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Five for Friday: Here's where to sip a cocktail in New West

Ring in the weekend with a glass of your favourite cocktail. Whether you like it neat or on the rocks, dirty or dry, New Westminster has the perfect spot for you to grab one.
Cocktail in New West
New West has a ton of spots where you can enjoy a happy hour or two.

It’s the end of the week, folks. What that means is tucking your work laptops away and getting ready to de-stress with a drink that's stirred or shaken. While the best way to do that might be to sip a mimosa by a breezy beach, a close second would be to enjoy the drink in the familiar streets of New West. 

Whether you see yourself diving into the weekend with a tall salt-rimmed Caesar, a good Old Fashioned or a minty Mojito, the city is teeming with watering holes that are sure to serve your choice of aperitif.

Here’s a list that we curated while you cranked through the many dry-as-a-bone meetings. 

Piva Modern Italian

It doesn’t take multiple rewatches of Eat Pray Love to know that Italian food is divine. So, while a hankering for risotto, prosciutto and mousse has you waltzing into Piva Modern Italian for a Happy Hour, don’t forget to start off your feast with a cocktail.

There is a tad bit of mystery as to what’s offered every week. As per the menu, you simply ask your server for the featured cocktail, and wait to be surprised.  

For those who like to dwell in a more predictable world, the restaurant also has a fixed menu for cocktails that's neatly segregated as ‘old school’ — that includes the usuals like Negroni, Aperol Spritz, Old Fashioned, and ‘new school’ — featuring Rosé Sangria made with grapefruit and mint tea syrup, and Conte Grigio, a gin-based drink that includes Earl Grey syrup, egg white and lemon, among others.

Located at 787 Columbia St.



Paddlewheeler Pub

The perfect way to exploit the extra-long summer days is to spend some of it lounging on a patio with a cold boozy drink in hand. One longstanding pub in the Quayside neighbourhood, the Paddlewheeler Pub, just gets it — here you can sit back and nurse a Captain's Creamsicle (a Vodka-based drink with orange cream soda) or Bee’s Knees (gin-based cocktail with honey syrup) while enjoying the views of Fraser River, and noshing on chicken strips.

The pub’s menu flaunts classic cocktails but with a twist — you can order Martini that has shots of mocha; or an Old Fashioned with pomegranate syrup in it.

And if you are new to New West, say cheers to your new home with a Royal Rootbeer or New West Mule at this historic spot that is buzzing with trivia, bingo and live music events throughout the week.

Located at #126, 810 Quayside Dr.


El Santo

While Taco Tuesdays makes for a fun alliteration, 'Taco everyday' makes more sense for some of us. Especially when you get to wash down every bite with a cocktail that is tepache-based (tepache is a Mexican drink made with pineapple peel), or Pularindo-infused (Pulparindo is a Mexican candy made with tamarind). 

El Santo’s cocktail menu is so extensive that it looks like a lip-smacking novella. Besides Caesars, Sangrias and Classic Margaritas, there is a whole list that’s aptly named ‘Creative’ (available when the clock strikes 4 p.m.). This list especially targets those who are curious about cocktails. What does charred corn husk-infused mezcal taste like? El Santo has the answer. 

Located at 680 Columbia St.


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Moodswing Bar

For everyone who has a dog-eared copy of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs at home, Moodswing Bar is the perfect lounge bar to sit back and talk about the alignment of stars while nursing a zodiac-inspired cocktail.

For Gemini season, the bar came up with ‘Mirror Mirror’, made with Hojicha (Japanese green tea) infused gin; and for Cancer, the bar launched ‘Sad Bitch Soda’, a Cachaça and rum-based cocktail. 

Here, you might find yourself judging a drink by its name: it’s hard not to when they are called Daddy Issues, Pssy Portal, and Skinny Dipper. But what’s probably wackier than the names themselves are the ingredients that go into making them — like the drink Goblin Moon, which includes oat milk, matcha, gin, a liqueur made with peppermint, and a sweet syrup made from almonds and orange flower! 

Located at 655 Front St.


Terminal Pub

‘The Terminal Caesar’ might not be the most cheerful sounding name for a cocktail, but it matters little when you have a game and a plate of hummus and pita to go with it. Terminal Pub, which reopened after a two-year hiatus recently, now has a revamped menu featuring Italian and Greek dishes. 

However, the historic pub that sees a ton of regulars, kept its ritual of game nights intact — which means you can catch a game of hockey while taking generous swigs of their Caesars, Martinis or Mai Tais. For those who are not into sports, the restaurant’s weekend lamb roast special is worth raising a glass to as well.

Locate at 115 12th St.