Last night we dropped by Cactus Club Coal Harbour to check it out on what more than passed for a spectacular Summer’s afternoon. Here’s what we found, inside looking out from that “giant dormer” mentioned further on … Essentially, at the the push of a button, the entire wall of windows slides aside to bring the outside in. They’ve dubbed it the “Sea to Sky Terrace,” and no wonder. Sitting here you can take in the entire panorama that stretches from the Coal Harbour waterfront (yes, that is Jimmy Pattison’s luxury yacht Nova Spirit moored almost at your feet) right around to the North Shore Mountains, the Lions and more! Well, a picture really is worth a thousand words … (Updated: May 7th, 2013)
The other day I found myself outside the new Cactus Club Coal Harbour—across from Vancouver’s Convention Centre West. The newest cactus landmark will open today, March 20th, at 5 pm. To celebrate the opening and Cactus Club’s 25th Anniversary, the Olympic Cauldron will be lit from 6pm – 10pm tonight.
Circumstances prevented me from being able to tour the inside of the newest Cactus Club as of yet but this seemed like a good time to get a closer look at the exterior, which I’d noticed during Vintner’s Brunch. (Heck, how can you not notice it?!)
I’ll confess to being a bit of a photo-modding geek. Seeing as it was raining proverbial cats and dogs, the light wasn’t exactly cooperative, so these external shots were on the receiving end of an indecent amount of tweaking. What intrigues me is that they now look more like artist’s renditions! Though they’re not …
I’m no longer surprised by what Cactus Club manages to achieve (including what they can put on the plate) but this latest edition exceeded my expectations. It seems to fit so well in the general scale of things—and makes a pretty good statement that after 25 years, Cactus Club is very much part of Vancouver’s dining landscape.
What struck me the most?
1. I like the way the building invites you into Jack Poole Plaza—which is fast becoming one of Downtown Vancouver’s most popular gathering places.
2. The Cactus Club green roof—which is accessible by both stairs and a glass sided elevator—complements the convention centre roof perfectly—and offers a great view of the cauldron sculpture.
3. Once on top, it’s impossible not to want to wander down towards the water. When you arrive at the point, a look back rewards with a remarkable intersection of lines and forms.
4. A giant “dormer” makes up most of the West Side of the restaurant, a wall of glass with full height sliding panels that produce an expansive, airy opening two thirds across, with sweeping views of Coal Harbour, the park and Lions Gate Bridge—plus, when they get here, even sunsets…
5. It’s hard to find sunny daytime patios downtown. Not so here, because the Cactus Club façade is set so far back it should get plenty of sun. Expect summertime line-ups for this prime patio real estate.