It's Okay Bar: Neighbourhood joint with 1970s NYC vibes opens today

Jan 13 2023, 7:16 pm

Stepping inside It’s Okay Bar the night before it opens, you’d think the place would feel untouched and pristine.

Instead, the new 2481 East Hastings Street bar already feels like it’s been part of the neighbourhood for a while.

The room is packed and lively, the long bar and comfortable booths full of folks sipping on It’s Okay’s cocktails and cans of cheap beer – it already feels lived in, and that’s a good thing.

Coming to us from Colin Canning, Michael Sanderson, and Alex Dulong – Vancouver heavyweights when it comes to the hospitality game – It’s Okay aims to feel like a bar in New York in the 1970s.

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Designed by Studio Roslyn, the space features plenty of wood panelling, upholstered bench seating, retro lamps, and – the main focal point of the room – a green and pink fabric canopy over the bar.

With a few small tables at the front (with carpet underfoot, we might add), four booths, and ample bar seating, the place really does feel out of time and place.

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Even the food menu is suited to the concept, with Italian hoagies (nothing fussy, just some cold cuts and pickled peppers), arancini, pretzels, and a Caesar salad anchoring everything back to NYC with a decidedly Italian-American vibe.

Artichoke Sandwich served with It’s Okay Chips | Daily Hive

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Piña Colada | Daily Hive

As for its beverage offerings, It’s Okay serves up a selection of cocktails that feel both retro and fresh – think piña coladas, but over ice and served with coconut flakes, a classic Penicillin, and an Old Fashioned, but with smokey mezcal instead.

It’s Okay also serves beer and wine of course, with some local craft and biodynamic offerings listed alongside other approachable bevvies – there’s even a bar special It’s Okay Lager for a cool $6.75.

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No neighbourhood bar feels right without some affordable canned beer options though, which is why we’re pleased to see cans and bottles of Old Style, Miller Lite, and Coors Original on the menu too.

The bar’s daily specials range from a sandwich and a beer for under $20 (on Mondays) to half-price wine bottles on Sundays.

It’s Okay – which is in the former space of Bad Apple, and What’s Up Hotdog? before that – fills a hole in Vancouver’s bar scene that has been missing, one that feels cool without feeling pretentious. We can easily see ourselves hanging out here on Fridays, shooting the sh*t with friends and pretending that it’s all okay.

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It’s Okay Bar officially opens to the public today, January 13, at 3 pm for happy hour.

It’s Okay Bar

Address: 2481 East Hastings Street, Vancouver


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