Bells and Whistles aces the beer hall and casual dining concept in the heart of Vancouver’s burgeoning Fraserhood.
Bells and Whistles is not your typical sports bar. Sure, there are a couple of large screens always on, tuned into some kind of sports game. And yeah, the menu has burgers, nachos and other fare typically associated with sports bars. But that’s where the similarities end.
The space is the first thing you notice. Located at the corner of Fraser and 17th Ave on the street level of a new condo tower, Bells and Whistles feels bright and airy and mixes vintage sports aesthetics with laidback park vibes—think wooden picnic tables, a marquee-style wrap-around wall tap list, and a custom-milled fir bar top that hearkens back to the glory days of the Boston Garden’s fabled parquet floor. From the white ceiling, with its exposed pipes and ducts, hang leafy plants and hand-dipped glass fixtures. A streetwise mural was created by local artist Alex Usow a.k.a. ‘Rhek’.
Instead of TV screens, at Bells and Whistles you watch big-league sports action on two state-of-the-art ultra-HD 4K projection screens. Instead of Budweiser and Heineken, at Bells and Whistles the menu features 19 draught lagers, ales and ciders, including local craft beers, rare gems from celebrated international breweries, and an eponymous hoppy ‘Bells and Whistles’ pale ale custom created by Delta’s Four Winds Brewing. There’s also a nice selection of B.C. wines and always-double cocktails on tap, including a signature hopped Buffalo Trace Bourbon Old Fashioned stirred to perfection and served on the rocks. An interactive table games room in the back offers complimentary happy hour plays from 2 to 5 p.m. daily, which means this is a good place for families, too.
Bells and Whistles is the latest project for Gooseneck Hospitality, the Vancouver-based team behind Wildebeest, Bufala and Lucky Taco that includes restaurateurs James Iranzad and Josh Pape and new partner Nick Miller. “I recently moved to the Fraserhood neighbourhood, where my partners also live, and we really wanted a place where we could hang out. Plus we are all big sports fans so opening an accessible beer hall in this area was a dream,” says James.
In the kitchen is Executive Chef Alessandro Vianello, who has created a diverse menu that focuses on locally and ethically sourced ingredients. There are chicken or fresh fish sandwiches served on custom milk buns; short rib, brisket, and chuck burgers; stadium-inspired sides like garlic fries, onion rings and ballpark chili; and gourmet ‘big’ salads with house-made dressings. For dessert, rotating ice cream cones, sundaes and floats with made-from-scratch soft-serve from Foothills Creamery.