This place is A-MAZING. The Passenger is the coolest bar, and it has amazing drinks, but I'm all about the Columbia Room in the back. Derek Brown is a genius, I don't know how else to put it. Also, the bar food - top knotch.
An unassuming in-the-know bar.
I have to give the Passenger props: During the blizzards of 2009/10, Chinatown was a ghost town but the Passenger was actually open. Nothing else was. Not to sound like my grandfather, but I walked 10 blocks in 2 feet of snow, while freezing, looking for any source of booze and fun and the Passenger provided it.
I love the bartenders here. If you don't know what to order, just tell them what you like and they'll come up with something fantastic. The bar features a really solid beer selection, and the cocktails and martinis on the bar menu are all really good.
The Passenger also serves really good hot dogs. It doesn't sound like much, but trust me, their hot dogs are awesome.
The only downside about this place though is you might not know it even exists. Its business is based primarily off word-of-mouth and they don't have much of a website. Also, the bartenders are good, but a bit slow. Be patient with the service.
Could've been our Cheers....
I visited The Passenger the day it opened and had a pleasant experience - we had a very nice waitress name Charlie taking our orders and bringing our drinks to where we stood across from the bar. I loved that they offer cider so I tried their pear cider and it was delicious. Not too expensive too - $6 for cider can be a steal outside of the UK.
Although this is not my experience, I'm also commenting on the service my boyfriend received on one occasion at The Passenger. He had been waiting behind 2 people at the bar for almost 25 minutes and when his turn came, was snubbed by the bartender for a girl who cut in front of him. After pointing out he had been waiting the bartender brushed it off and continued to serve the girl.
The Passenger is a good local spot but be aware the service may be bad, especially on a busy night.
Ahh, finally, a neighborhood bar in Shaw. Derek and Tom Brown have given Shaw (almost) all of what it needed: an unpretentious neighborhood bar, driven by finely made drinks and great music. I've never had a bad time here, even when one group of overly sequined revellers made the crowd a little to sparkly for my tastes. It's always a treat to order a drink I've never heard of and watch the Browns do what they do best. I only wish they would add a soy dog to their amazing-sounding array of hot dogs. Until then, I'll just be drinking my calories.
Citysearch Editorial Review. Together with his brother Tom, Derek Brown (the man behind the Gibson's cocktail program) has worked to maintain the same arts focus and laid-back vibe at this bar in the space previously occupied by the Warehouse Theater. Named after the song by Iggy Pop ("One of the greatest punk songs of all time" says Brown), the Passenger is where art and movement collide. The walls display abstract, motion-themed shots from local photographers and the rear "dining car" is inspired by the days of glamorous cross-country train rides and their grand, luxurious cars. Whether grabbing a light appetizer to go with your beer or snuggling with your date in one of the corner nooks, The Passenger is a bar experience all its own.
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