Vancouver’s newest waterfront restaurant has an innovative concept that its owner dubs "gelatinis" – high-end gelato cocktails that retail for about $14.
“There’s probably thousands of places that serve ice cream with alcohol but no one’s made it into a cocktail,” Bella Gelateria owner James Coleridge told Business in Vancouver August 28, amid a buzz of activity on what is opening day at his restaurant at 1089 Marinaside Crescent.
“The word gelatini doesn’t exist. I created the word as the marriage between gelato and a martini.”
Some restaurants in the U.S. have experimented with a similar concept but the practice remains rare.
Coleridge’s restaurant has a food primary license so people strolling along the False Creek seawall are not able to pop into his restaurant just for a gelatini, however.
B.C. liquor laws require that food primary restaurants also require guests to order a meal or a dessert to go with any cocktails, or, in this case, gelatinis.
This is Coleridge’s second Bella Gelateria-branded eatery. His four-year-old gelato shop at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel is so successful that at peak season he estimates that the 877-square-foot space serves up to 3,000 customers per day.
That helped finance Coleridge’s $1.5 million upgrade to his new 2,485-square-foot location on Marinaside, which was formerly a Café Bojangles.
A 10-year lease with a five-year option gives him confidence that he will be able to stay long enough that the money is well spent.
“From a business perspective, this is an incredible opportunity to be on the water,” he said. “If you go from False Creek around English Bay and into Coal Harbour and count, there’s only 11 restaurants that are right on the water. We are so honoured to be one of them now.”