The Bimini

2010 west 4th ave
C+ $$$

The Bimini is one of those bars you hear about from your parents, that is, if you grew up in Vancouver. It was one of the old grungy hang outs in Kits, populated by greenpeace supporters and other dirty hippys. It became run down and was then the first pub bought by, the now famous, Jeff Donnelly. Unfortunatly, it burnt down shortly after, right after the renovations. It re-opened a month or so ago, after being rebuilt by the now all-powerful Donnelly group.
Unfortunatly, what this means is that the Donnelly’s have taken any individuality that was once in this icon and turned it into another generic Donnelly pub. Usually the Donnelly’s add some kind of differentiating feature to their pubs to minimize the twilight zone feeling when going to more than one in a night. At the Bimini, the Donnelly’s have framed photos of the bar burning down and hidden them behind large, overwhelming flatscreen TVs. Other than the photos, the Bimini shares the same traits as most other Donnelly pubs: dark wood panelling, chalk boards, Donnelly Group coasters and napkin wraps, and large flat screen TVs everywhere.
The food was rather pricey for pub fare. I had the sliders ($12) and my friends had the edemame ($6) and the mac and cheese ($12.50). All three were alright, not peticularly imagiantive or inspirational. They did have a few interesting menu items, like a waffle sandwich, but for the most part the menu items were old pub favorites with slight twists.
The cocktails, the same at every Donnely pub, were quite tasty and if you manage to get the cocktail of the week they’re actually affordable ($6.50). The cocktails were very well made; they were made with fresh ingredients, and generally without added sugar. The draught selection is what the bar really seems to be proud of. They claim, on their drink menu, that their selection changes so freaquently that they can’t print it on the permenant menu and so they have a paper slip with the seasonal draughts tucked in it. I didn’t have a chance to try any of them, but there were quite a few.
I can’t really say much about the atmosphere at the Bimini; It was around 9pm on a Tuesday when we went, and pretty dead once we got there. Overall, we had a nice couple of drinks and some food before heading downtown. I wouldn’t stay there all night unless it was the weekend, but it’s a nice stop off point. Also, it being a Donnelly pub, you know exactly what you’re getting into walking through the doors.