Written By Guest Writer First Look / Places Dec 5, 2012 First Look: The Old Firehouse Wine Bar SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestLeft: from left to right, Sommelier Sonja Todd, Owner Jeff Downie, Dessert cook Michelle McHugh, and Kitchen Head/Music coordinator Shawn Allen. Right: dessert flight (Tiramisu, Mayan chocolate cheesecake, and a tea infused cheesecake) Photo: Meredyth ColeDUNCANJeff Downie, owner of Duncan’s Old Firehouse Wine Bar, describes himself as a man who “understands the psychology of real service” and guests at the Old Firehouse are likely to agree. Located on City Square in Duncan’s downtown core, the charming wine bar is housed in the city’s old fire hall. Downie is a long-time professional in the hospitality industry, having opened thriving local bookshop and Duncan institution Gallowglass book in this location in 1998. It wasn’t until the Old Firehouse opened its doors this year that Downie made a long-awaited return to hospitality, inspired by a Christmastime vision in which he saw his bookshop transformed into a wine bar. In its newest incarnation the building has returned to its social hub roots; as the city’s longest-serving fire hall, the space was home to parties and late night poker games throughout the fifties and sixties and the atmosphere of community pride and good times is still palpable. The wine list pays due reverence to the wineries that pepper Vancouver Island, as well as offering an international selection of wines from Europe, South America, New Zealand and California. Sommelier Sonja Todd is on hand to guide selections and even offers a lecture series for those interested in developing their palettes. In addition to wines and a chic cocktail list, tapas, fondues, flatbreads and decadent deserts fill up the menu (and soak up the drinks on offer). The warm marinated figs with prosciutto and goat cheese in a balsamic reduction is a standout and paired wonderfully with a bottle of Duncan’s Zanatta Damasco. Shawn Allen, the man responsible for the fresh and artful creations in the kitchen, is also behind another of the Wine Bar’s first-rate offerings: live music. Every Friday and Saturday, the wine bar plays host to a changing lineup of musicians, ensuring the talent is as varied and local as the menu.Pianist Cheryl Baudin performing some jazz piano on a Friday night of live music. Photo: Meredyth Cole The wine bar also offers an urbane mixture of special event lectures, films, and poetry readings. Downie’s hope is to take Duncan’s cultural identity and “wrap it up in a slightly different package” through the wine bar. By creating a sophisticated and intimate space that looks unlike anything else in the small city’s bar scene, Downie’s vision is now an enticing reality. 40 Ingram street, Duncan B.C, Phone: (250) 597-3473 Website: http://www.theoldfirehouse.ca/ — by: Meredyth ColeChefsDuncanRestaurant SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Guest Writer We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. This is the Guest ... Read More You may also like Beer / Beer & Cider / Drink / First Look / Places / Press Release / Wineries & Breweries July 25, 2019 There’s a New Buoy in Town Whistle Buoy Brewing Company, a locally owned craft brewery and taproom, is now open in Historic Market Square, Victoria. Whistle Buoy Brewing ... Read More First Look / Regions / Restaurants March 1, 2019 The Buzz, Cowichan and Up-Island Eating together and enjoying the good life with good people is the epitome of ‘Hygge’, the Danish word pronounced ‘Huega’. ... Read More First Look / Restaurants / Victoria January 3, 2018 Pierogi Power at Sült Pierogi Bar “Sült” has etymological roots across Europe. In Gaelic, it refers to pork fat or a dish made of it. In Hungarian, it translates to “fried” ... Read More First Look December 8, 2017 Stoked Wood Fired Pizzeria Stoked Wood Fired Pizzeria, 2908 Tieulie Place, Shirley, BC, 778-528-3473, stokedwoodfiredpizzeria.com For surfers, still chilled to the ... Read More First Look / Food People October 31, 2017 Adapt to Survive – The team behind Foo finds opportunity at Victoria’s hospitality crossroads. It’s not breaking news: Victoria’s restaurant scene is in the midst of varying states of crisis, depending on which Industry Insider you speak ... Read More First Look / Victoria October 16, 2017 Kuma Noodle Japan When many people think of Japanese food, they think of sushi. However, to the Japanese, the raw fish delicacy is often considered a rare treat, ... Read More Comments are closed.