It was BC's first neighbourhood pub, built in 1972 in the rural community of Cedar, near Nanaimo. The Crow & Gate is located on four hectares in a rather pastoral, almost British kind of setting.
It's décor is much like the now disappearing English-style taverns of my youth (when I backpacked across the United Kingdom as a lonely teenager): exposed beams, massive stonework, two wood burning fireplaces, friendly bar maids, cozy booths and the comfort food of home.
Orders and settling the tab takes place at the bar, which creates a wee trifle of congestion at times. Just as it did during my youthful sojourns to the UK.
On our afternoon at the Crow & Gate, the weather kept us indoors by the fire, but on finer spring and summer days and evenings patrons enjoy their beverages and meals outdoors in the beautiful gardens.
The food is better than your average pub, nicely presented and reasonably priced. My Reuben sandwich was excellent, and the other plates that went by all looked fine too. Much of the menu is locally-sourced and made in-house.
So it's a great place all round. The Crow & Gate is screen-free: no big screen televisions screaming a hockey game or any other sport. Likewise, there isn't the deafening sound of music that Vancouver establishments seem intent on providing. Here, you can actually have a conversation with your friends. Come to think of it, that's what neighbourhood pubs were supposed to be all about in the first place: good food, great friends, and "the crack was good too."
Photos by Jeem. Copyright 2016 by Jim Murray.