Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine - - Patio Fare - By PETER VOGLER – WHISTLER, BC

There are some places you just don’t want to write about: the se­cret pow­der run up in the Whistler alpine, that awe­some crab shack down the street, the whisky bar con­cealed be­hind the bead cur­tain of your favourite wa­ter­ing hole. That’s my prob­lem with the Alpine Cafe, it is such an eclec­tic spot with a fun pa­tio that lo­cals shy away from shar­ing it with just any­one; well any­body at all re­ally.

Since it’s lo­cated 5km out­side of Whistler vil­lage if you’re a tourist it’s un­likely you’ll ever come across the Alpine Cafe. Yet, if you do some­how find this quaint little café/restau­rant/pa­tio/live mu­sic venue you won’t be­lieve that you’ve never heard of it.

The ca­sual in­ter­na­tional menu is cre­ated and cooked by two world class chefs - Mar­tini Bart and Kevin Wood - whose pre­vi­ous culi­nary cred­its in­clude the award win­ning Araxi’s restau­rant. The Alpine Cafe it­self is a tiny wood planked room strewn with knick­knacks and lo­cal art pieces in­clud­ing paint­ings and jew­elry. Per­haps the most en­chant­ing fea­ture, though, is its fine pa­tio, which is small but triples the floor space of the restau­rant it­self.

A defin­ing fea­ture of the pa­tio is the old Whistler gon­dola that hangs in one cor­ner over bloom­ing flow­ers and the sturdy moun­tain green­ery that thrives here. It’s a vin­tage piece from the moun­tain, circa 1986, and it’s been mod­i­fied with a ta­ble and booth seats so that you can dine in it. A hit with kids and adults alike it adds an­other funky el­e­ment to an al­ready funky, out of the way lo­cale.

A fire­place has been added re­cently so the party on the pa­tio can go on later into the even­ing. The moun­tain sum­mer can get cool at night and the fire­place cre­ates a per­fect fo­cal point to en­joy the as­sort­ment of lo­cal char­ac­ters that call in at the Alpine Cafe ev­ery day for neigh­bour­hood news, the lat­est gos­sip, and to catch some orig­i­nal lo­cal mu­sic by the likes of Don (Blue Phoenix), Kosta­man, Monty Big­gins, Pete Catas­tro­phe, and a hand­ful of oth­ers.

On sum­mer evenings, hav­ing rid­den your bike back from one of the many lo­cal lakes in Whistler, it doesn’t get much finer than stop­ping in at The Alpine, or­der­ing a beer from their ex­ten­sive menu then squeez­ing in be­tween strangers and friends to tap to the mu­sic and talk. An as­sort­ment of lo­cals and reg­u­lars will in­vari­ably be there with per­son­al­i­ties as large as the moun­tains sur­round­ing them.

Mis­ter Cof­fee can be found sit­ting in a cor­ner as al­ways, chil­dren clap and dance un­til the au­di­ence join them with sheer ex­u­ber­ance, and if you’re lucky Mar­cel will make an ap­pear­ance in his Ital­ian mask and suit play­ing some crazy ass old ac­cor­dion. Lo­cal dogs will pant and dance along with ev­ery­one. You’ll love the Alpine Cafe’s pa­tio – just don’t tell any­one else about it...

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