By Peter Vogler – Whistler, BC


We often think of patios as a summertime thing. You know, laughing and drinking with your friends, shouting stories at each other after a hot day on the beach, allowing a nice, cold brew to marginally decrease our biological temperature. But not all patios are summer-exclusive, my friends.

A perfect illustration of this is LIFT, situated in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour. Built upon a three-thousand- foot concrete pad in the harbour itself, LIFT is a sweet lily pad of fun and fellowship, enjoyed year-round by locals and tourists alike.

For those wandering around Stanley Park, LIFT rises up before you like a fairy tale, mesmerizing and irresistible. When you walk along the seawall and catch a glimpse of it, it immediately drains you of your will- power. You are overcome with an intense urge to go inside – and then ironically, to pass right on through, back outside to the patio!

LIFT prides itself on a menu that is based on West Coast fusion, consistently placing them on a majority of top-ten lists among Vancouver-area eateries. And while it is a decidedly restaurant atmosphere, the setting does get lively on warm summer nights. Many a merry soul has—perhaps under the influence of a spirit or two—taken occasion to voluntarily remove their clothing and recklessly jump into the gentle, salty waters of Vancouver’s harbour; a decision better suited to theory than to practice.

But that is summertime frolics. Winter is the preferred time of gathering, at least from a local’s point of view. The area around Stanley Park is transformed by storms that whip tall, crashing waves into the seawall, unleashing an energetic combination of water and wind under a hard, grey sky.

Warm and cozy, the patio allows you to look out at the weather from a comfortably roofed and heated vantage point. The winter menu is specially created to warm and soothe those seeking refuge from the rain and cold, and nothing says comfort like a perfect gourmet meal. An evening at LIFT is truly a memorable affair, and whether you are celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a relaxing night out on the town, you can never go wrong with this local hot-spot.