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Nov. 26, 2022

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Hawaiian-themed club’s downtown Vancouver opening delayed by supply-chain woes

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Angela Deans is planning to open a Coral Club, a Tiki bar in the downtown Vancouver space previously occupied by Jerusalem Cafe.
Angela Deans is planning to open a Coral Club, a Tiki bar in the downtown Vancouver space previously occupied by Jerusalem Cafe. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Hawaiian shirts, rum-based drinks with names like Rum Runner and Deep Sea Diver and songs by Don Ho may all find their way to downtown Vancouver this fall.

Angela Deans, owner of Brickhouse Bar & Grill, plans on opening a Tiki lounge called The Coral Club at 106 E. Evergreen Blvd., in the space formerly occupied by Jerusalem Cafe in downtown Vancouver by mid-November.

Tiki lounges like the Alibi Tiki Lounge in Portland flourished in the 1940s, designed to evoke the South Pacific with palm trees, indoor waterfalls, dark wood carved furniture and oversized, heavily garnished rum based cocktails served in elaborate glassware.

“I’m originally from Hawaii,” said Deans, “This is something I’ve wanted to do for the last few years.” She knew the building’s owner, Dan Wyatt of Kiggins Properties, and decided to reach out to him when Jerusalem Cafe closed.

After operating a large space like Brickhouse for 13 years, Deans said she wanted a smaller, more intimate spot for her Tiki lounge in order to focus on serving high quality food and drinks.

“The thing about Tiki bars is that they’ve very divey. I’m trying to create something unique,” she said. The small space makes it easier to provide luxurious food and drink, but Tiki lounges typically occupy massive spaces. Deans said that the high ceiling, proper lighting and furniture, and a big open bar will allow her to make the space appear larger.

The Coral Club will offer a short food menu with Polynesian-inspired fare like kalua pork, lumpia, and ahi tuna. Longtime Brickhouse employee, Tara Delepine, is helping Deans develop the club’s rum-based menu with classic Tiki cocktails like the Mai Tai and The Painkiller.

The goal was to open by the end of October, but supply shortages and delays on many essential items are pushing that date further into the future. Deans can’t get a refrigerator for several months. There’s also staffing challenges. She’s been lucky to retain Brickhouse employees during the pandemic and may have to borrow some to get her new business off the ground.

Fortunately, she hasn’t had any trouble getting Tiki garnishes and glassware. “Presentation is huge,” she said, “Today it’s so social media based. I want everything to be Instagram-worthy.”

Deans believes that this is the perfect time to move forward on her Tiki bar dream particularly after the departure of an old Vancouver favorite. “Vancouver is blowing up, lots of things are coming into this city. I wanted to grab this part of the market. There’s nothing like it since Tommy O’s left downtown,” she said.

The Coral Club will be open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the week hours will be 3 p.m. to late evening. Customers must be 21 and over.

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