Sneak Peek: Bells and Whistles

Fraser Street's newest bar and restaurant is ready to make some noise in the neighbourhood.

October 4, 2017

By Vincent Plana / Photo: Vincent Plana

That Fraserhood strip behind the old church bookstore is about to up the ante as the hotly anticipated Bells and Whistles is finally set to open its doors Thursday, October 5 (that’s tomorrow!).

The goals in mind were clear, say owners James Iranzad and Josh Pape. A project that’s been in the works since April of this year, they wanted the space to be welcoming, approachable, and fun—the kind of bar where you can bump into your neighbours at or just say, “Meet you there and we’ll figure it out.”

The duo from Gooseneck Hospitality—behind Wildebeest, Bufala and Lucky Taco, to name a few—have their sights set on the up-and-coming Fraser Street neighbourhood with Bells and Whistles.

The 3,000-square-foot space is capable of fitting 122 seats in the interior, with space for another 28 on an outdoor patio that’s still yet to be completed. Each section of the restaurant provides different seating styles, with the intention of creating a different experience every visit.

Touches of brown and green work to create an inviting atmosphere with ample attention to lighting.

The interior was a collaboration between Pape and Iranzad, along with interior designer Ricky Alvarez. Warm wood and hanging greenery fixtures create an elevated neighbourhood haunt that’s still light and airy. Two basketball machines and a ski-ball machine hang on one end of the restaurant: a call to friends and strangers alike to interact and holster the smartphones.

Ski-ball, anyone?

Also atypical from the ubiquitous sports bar, Bells and Whistles only features two television screens; however, one is large enough to capture the attention of an entire restaurant. The reason behind that, the owners say, is their focus on sight lines. Here, there’s no assault of fixed screens in every direction, simply two screens and a push for community and a shared experience.

Two grand-scale televisions help create a curated viewing experience for the entire bar and restaurant.

As for the drink menu, homegrown craft-beer heroes like Brassneck and Luppolo mix in with a variety of imports (Brussells, Copenhagen, Montreal). Also unique is a collaboration with Four Winds Brewery, the first joint effort the brewery has ever done with a restaurant. Signature cocktails and a handful of B.C. wines also find their way to the menu.

Bells and Whistles has a beer and cider list with anywhere from 18 to 20 options on tap.

Executive Chef Alessandro Vianello has prepared a menu with something for everyone—including Korean fried cauliflower (or “KFC”) and a handful of burgers and sandwiches. For dessert, they’ve taken it upon themselves to bring in a soft-serve ice cream machine from Foothills Creamery—an appropriately sweet touch for a sweet space.

Official Opening

When: Thursday, October 5
Where: 3296 Fraser St.
bellsandwhistlesyvr.ca

Get the Newsletter

Own your city with Vancouver’s thrice-weekly scoop on the latest restaurant news, must-shop hotspots and can’t miss events. Rest assured your email is safe with us.