Clough Club

Last night, I attended the opening of Donnelly Group’s Clough Club, a brand new eatery in Gastown. The establishment is named after John Clough, 19th century Gastown’s booze-addled lamplighter and jailer. Clough Club adds to the already colourful collection of Abbott Street’s burgeoning dining and watering holes.

Clough Club table seating

The Clough Club melds classic style with tasteful modernity and features dark spirits. Craft cocktails are the highlight here, with three pages of classic cocktails, modern classics, and house cocktails to choose from. Bourbon, whiskey, and scotch also play a role at the Clough. There’s also a well-rounded beer, wine, tequila and rum selection.

Lighting a Wax Poetic
[Lighting a Wax Poetic: Bourbon, pink grapefruit, agave nectar, lemon juice, Peychaud’s bitters, egg white, flamed grapefruit peel]

Clough Club bartender Sam Lacroix
[Clough Club bartender Sam Lacroix]

Clough Club Apiary
[Clough Club Apiary: Bourbon, honey syrup, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white, Fee Brother’s walnut bitters]

Clough Club Cocktail
[Clough Club Cocktail: Bourbon, amaro, agave syrup, Peychaud’s bitters, lemon juice, egg white]

As for food, there’s one page devoted to South American tapas, including tasty plantains served with a citrus-garlic dipping sauce, prawn ceviche, Albacore tuna crude, rare beef salad and assorted empanadas. All ingredients are locally sourced and organic.

Prawn Ceviche: grilled jalapeño, grapefruit, and Nigella seed
[Prawn Ceviche: grilled jalapeño, grapefruit, Nigella seed]

I particularly enjoyed the queso fresco quinoa fritters, with a delicate flavour that marries well with house made salsa. The Clough brought in Refuel’s Robert Belcham as consultant for the tapas menu. Fresh oysters are available at market price and are served in a tray on ice with sliced lemon and various condiments. On the night that I was there, they were $2.50 per piece, with Fanny Bay and Miyagi as the two options.

Clough Club atmospheric lighting

Clough Club interior

Designer Craig Stanghetta (Bao Bei, Meat and Bread) used as much of the 110 year old building’s bones as possible, commissioning installations and creating decor that offset the old fashioned feel of the original space.

Clough Club above washroom door

Clough Club washbasin

Although the interior of the Clough Club is dimly lit in the evening, I enjoyed some of its unique decor from another era. I found curios in the hallway, above the washroom door, and all around. The light pours in off the street, setting off beautiful shadows along the walls.

Clough Club interior

Clough Club decor

I could barely recognize the interior when I viewed a few of the daytime photos from Clough’s website gallery. The evening atmosphere created sets it apart from those photos by a mile. Located at 212 Abbott Street, this is number 14 in the Donnelly Group lineup.


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