Following the success of its sister venue and bar Laowai, Vancouver’s newest speakeasy Bagheera makes waves in the city and beyond. Designed by Bergman Design House, Bagheera officially opened Jan. 10. The speakeasy lounge and bar, located in Chinatown, serves experimental cocktails, light bites and sharing plates.
The interior transports guests back in time to a blend of 19th– and 20th-century Indian and French opulence. Guests first enter Happy Valley Turf Club betting shop and must speak the magic password to gain entrance. Placing a wager on King Louie opens the doors to a vestibule featuring original postcards from late 1800s and early 1900s India. The space then carries guests into the main cocktail lounge, seating up to 60 patrons.
Shades of gold, deep red, teal and royal purple adorn the space, the palette inspired by train cars of the time period, as well as the antique coins and bangles Bergman Design House sourced from the bazaars of Delhi and Jaipur. The 42-foot bar boasts a hand-carved, reclaimed teak frontage, as well as an illuminated bar top and backsplash of polished tiger blue onyx. The walls include a 45-foot, hand-painted jungle mural, which leads to a semi-private drawing room.
The drawing room sees bohemian curios in bronze and brass, softly lit in a Cabinet of Curiosities, which also houses some of the bar’s harder-to-find whiskeys.
Operating partner Alex Black oversees the drink program at Bagheera, offering a selection of concoctions named after Rudyard Kipling’s works. Ingredients used to make these drinks include Man’s Red Flower (a saffron-infused gin), All One Vine (smoked paprika) and The Anvil (cinnamon tincture). A separate tonic section at the bar provides classic, savory, tropical and bon vivant options.
For food, subcontinental cuisine by Phong Vo includes a pakora menu with a variety of meat, seafood, vegetarian and vegan fillings. Sharing plates like carrot Daal, Saag Aloo Pave, Goan tamarind fish curry and coconut lamb Koftas wow guests with bursts of flavor.
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