Vancouver’s Bambudda to Host Game of Thrones Pop-up

Photo Credit: HBO

Photo Credit: HBO

Westeros comes to Gastown on Tuesday, March 10 from 7 pm at Bambudda when acclaimed San Francisco bartender Matt Grippo brings a Game of Thrones themed cocktail menu pop-up  to the city. “Winter is Coming” at Bambudda will have a special cocktail menu created by Matt and the team from legendary San Francisco bar, the Blackbird. To pair with this, Bambudda’s chef Curtis Luk has designed an All Men Must Dine à la carte bar snack menu. Reservations for “Winter Is Coming” are strongly suggested and can be made either by crow or by telephone at 604-428-0301.  We spoke with Matt to find out more.

So, what inspired this Game of Thrones drinks menu?

I’m a huge fan, and a couple of the other guys at the bar are fans too. We’ve done one-off Game of Thrones drinks before in a menu of 12, then I had an idea to do a 100% Game of Thrones-inspired menu. It was a no-brainer to make it for winter and we launched this menu on December 1st at Blackbird in San Francisco. We thought it would be popular, but it’s really taken off, people seem to get a real kick out of it. 

Have you taken the concept to any other bars?

No, this is the first pop-up that we’ve done, I’ve got a few friends north of the border in Canada and Tarquin (Bambudda’s bar manager) and I have been talking about doing something for a while. First I was coming up to just hang out and maybe get behind the bar, then we thought, ‘let’s do this thing!’ It’s gone from a couple of guys just wanting to hang out, to what’s turned into way more than we planned. It’ll be my first time in Canada and it’s going to be great.

You might have to do more than one night, it’s going to be really popular.

When I did the menu preview at the Blackbird it was the same way, I knew it’d be a party but I had no idea just how big! It crippled the bar, people were waiting in line outside, it was crazy. It’s hard to plan pop-ups, unless you ticket it. That’s the beast with social media, you have no idea how many people you’ve reached.

San Francisco Bartender & GoT fan, Matt Grippo

San Francisco Bartender & GoT fan, Matt Grippo

What inspires you most about the show?

Oh it’s just the perfect balance: there’s just enough fighting, I like the historic stuff, it’s not super-fantasy it seems correct to detail about medieval stuff and of course, the sex, politics… it’s got such great writing. I’m not a huge TV show fan but I was hooked with Game of Thrones immediately. As a bar person I think a lot of places make drinks with names that are just for them, I wanted to do this for the people who come in. No one’s intimidated by this and people still get super-excited when they see the drinks list even though it’s three months old.

Flaming Awesome: the Mother of Dragons

Flaming Awesome: the Mother of Dragons

What’s the must-try drink?

There are so many good ones, the staff at Blackbird all participated in creating the list, but the Mother Dragon seems to be the winner, it’s a really nice scotch-based drink with medieval elements of red wine, honey, chartreuse. You put it in the glass then we blow a fireball of rum through an atomiser! The bar might be two, three people deep and we’ll be shooting fireballs across it, people really get a kick out of it and we’ll be doing that at Bambudda.

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