Glo Restaurant + Lounge bar manager Cam Simpson whips together a cocktail. Don Descoteau/Monday Magazine

BEHIND BARS: Time to get your Glo on

Glo Restaurant + Lounge bar manager Cam Simpson and his crew help make the atmosphere inviting

Many of us have favourite restaurants where we like to enjoy a nice meal. But the hospitality industry is blurring the lines when it comes to separating lounges from restaurants.

Sure, rules still keep underage patrons out of the bar area in food primary establishments. But as we’re finding with Behind Bars, restaurants frequently are great places to sit and have a cocktail and an appy.

Glo, situated in a beautiful spot overlooking the Gorge Waterway on the Selkirk lands (yes, I oddly find Schnitzer Steel’s scrap yard artistic in its own way), is one of those places.

On this Tuesday afternoon, I joined Monday publisher Ruby Della Siega and columnist Tess van Straaten at the bar, where we were greeted warmly by bar manager Cam Simpson, who has plyed his trade here for several years after working at Med Grill previously.

He suggests their signature Glo Bellini as an opener and both Ruby and Tess partake. A refreshing combination of prosecco, white rum, peach schnapps; served over ice and topped with housemade peach sorbet and a splash of sangria, this beverage is great anytime but goes down well on those steamy summer days on the Glo patio.

A fan of lighter, gin-based cocktails, I go for the Gin Thyme Sour, which blends Tanqueray gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg whites, bitters and fresh thyme. Cam, who recently added it to the cocktail menu here, mixes it perfectly, not too sour and very flavourful.

While it goes down easy and tastes like another, alas, I am the driver today and must switch to water and nibble on the tasty truffle parmesan frites, crispy lemon pepper calimari and beef carpaccio in front of us.

But let’s hear more from Cam:

Claim to fame/best up-the-sleeve trick?

I wouldn’t say anything in particular. I think being a well-rounded bartender and being imaginative with drinks has such an impact on an ever changing industry. My best up-the-sleeve tricks are always being developed through working at Glo, constantly learning and developing new styles and approaches to cocktails.

What’s hot right now?

I think creating an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome. When the room, the food, the people and drinks come together perfectly, the great atmosphere comes naturally. And with such a well-rounded restaurant, I feel like Glo has accomplished that.

What traits make a great bartender?

Quality, skill, and service – a good bartender should have all of these. Proper training and surrounding yourself with knowledgeable people always helps, because there is always something else you can learn from others.

What is your signature drink?

I love sours, it’s a classic drink with many possible variations. I recently put a gin & thyme sour on our cocktail menu, just the aroma of the freshly zested lemon, hint of thyme and gin is enough to make your mouth water.

What are you drinking these days?

I actually just finished my sommelier course, so wine has been my drink of choice for the past few months.

Your best memory from behind the bar?

I have so many good memories from working at Glo. We have so many regulars, such great staff and guests, it’s hard to choose just one because good memories are constantly being made here.

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Glo Restaurant + Lounge

2940 Jutland Rd. 250-385-5643

glovictoria.com

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