Distillery doomed

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DistilleryWe really don’t like to slam local businesses but sometimes you’ve got to call a spade a spade. I recently read this review and had to take exception. While the food and service were borderline, overall The Distillery Bar and Grill on West 4th is terrible. We really hoped this place would step up and provide locals with a viable option when Hell’s Kitchen is packed. Rob and I have given the Distillery its fair share of chances (4 visits over 3 months) and each time was worse than the last. NO atmosphere, NO people and NO fun. It’s that simple.

Last modified: December 20, 2005

4 Responses to " Distillery doomed "

  1. vanmega says:

    The Distillery drives me crazy.

    It appears that who ever opened the place just figured that if they build it, they (hells kitchen patrons?) would come.

    Clearly this is not the case.

    These guys refuse to differentiate themselves from any of the bars/resturants on 4th. I’m sure most of us in the area already have our favorite eatery/pub on the strip, so why would I stray? Like you guys, I’ve been to the distillery once or twice, but there’s never been a reason to return… it’s like they’re not even trying create reasons to return. The staff for the most part, seemed apathetic. Which is unfortunate, because that’s really what’s going to make the place (not the pretty decor, or slightly upscale menu).

    The other thing that blows my mind is the management’s unwillingness to promote or create buzz about the place. We actually went in there when it first opened, and asked if they’d be putting on any events or promotions as part of a grand opening. The bartender actually told us that they felt it would be of little value, and that they were just gonna let word of mouth do the work. You can’t really have word of mouth when there’s nothing to talk about.

    Myself and a few of my friends have looked at The Distillery (while happily sitting on the patio and spending money at Hell’s Kitchen) and wondered what those guys could actually do to make the Distillery stand out and actually make it worth going to. The only thing we could think of was to have live music on the weekends performed by local up and coming musicians (think contemporary acts, not cover bands). I don’t know of any other place near-by that offers the same thing.

    Either way, they need to do something asap, or they’ll be done. And if they do go with the live music thing… I want 15% of the profits for the idea. Ha.

  2. kontemporary says:

    the owner of the distillery, taken over from.. il ducato, is a total newbie in the restaurant business. might explain a bit. the person who opened it thought it might be “fun” to own a restaurant, with no actual experience in the industry.

  3. Rob says:

    It seems the initials of their slogan (“Drinking Inspired Eating” – whatever that means) may well be a self-fulling prophecy.

    That’s ok though. I’ll patiently wait for it to go bankrupt so I can buy it for dirt cheap and turn it into a Lulumon Baby Wear Starbucks Sushi Mart.

    Because Kitsilano needs more Lulumon Baby Wear Starbucks Sushi Marts.

  4. Geoff says:

    Distillery is garbage. We ended up there last nite because we could not get a seat anywhere else to see the Leafs vs. Canucks game. Obviously most bars would know that this is one of the most watched games of the year, and seeing as it was a PPV game that places would be packed.

    Nope, Not distillery……They had one person working (The bartender) he was running on hands and feet trying to serve people, however he had no idea what was on the menu, what was on tap, and I would be surprised if he even knew where he was.

    What a joke that place is! I think half way through the second period he recruited someone sitting down to help him and I think they had more knowledge about the place than him.

    In conclusion to my mindless ranting….Don’t even overflow to Distillery, Just go home.