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behind the bar with west’s david wolowidnyk

Not only is he one of Vancouver’s most savvy bartenders, but David Wolowidnyk is now one of the world’s most esteemed barmen after being awarded the Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender prize in Marrakesh, Morocco. Making every bar stool experience a memorable one at West Restaurant, this dapper fellow’s bar should surmount your libation locale list. The recipe for David’s winning cocktail, Beldi, will be in our upcoming Newsletter… Sign up.

Where do you bartend?

West Restaurant + Bar, Vancouver, BC

Describe the energy and vibe in the bar you work in.

The bar at West is a refined, professional craft cocktail bar that’s an integral part of one of Vancouver’s most lauded restaurants. That being said, we want you to relax, and exhale – at the end of your day. Whether you’re on your way home after work, dropping by for a pre-theatre cocktail and bite, or staying with us for the evening. But my greatest pleasure comes from when the whole bar is humming with conversation – my regulars sharing inside tips with visitors to this beautiful city. 

Something people may not know about your bar.

Some people might not know that West has over 400 spirits and liqueurs, and that we prepare all of our own syrups, infusions and tinctures, doing so to make sure that the products we use are of the highest standard.

Favourite cocktail on the menu?

It’s really hard to pick just one favourite cocktail on the menu, because I really do like a wide variety of different drinks—and especially making them.

Though when I sit down for a cocktail on my own time, it’s usually of a classic style, maybe a pre-Prohibition Manhattan, a Vieux Carré (well made, it’s redolent of old New Orleans), or an Old Fashioned. Like great cooking, the paradox of great drinks is that the simplest is the most difficult, because there’s nothing to hide behind.

Our menu at West has a diverse selection of cocktails to provide a little something for everyone, from contemporary to classics, but my favourite drink to make is the one that you want to have.

Most intriguing person who’s ever sat at your bar.

I’m convinced that the best bartenders are the best listeners, and rather discrete. I really enjoy serving my peers. It’s always a good thing to prepare a well-crafted drink for another bartender, as we all have slightly different styles and techniques.

Best line or conversation overheard at your bar.

Without a doubt, one of the best lines I’ve heard across the bar…

“I don’t think our chandelier at home is strong enough for me to have another drink!”

What have you learned about human nature while working in your profession?

The world is a much nicer place after your first drink, and even rosier after your second.

What do you love about your job?

I love that my job isn’t really a job for me…when you love what you do it never seems like work!

What bar stool do you sit on when not working?

Wherever the beer is cold and the whisky selection is strong and deep.

What’s your dream?

It would be nice to have my own bar one day, but for now I am completely content with the way life is going. I have fun and exciting opportunities every day, and rewarding challenges that keep me on my toes.

West Restaurant
2881 Granville Street  Vancouver

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David on Twitter: @DrinkFixer

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Socialkenny PUA

Nice interview.

Over 400 liqueur and spirits.That’s impressive.

I’m definitely gonna have to check out David whenever I decide to visit BC.

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