BEHIND BARS: Relaxed and refreshed at The Palms

Sneak peek at Victoria’s freshest new bar

There’s a new kid in town…Nestled in the heart of Victoria’s active business community, the family-owned Rialto Hotel, has been a local gathering place for the after-work crowd since its major renovation some 10 years ago. The spot has since become known for its location, location, location, with a bright and engaging daytime feel and evenings that offer up a warm glow.

So, that’s nothing new.

But what is new—in fact, so new it isn’t open to the public just yet—is that The Palms bar and restaurant, will take over the space in the hotel where the former Veneto Bar was located. Come August 1, you can join bartender Meaghan Cheney at The Palms in person.

Monday Magazine invited itself for a sneak peek at Victoria’s freshest, new bar.

Meaghan drew our party’s attention with her outgoing personality and real visual flair, making it a fun experience, which we can imagine will create a loyal following.

Of course, with COVID-19 protocols in place, the restaurant and bar will offer an array of inspired kitchen experiences from new executive chef Kyle Dempsey. The menu boasts of decadent dinners to casual plates and a late happy hour offering.

For the Monday Magazine “taste test,” Meaghan created a “Summer Rhubarb Sparkler.” A special house-made rhubarb syrup, paired with champagne, star anise, a hint of honey and fresh lemon did the trick: a sweet little pick-me-up for a summer’s day, it has just the right hint of tartness from the rhubarb.

Meaghan tells us that The Palms will stock specialties from local distillers, breweries and wineries. See you there, and for now, let her tell you more.

1. Your claim to fame/best up-the-sleeve trick or technique?

Well, I don’t have an up-the-sleeve trick per se. I do like to introduce my regulars to other regulars/guests who may also be sitting at the bar. Victoria can be a hard place to meet new people at times, so being able to introduce people in a fun and energetic environment certainly promotes a great vibe of the bar and a good feeling. It’s so great to see people who return after meeting someone the last time they were in, remember their name and feel comfortable saying hello when seeing them again at the bar.

2. Whats hot right now?

Well that’s a loaded question. There seems to be a shortage on aluminium at the moment, so I’m going to say pop is making a come back, lol. Anything that’s local and good is definitely hot right now…we are all here to support our local distilleries, breweries, wineries and farmers.

3. What trait makes you a great bartender?

Attention to detail and making my guests feel comfortable and welcomed while sitting at the bar. Going the extra mile for my guests by surprising them with things that they love. I was lucky enough to listen to some of Victoria’s best jazz musicians over the last few years at Hermanns Jazz Club, and one extremely talented and well-known pianist in particular loved her chocolate treats and fresh slices of cucumber or pineapple in her Prosecco. So I always made sure I had some kind of chocolate treats and fresh cucumber for her, and I’d bring in pineapple when I knew she was preforming on stage.

4. Signature drink?

Rhubarb sparkling cocktail with rhubarb gin, fresh lemon juice and house-made rhubarb and star anise syrup.

5. What are you drinking these days?

I’m always on the hunt for a delicious Caesar or anything with gin these days.

6. Best memory from behind the bar?

I have many. but one in particular certainly stands out. I got a call while on shift behind the bar from one of my regulars saying she just got engaged to a fellow regular of mine, to whom I had introduced her. She was ecstatic! They had been dating for a couple of years and he popped the question. He also contacted me at a later time to say how amazing she is and he was so thankful for a simple introduction because he was way too shy to talk to her on his own. I thought that was really sweet and I was so happy for them.

The Palms bar and restaurant is located at 1540 Douglas St.

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