Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom, one of the best in town despite it tender young age of four, now has a sister location on NE Alberta Street and we had the distinct pleasure of getting an early look at it last night.
Similar in size and overall feel to the original space, Imperial North (at least that's what you'll check into on Untappd), manages to feel like a sibling instead of a twin. Occupying a center space instead of a corner one, wood plays a prominent role from a double set of beams in the high ceilings to the bar stools, chairs, booths and tables (some of which were made from barrel tops acquired from Ruse Brewing) to the floor. Slate black walls on the bar side of the space, under which rests a gorgeous copper bar top, sit in contrast to the opposite walls that feature large mirrors and a work-in-progress mural (Sasquatch has already found his way there). The large storefront window looks back toward the brick wall that was opened up and behind which the shelves and coolers filled with bottles are found.
With nearly 30 taps, including two nitro taps and a cask engine, that's double the beer and cider availability of the SE Division location so be prepared for an even tougher decision on what to order. We were so enamored with the opening tap list we have to admit that we didn't get around to perusing the bottle selection (but we trust it's as good).
For those who've made a habit of combining a visit to Imperial on Division with a stop at Bollywood Theater or Salt & Straw, you're in luck! Both have locations just across the street, in addition to a Bunk Sandwiches, and a multitude of other options are available within a short meander. As with the Division location, you're welcome to bring food in and will find the restrooms through the back of the shop in a shared space.
The harshest criticism we have to offer is that it can get a bit loud but if it hasn't bothered you at the original location, it won't bother you here. Huge congrats to Alex and Shawn for all the hard work that has gone into getting the space open in such a short time. It is a beautiful space that will surely be filled with many happy beer lovers, especially those who now have an Imperial closer to them.
2006 NE Alberta St
Open daily at 12pm