euphoric with seafood, your face glowing with satisfaction (and fantastic cocktails), and your phone laden with new numbers. That’s just the surface of the water, swim a little deeper and you’ll discover some of the best bartenders in Vancouver. With no qualms about getting people talking, dancing and smiling, these fine lads are the life blood of Coast’s captivating circular bar – after cocktails, their specialty is keeping patrons endlessly entertained. Meet lead bartender, Dave Morrison.
Where do you bartend?
I am the lead bartender at Coast restaurant in the beautiful city of Vancouver.
Describe the energy and vibe in the bar you work in.
Honestly, both the energy and the vibe of the restaurant are dictated by the time of day and the day of the week. Lunches at Coast tend to be relatively tame, while Thursday-Saturday nights are an entirely different animal. The cast of characters serving up drinks on the Coast bar do their best to create an experience you might not soon forget. We do our best to read the crowd and liven things up when people are quiet. Participation is a big thing at Coast. If you aren’t being yelled at, introduced to other people at the bar, calling out oyster orders and/or dancing on the bar then we aren’t doing our jobs.
Favorite cocktail on the menu?
My favorite cocktail to both make and drink is definitely an Old Fashioned. There is something truly satisfying about making this particular drink. It takes several minutes to make a proper Old Fashioned and when you make it right I believe that most customers truly appreciate the love that goes into it.
Most intriguing person who’s ever sat at your bar. Why?
I learned a while back not to size people up that sit at the bar. Everyone has a story, whether they realize it or not. Reducing one experience to the ‘most intriguing’ would do a disservice to the myriad of amazing people that I have met.
Best line or conversation overheard at your bar.
What’s truly fascinating about being a bartender is that you overhear the most intimate of conversations. People either accept that you’re there and have heard it all before, or just revere the sanctity of a bar and treat it as a confessional of sorts.
What have you learned about human nature while working in your profession?
That everyone is so very flawed and looking for someone to tell him or her that everything is going to be okay. Far more people than most view bartenders as pseudo psychologists and are willing to tell them their failings, mistakes, fears, betrayals and dreams. The things I’m told continually floor me. The unfamiliarity between a bartender and a customer creates a disconnect that allows the customer to cathartically dispel their worries without the fear that it will come back to haunt them.
What do you love about your job?
See the above question. In addition to that, and not to simplify it too much, but the job is just fun. We serve drinks, laugh, yell and try to make sure people have a good time. We certainly aren’t reinventing the wheel.
What bar stool do you sit on when not working?
For the past seven years my local has been Caffé Barney on 14th and Granville. I love the staff (most of whom I’ve become actual friends with) and there is nothing like sitting down and not having to order anything. You slide onto a stool, nod at whoever is working and seconds later the thing you most want in that moment appears before you. My stool, a beer and my girl and I’m a happy guy.
What’s your dream?
Not sure I’m willing to reveal that quite yet. Realizing my dream is contingent on a few more things falling into place and I don’t want to jinx it. All I know for sure is that I’m happy with where I am, not yet satisfied, but happy.
1054 Alberni Street, Vancouver