Internationally acclaimed Bartender Shaun Layton has been driving Vancouver’s cocktail scene with the city’s most celebrated restaurants. When we met him four months ago, he was laying down the finishing touches for his latest venture, Juniper. Since then, his signature, handcrafted cocktails and the restaurant’s Cascadian-inspired fare have become the toast of the town (the proof is in the line-ups).
Situated in vibrant and eclectic Chinatown, Juniper and similar nouveau restaurants like Bao Bei and the Keefer Bar have led a revival in the community’s bar scene. Shaun explains, “Chinatown is kind of what Gastown was like five or six years ago – it’s up and coming. Lots of new spaces are coming in so it’s an exciting time to be down here.”
As the neighbourhood evolves with these new culinary trailblazers on the block, so have Shaun’s Imogene + Willie Barton Slims in Rigid Indigo. Shaun put his raw denim to the test by wearing them three to four times a week in the winter – they endured his long days filled with meetings, dinner service and much-deserved beers with friends. “They do the job because they’re rugged but they’re stylish,” Shaun confirms and admits he’s only had to wash them once.
As a result, his Barton Slims boast the quickest fades we’ve documented through the Weathered Project. The cellphone imprint in Shaun’s front pocket is clearly defined, we’re seeing the natural whiskering developing in the upper half of the denim. Those coveted honeycombs are also emerging behind both of Shaun’s knees. Overall, we are blown away by the elegant transformation of his jeans.
As for the future of Juniper, the opportunities just keep rolling in. “We’re still figuring out who we are, so to speak – we’re still very new. But I see lots of progression already in the four months we’ve been open. We’ve already drawn in a wide range of clientele, which is great! Staff’s been awesome, so sky’s the limit, really,” Shaun shares. Find out how Shaun’s cocktail and denim experiments develop this Fall with Chapter Three of Quench.
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In September last year, we launched the Weathered Project with Mitch Kirilo, artist and owner of Gastown Tattoo Parlour – next month, we’ll take a look at how his Tellason Gustaves have progressed over the past 11 months. Stay tuned for the photos and interview with Mitch.
photography by Jacquie Shaw