Vending machines are usually reserved for mundane items, from chocolate bars to apple juice. But thanks to Moët & Chandon, the humble dispenser has been elevated to luxury status.
Debuted a few years ago and having since shown up at select locations (including an afterparty for the 2017 Golden Globes and an historic Creole restaurant in New Orleans), these rare machines bestow mini 200-millilitre bottles of delicious Moët & Chandon Champagne. And now Banter Room, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Yaletown, has one of its own.
Patrons buy special tokens at the bar and then feed them into the machine, using a touchscreen to choose their desired row. And just like that, a bottle is robotically released, retrieved, and presented to the customer. It even comes out perfectly chilled.
“It’s great for us because when the bar is really busy, we can just direct people to the vending machine,” jokes Ted Wilkie, Banter Room’s operating partner. Wilkie ran the Champagne sabering station at The Parlour restaurant nearby before launching Banter Room with Jasmine Mooney, so he is no stranger to late nights accompanied by bubbly. Since opening in April 2017, Banter Room has become an it-spot in Vancouver, catering to a young and affluent crowd while maintaining a friendly come-as-you-are attitude.
The large room still feels cozy thanks to warm woods, exposed bricks, and buttery leather couches and booths, and an expansive patio is an easy place to watch afternoon happy hours turn into warm summer nights. Banter Room seems at once intimate and communal, the kind of place where you make new friends. Especially when you come back to the table with a few mini bottles of Moët.
Read more about Champagne.