Acme mixes a mean martini

Thomas Robertshaw, left, and Calvin Wallin mix up a winning martini at Acme Food Co. - The News Bulletin
Thomas Robertshaw, left, and Calvin Wallin mix up a winning martini at Acme Food Co.
— image credit: The News Bulletin

It all started with the Black Widow.

That blackberry-flavoured martini was a hit from the day Acme Food Co. opened in downtown Nanaimo and it’s still one of the restaurant's most popular concoctions.

Acme Food Co., now owned by Thomas and Jodie Robertshaw and Calvin and Sarah Wallin, boasts the best martinis in Nanaimo, as decided by readers in the News Bulletin’s annual Best of the City survey.

“Everybody’s favourite is, of course, the Black Widow,” Thomas Robertshaw said.

Almost two dozen martini varieties are offered at Acme on any given night, particularly Mondays, when the drinks are on special with a selection of appetizers.

They also came up with a variety that’s not as sweet as others, using Crown Royal, Red Bull and a splash of raspberry Sourpuss which they dubbed Pimp Juice. It comes out bright pink.

“That’s the man-tini,” Calvin Wallin said.

Acme’s bar also boasts a slate of craft breweries, including Vancouver Island and Granville Island beers, as well as the locals’ favourite Lucky brew.

Situated on the corner of Commercial Street and Terminal Avenue, the restaurant is a hub for people to gather to listen to the music on the weekend, fill up on all-you-can-eat sushi on Tuesdays or sample vintages on Wino Wednesday.

The regular lunch crowd comes from nearby downtown businesses.

“They’re so regular, you can just order for them,” Wallin said.

Since buying the restaurant in 2009, the owners saw a number of young entrepreneurs like themselves set up in Nanaimo’s downtown with a commitment to a lively and vibrant area.

“We’re really happy with what’s up and coming,” Robertshaw said.

Calvin and Thomas are graduates of John Barsby Secondary School who moved back to Nanaimo after working in other communities, where they met their wives, who are sisters.

Renovations at the restaurant are ongoing as is additions to the menu. To keep up to date, visit the Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @acmefoodco.

Or simply stop in for eats at 14 Commercial St. Please call 250-753-0042 for reservations.

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