December 31, 2015 Features & Images » Feature Story

Best of Whistler 2015 - Bars, Pubs and Clubs 


Best Après

Garibaldi Lift Company

It goes without saying Whistler knows how to après, so to say the competition in this category is fierce would be a gross understatement. That's what makes GLC's long-term recognition from voters all the more remarkable. Sure, it's got the massive patio in a prime mountain location, and the kitchen serves up its own unique and tasty spin on traditional pub fare. But when Whistler wants to kick off the ski boots and have a good time, it's the GLC's friendly staff that puts it ahead of the rest of a crowded field.

"I've always stood behind our staff here," says manager Mike Wilson. "It's a great staff that cares about service but also cares about the customers and the people they work with."

Dusty's over in Creekside was runner-up again this year, while GLC's mountain neighbour, The Longhorn, was third.

Best Club/Late Night Bar

Moe Joe's

Make no mistake: There's a method to Moe Joe's madness.

The village club has made it its mission to be the first name on locals' lips when they're looking for a prime spot to party, and, evidently, it's doing something right.

"The entire Moe Joe's crew is overwhelmed to receive this honour for the third year in a row, as it goes to show the conscious efforts we make to be a locals' favourite bar and offer diversity are being noticed," says assistant manager Scotty Mac.

Moe Joe's showed so much love to Whistlerites this year that a second locals' night — Live in the House — was added to the mix along with the much-loved, neon-infused Glow Party on Sundays.

Buffallo Bills was your second favourite place to hang out after hours in 2015, with Tommy Africa's grabbing the last spot.

click to enlarge Best Bartender Jason Redmond, Araxi/Bar Oso - P: COASTPHOTO.COM / BRAD KASSELMAN
  • P: / Brad Kasselman
  • Best Bartender Jason Redmond, Araxi/Bar Oso

Best Bartender

Jason Redmond, Araxi/Bar Oso

If Nancy Wilhelm-Morden ever decides to relinquish her spot at the head of the council table, you could make a strong case for Jason Redmond being Whistler's next mayor.

That's because in a town that likes a good stiff drink, there's no one more important than your local barkeep, and for the second year in a row, Redmond is the top dog in that exalted category.

A native of Ottawa, Redmond has been at the restaurant for three years, but these days you can find him at Araxi's sister location, Bar Oso, where he serves as the new bar manager.

Redmond 2018, folks. You heard it here first.

Local fixture and Roland's Pub bartender Stinky, which we can only assume is not his real name, was voted in second, while the Beacon Pub's George Skoupas earned bronze.

Best Martini/Cocktail - Tie

Rose-Tini at Rosie's House, Trophy Wife at Araxi, Margarita at Mexican Corner

When you're named the best bartender in town, you better have a damn good cocktail to back you up, and Araxi's Jason Redmond has just that in the form of the Trophy Wife.

Made from pink peppercorn-infused vodka, apricots, egg whites, citrus and a scattering of pink peppercorn dust, the Trophy Wife is a feisty and flavourful creation that beat out all competitors in 2015 — except one: Mexican Corner's famed margarita.

No self-respecting Mexican eatery would go without this legendary tequila cocktail, and Mexican Corner's liquid triumvirate — you've got the classic lime, strawberry or mango flavours to choose from — tied with Araxi for top spot. Rosie's House namesake Rose-Tini, meanwhile, was the top martini in the mix. This martini rotates on a regular basis, so head to the Creekside Eatery for a different concoction every month.

click to enlarge Best Beer Selection Dubh Linn Gate - P: FILE PHOTO / VINCE SHULEY
  • P: File Photo / Vince Shuley
  • Best Beer Selection Dubh Linn Gate

Best Beer Selection

Dubh Linn Gate

You don't get much more Irish than the Dubh Linn Gate, and, for that matter, its bar manager, Gordon Auld, whose brogue is so thick you might imagine you are in the Emerald Isle. Auld is all about good beer, and he's got the taps to prove it. Twenty-three in fact, putting Whistler's Irish watering hole on top in this category for the third year in a row.

"It helps having all the taps," Auld says. "I feel bad sometimes that we win so many years in a row, but we're actually really excited. We try to switch things up as much as possible."

Lest you think Dubh Linn is only focused on bringing in brews from across the pond, however, Auld has not ignored the many quality beers being made in our backyard.

"We're trying to stay as cutting edge as an Irish pub can be. We've got to sell Guinness and Kilkenny, eh?" says Auld. "There's no getting away from that, but B.C. being the northwestern mecca for craft beer culture, we've been trying to tap into that as well."

Whistler Brewing Company continues to make the resort proud in the second spot, while Brickworks beat out the Brewhouse by one vote for third.

click to enlarge Best DJ Kori K - P: COASTPHOTO.COM / BRAD KASSELMAN

Best Local DJ

DJ Kori K

Kori K has been putting in work on the wheels of steel in Whistler going on 15 years, but this is the first time he's been recognized as the resort's best DJ. "It's really cool," he says of the honour. "It's amazing to be able to acknowledge that people recognize the time and energy that goes into this."

While his forte lies in house and funk, Kori says excelling in this business means having to play the chameleon. "Your job is to make people dance and make people have a good time and sometimes that means not necessarily playing the music you'd want to hear yourself," he says. "You really have to be versatile and have the ability to adapt without it affecting your ego in any way."

You can catch Kori spinning at the GLC as part of the Smirnoff Series, or every Friday at Maxx Fish.

Ace Mackay Smith, a.k.a. DJ Foxy Moron, claimed second, with Mat the Alien taking third.

Favourite Locals' hangout Tapley's - P: COASTPHOTO.COM / SCOTT BRAMMER
  • P: / Scott Brammer
  • Favourite Locals' hangout Tapley's

Favourite Locals' Hangout

Tapley's Neighbourhood Pub

Tapley's continues to live up to its tagline of being Whistler's locals' living room, repeating its win in this category.

"Every day is all about looking after the local crowd," says GM Courtney Date. "There are tons of pubs in town that are all about everyone, but we just want to be another local pub."

Celebrating its 35th anniversary in January, Tapley's has become ingrained in the local pub scene not through pomp or pretension, but by keeping things simple and laidback — the Whistler way.

"It's a very welcoming atmosphere," Date adds. "We're not trying to be cool or be the best, we're just trying to be friendly, welcoming and an all-around good place to go to with your friends."

Creekside watering hole Roland's beat out late-night hangout Brandy's by the slimmest of margins in 2015 for second place.

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