The Boxcar is Vancouver's last remaining carriageway - a true heritage landmark.
Originally, it served as a stable for the adjacent bar (men only, please) and rooming hotel above. In more recent times it has served as home to a transient Eastside population and has been variously boarded up and simply... open.
With new operators for the Cobalt on one side featuring programming that mixes LGBTQ, cabaret, and art nights without losing too much of its dive bar feel, and a minimalist thin-crust hipster pizza taking over from the shawarma place on the other, the carriageway just begged for someone to reimagine it.
Not even 10 feet wide, the Boxcar is modestly dramatic in a shotgun blast to the chest kind of way.
The architectural operation was primarily one of subtraction: a diligent stripping away of materials with care not to get things too polished. Overhead doors at either end help maintain the sense of throughness integral to the appeal of being in a carriageway.
Plus, te drink and tap list is excellent; plenty good enough for us to host our 2015 Christmas party there.