A LOCAL SECRET
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...