Though open for nearly 5 years now, Forth Bar has always had a bit of an underground feel (quite literally, as it occupies the basement under Forth Café), and in Spring 2020, Oddlot Co, the savvy young group behind The Roost and Oxbow, quietly took over operations.
“Forth Bar was my favourite place to get a nightcap close to home—and my favourite bar in the city next to my own,” says co-owner and mixologist Elsa Reesor-Taylor, the creative behind The Roost’s sparkle-infused cocktail menu. She remembers being completely enchanted by the cobblestone streets and vibrant arts community in the Exchange District and hopes to share that charmed feeling with guests visiting Forth Bar.
Respecting what has already been built, there aren’t plans to drastically change anything. “My only goal is to increase its reach, make it slightly more approachable, “shares Reesor-Taylor. The bar is a candle-lit grotto, with concrete floors covered in Persian rugs, exposed brick walls, local art and whimsical décor that gives personality and warmth to the space. A recent expansion towards the back of the building nearly doubles capacity whilst keeping the cozy cavernous feel it’s known for.
But the best part about Forth Bar is its rooftop—the only public rooftop patio in the Exchange District, in fact. Exposing gorgeous sunset views of the neighbourhood’s historic skyline, it’s worth the climb. If you’re not able to snag a spot on the aerie patio, the bar also shares ground level sidewalk space with the café, which is just as lovely for enjoying the lingering warmth of Winnipeg summers.
Alongside its high calibre cocktail menu, guests can enjoy an elevated snack menu to satisfy midnight munchies (oysters, dumplings, pintxos, etc), and pizza by the slice from its neighbour The Mitchell Block. Head down to the bar Friday nights for Flavour Fridays with DJs Anthony OKS and Zuni, and stay tuned for a string of fun recurring pop-up events currently in the works.
Forth Bar is open 4 pm to 12 am Tuesday to Thursday and 4 pm to 2 am Friday to Saturday at 171 McDermot Ave.