Sean Heather is a busy man – as the owner of both the Shebeen Whiskey House and Irish Heather in Gastown, he spends most days ensuring that business is running smoothly. While he was born in Canada, he identifies mostly with Ireland after jumping across the pond as a child. The real challenge was moving back to Canada and struggling to find a decent pint of Guinness in the city, which is what motivated him to start the Irish Heather in 1997. Seventeen years later the establishment is still going strong, and customers will be happy to know that the Guinness is just as good now as it was when the pub first opened.
With the Irish Heather located at the front of the building on Carrall Street and the Shebeen at the back, customers can easily enjoy a pint and a steak and ale pot pie first, followed by a whiskey or several to cap off the evening. Darrell is the general manager of the Irish Heather, who recently arrived here from Ireland, complete with accent and all. Randy is the bartender at the Shebeen, who comes with more knowledge about whiskey than almost anyone in the city. Ask him to recommend a certain type of whiskey from a specific region, and he’ll be able to suggest several, along with cocktails featuring the spirits. For those looking to test a number of different whiskeys at once, he will put together a flight (four samples) according to region or even taste.
For food, the Irish Heather does not disappoint. Kyle and I ordered the steak and ale pot pie, along with the bangers and mash (typical pub grub), and were thoroughly impressed. This combined with a Guinness and the constant lull of Irish accents about the place made it feel as if we were transported back to Ireland for a night at a quarter of the cost. The menu also offers an assortment of vegetarian options too, ensuring that there is something to eat for everyone.
Both the Shebeen and Irish Heather offer up different value, which is what makes it so handy that one is located a stone’s throw away from the other. Whiskey, guinness, and delicious pot pie are just a few of the perks of the place, with a great atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights. While you could be nursing a slight hangover the next day, the food and drink satisfaction will be worth it.His Take Watch Shebeen Video