As Rob mentioned in his post on the reopening, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding The Bimini Public House. Well, it’s Friday—a convenient day for a guilt-free pub visit. Hopefully you’ll be able to scope the impressive rebuild and sample the new menus at The Bimini despite the inevitable crush. Read on to get the intel on the pub’s past and exciting future. The Bimini has risen from the ashes, in my opinion, better than ever.
The pub’s history: 1974-2007
The locale has always been a preferred meeting place. In 1974, Bimini’s, which takes its name from the Bimini Islands in the Bahamas, opened with the province’s first Neighbourhood Pub license. It quickly became the local for the post Summer of Love-era hippies of Kitsilano. Bim’s was also where Greenpeace activists hatched their radical plots over pints, conveniently located across the street from their head office.
Fast-forward 25 years and Bimini’s had fallen into disrepair until a 24-year old Jeff Donnelly bought it in 1999. In his first solo project, he and his team brought the 90-year-old building back to life, making the pub incredibly successful once again. The Bimini’s of the early 2000s was one of Vancouver’s first ‘cross-use’ bars – alternating from traditional pub to DJ-driven party in the evenings, hosting a wide range of entertainment, from duelling pianos to live cover bands to dart leagues.
On October 4, 2007, the day before the bar was set to reopen after a $250,000 renovation, Bimini’s was decimated by fire, leaving virtually nothing to salvage. Despite four years or countless hurdles and delays, Jeff Donnelly never gave up on the project and reconstruction is finally complete.
About the new design and menu
Evoke International Designs worked with Jeff Donnelly to design The Bimini. The historic public house now features new materials like imported patterned tile, custom light fixtures and furniture, as well as 85-year-old wood reclaimed from a defunct Vancouver mill. Returning guests will recognize the lofty ceilings and mezzanines from the past. New additions include a games room and jukebox.
Rejoice craft beer fiends: there’s 24 on tap at The Bimini (Elysian, Red Racer, Farmhand, Unibroue, Deschutes and more) in addition to a thorough cocktail lineup. The new Bimini’s keeps up English pub traditions, offering seasonal, modern pub fare (mac’n’cheese, bangers & mash, Phillip’s beer battered fish & chips and more) using organic, locally sourced ingredients. In developing the menus, Executive Chef Michael Knowlson—formerly of Bacchus and Sequoia Grill—worked closely with consulting Chef Robert Belcham, co-owner of Vancouver’s successful Refuel, Campagnolo and Roma Restaurants and Vancouver Magazine’s 2009 Chef of the Year.
Last modified: December 9, 2011