Those of you who know me well, know that I have a soft spot in my heart (and gullet!) for Clives Classic Lounge here in Victoria, BC. Shawn Soole, the executive barkeep started with a vision of a world-class cocktail establishment when he came on board at the Chateau Victoria, and has worked tirelessly to set a standard of service and quality that quite frankly give many other places a pretty good run for their money — not just in Victoria, but across North America.
Several years ago here in Victoria, the notion of a cocktail culture was unthinkable — to the point where a well-crafted cocktail was best found in one’s home bar. That has changed radically over the past 3 years with the efforts of people like Shawn Soole at Clive’s and Solomon Siegel at Veneto Lounge.
Its great to see such vision and hard work being recognized — Earlier the summer, Tales of Cocktail announced their nominations for their annual Spirited Awards, and Clives Classic Lounge was one of the nominees for World’s Best Hotel Bars — not only the only Canadian entry for the category, but the only Canadian entry for any of the Tales awards this year! Tales of the Cocktail, taking place this week in New Orleans, began in 2006, and has been steadily growing to become one of the most significant annual cocktail events in the world.
Of course those of us who have been enjoying Shawn’s (and his bartending crew’s) creations have known all along that Clives is home to something world-class, but its great to see that hard work being recognized by his peers. We’ll all be waiting with bated breath on July 23rd to hear the results! Ramos Gin Fizz in hand!).