Inside Vancouver’s Summer Patio Party Series – Part II

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Part II: Patio to Win over Clients

Never underestimate the power of first impressions – especially when you’re wining and dining clients, your boss or a colleague who can help you skyrocket up the career ladder. Ambiance is everything, and a polished patio can make the difference between sealing the deal and getting shot down flat. Behold: our picks for stylish and savvy patios that’ll leave you feeling like you just conquered Wall Street.

Patio criteria:

  • Ambient music that’s not too distracting
  • Aesthetic and appetizing dishes
  • Rapid-fire service on demand – after all, you’ve got places to go and people to see

Black and Blue

The Roof at Black + Blue

The Patio. Stepping out of the elevator onto Black + Blue’s rooftop patio is like wandering into a Vegas pool party. Right away, I feel an uplift of energy, excitement and to-hell-with-it brazenness that instils the perfect amount of pep for a power meeting. I’m immediately drawn to the fierce bull’s head that guards the entrance, which was designed by a local metalworker. Massive bull and no bear in sight – the symbolism is quite literally in your face. Like a rock-solid stock market, this place is trending upward.

The hostess leads our party past sleek black tables, lounge seating set against tasteful fireplaces and two long couches facing a central glassed fire pit. The space is packed – not an empty seat in the house – and there doesn’t seem to be any fixed demographic: I see gaggles of Louis Vuitton-clad women, men in board shorts sipping beer and a decent number of corporate suits engaged in intense conversation. The music is loud and fun, and though we can easily hold a normal-decibel conversation I have no doubt that top-secret dealings (legit or otherwise) would go unnoticed.

Fueled by sunshine and a festive vibe, your business interaction will reap the biggest benefits during lunchtime – but evenings at The Roof are spectacular for cocktail receptions and other special events (the patio seats 100 people, but the number can go up to 300 for a full buyout). When the lights dim and you’re surrounded by blazing fire and glittering skyscrapers, you’ll feel like the Wolf of Wall Street.

Your Strategy. Take your target to lunch and choose a table right smack in the middle to show you’re not afraid to be in the centre of the action. A high-stakes deal deserves a high-grade steak, so recommend to your companion with confidence an eight-ounce cut of tenderloin or New York’s finest (and don’t chintz on the wine – a bottle of rich red pairs nicely). In a rush? The staff will have you in and out within 45 minutes, tops. On to the next deal.

Reflections

Reflections at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia

The Patio. Swanky and polished yet West Coast-relaxed, Reflections calls to mind a decidedly classy resort oasis. The spacious patio is outfitted with private cabanas, cushy chairs clustered around fire pits and laptop-friendly tables (bonus: free WiFi), all enhanced by muted and mellow music that creates just enough background buzz to instil a sense of privacy. The staff aim to please, so if you’re in a rush just give the word and they’ll fast-track service (side note: every single patio we’ve visited has had the most amazing service. Gold star, Vancouver!).

Your Strategy. Invite VIP clients to sit back and relax, start with a bottle from the expansive wine menu and show off your discerning taste – and ability to make executive decisions – by ordering the charcuterie plate (manchego, fig jam, serrano ham and grilled country bread) and 24-hour Braised AAA Angus Beef Shortrib Bocadillo with goat cheese and gougère. But save the real ego-stroking for dessert: Reflections’ “Mini” Chocolate Bar is a gold leaf-dusted gourmet delight. While he’s licking gold off his fingers, hit him with the bottom line – by this point, he’ll say yes to anything.

Cadero's

Cardero’s

The Patio. Jutting out into Coal Harbour, Cardero’s patio is full of personality with a mix of tables and high-top bars clustered around a double fireplace. The far end opens out to a killer view: mountains so crisp they look cut into the sky, gleaming white boats bobbing in the harbour, and the odd seaplane skimming the water and reminding you that you’re in Vancouver. It’s like another world out here: far from the frenzy of downtown, the space is peaceful and low-key. Mike Naples, Cardero’s manager, sums it up eloquently: “You’re in the heart of downtown, but away from downtown.”

Your Strategy. Order the sustainably farmed oysters or halibut – so fresh it practically swims onto your plate – pop a bottle of white and turn off your iPhone. Cardero’s patio takes you out of the city stress and back to nature so you can step back and evaluate your business transaction from a calmer and more rational place. Plus, once your boss is properly zenned out, not even your most outlandish ask will faze him – extra vacation days and a raise, anyone?

Special Addition!

Most Anticipated Patio

Chambar

Chambar

We heart Chambar, and the Crosstown resto that specializes in “civilized debauchery” will get even more love this July when it debuts a fresh expansion complete with lounge-style patio. Fashioned as an al frescoliving room, the 50-seat space will feature a massive fireplace and – importantly, given Chambar’s focus on late-night dining – it will be covered so patio-goers can lounge ‘til the wee hours year-round. Chambar’s bestselling cocktails will remain menu mainstays, but those seeking a thrill can play dealer’s choice with a constant rotation of seasonal updates along with brews perfectly paired to the restaurant’s all-day weekend brunch (!). Think of it as the patio that never sleeps.

Next week: Patios to Entertain the Cast of Portlandia…

Photos: Krista Edwardson

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