The Bunker - Robson St
The Bunker is kind of an odd place in my opinion. We stopped in just to check it out on our last night in town as it is right across the street from our hotel, making for an easy walk home. They advertise live music and it seems perhaps they might have a pianist or jazz musician every now and then.... just not the night we were there. So we discovered clean bar that was still kind of a dive, lousy service, cheap $3.50 pints of beer, and a quiet, kind of unwelcoming atmosphere. We didn't stay long, just had one beer then took off; I certainly wouldn't come back.
Fogg 'N' Suds
Fogg 'N' Suds is a small Canadian chain of nice, clean pubs/restaurants. It reminded me of a TGI Fridays, but with much more class and no gimmicks. Unlike TGI Fridays, Fogg 'N' Suds is actually a cool hang out later in the evening, with the location on Robson packed until well past midnight.
We stopped in just to grab a beer and check out the place, especially convenient since it was next door to our hotel and to the restaurant where we had dinner that night. We found a few stools at the bar and enjoyed a few of their hefeweizens on tap ($6 each including tax). Both TVs had different channels showing hockey news, even in the middle of the summer...another plus to Canada! The bar staff was OK, but obviously busy, and at least one of the patrons was drunk enough to drop his glass on the bar, shattering it, and sending pieces flying across the room.
They have some specials certain nights of the week such as margaritas on Monday and chicken wings on Wednesdays (at 49 cents each, this special doesn't sound like much of a bargain, though!)
The Royal: The Royal
The Royal is a club/pub located on the ground floor of the Hostelling International's Vancouver Central hostel. I've only been here once in March of 2004 with my friends, but I had a great time. We were just being ourselves, goofing off. There's great music and VERY cheap drinks (ie: $2.75 Heinekens on Tuesdays are a steal!) I think we were even there for Heineken Tuesdays.
Unfortunately there was a lack of a large crowd when I was there - it seemed rather empty for such a cool little club. Perhaps I was there on an off night. Tuesday night in early March in Vancouver? Yep. Off night. I'm sure it's better in the spring and summer.
I do, however, remember having a blast when I was there. I recall dancing to all kinds of bands, from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Radiohead to Guns N Roses. Britpop and indie rock? You've got it.
Inside the club are pool tables and arcade games, but if you're not playing there's plenty of space to relax and dance. The place has a great vibe for chilling out with friends, drinking beer and dancing... kind of reminiscent of my old Luvafair danceclub before it closed, in the way that it's so laid back and super casual.
Regardless, the fact that the Central Hostel is above this pub means that backpackers (especially Brits and Aussies) will likely swing by here, making it a great hangout if you too are a backpacker, looking for friends to join with on your travels.
Dress Code: Dress code? What dress code?Related to:
- Beer Tasting
FUSE @ the Vancouver Art Gallery: A monthly nightlife event for art lovers
On the last Friday of every month, the Vancouver Art Gallery hosts a fun event called "FUSE". Attracting hundreds of people from all around the city, especially those in the art and fashion industry, the gallery opens from 6pm until late at night. They have live DJs, live music, performance art, dancing, drinks, fashion shows, and more - it changes every time. I've only been twice now, but I think it's a really fantastic environment, and a great way to see the art gallery in a less stuffy atmosphere. FUSE basically turns a normally quiet gallery into a four-storey social lounge for art lovers. If you like art gallery exhibit opening parties where wine is served, music is played, and art lovers mingle, then you'd really enjoy FUSE - it has a similar ambiance, except at a much larger scale.
For those wanting to experience a different side of Vancouver's nightlife without the blasting music or meat market vibe, I'd highly recommend going to FUSE. The only downside is that it happens once a month.
Admission for FUSE is $15 per adult or $10 with a student ID. If you have a membership to the Vancouver Art Gallery, then admission is free. Although I have seen little toddlers with their parents, it tends to be more of an adult-oriented event.
Dress Code: No dress code, although the demographic by nature tends to be more fashionable.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
Fogg n' Suds: Looking for a beer?
Went here for a party for a colleague who was leaving the country. I walked past it three times before I noticed it was above a Starbucks. Ambience wise its really what you make of it but honestly its nothing special. They do have plenty of bottled beer but the variety on tap is limited. I'm not sure there was any new beers I'd never heard of so maybe a micro brewery makes a better alternative. Certainly would go back but it doesn't really stand out that much. Food wasn't bad and neither were the prices. It was all just a bit forgetable really.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
Yaggers: THe House Wine is Jagermeister!
This is a fairly new bar to the Vancouver scene but is already getting a reputation for itself. The bar is friendly and the shots of Jagermeister come at you! There are always drink specials and there are large screens for all sports fans in particular the Nucks!
The menu is as you would expect these days, fusion at it's best! The jagermeister glazed wings are to die for!
For private parties they have a room that can be hired complete with bar and bartender!
Dress Code: Smart but casual.Related to:
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
World Famous Cactus Club Cafe: Martinis & Couples
Perfect for that romantic night out. Most tables seat only two. The specialty of the house is a long list of unique martinis; such as 'the Brazilian', 'Mango Combo', & 'Apple Sour'.
Dress Code: None that I know of. Most people are dressed for a night out & many casual.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- School Holidays
The Lenox Pub
Truly nice place. Excellent beer selection & very attentive servres. Here you will find some of my favorites, such as Leffe & Stella Artois. The perfect location makes it a busy stablishment after working hours and the weekend.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
Library Square Public House: The Affair
"The Affair" is a popular "80's trash, new wave clash" event that occurs on Saturday nights in downtown Vancouver.
Initially located at the Salvation Army, and over a year at the ex-strip club, The Marble Arch, "The Affair" has its new home at the Library Square Public House - a sports bar by day and dance club by weekend night. Most people have never heard of this venue, but it's quite nice, tucked away in the north-east corner of the Vancouver Library's Central Branch. Personally, I think it's a lot nicer than the Marble Arch... but the atmopshere has somewhat changed, albeit, probably for the best. While The Affair was fantastic in late 2003 and early 2004, by late 2004 it had turned into a meat market for 19 year old girls making out on the dance floor, and creepy 40 year old men watching. It went full circle!
The best reason to go to The Affair is for the dancing. The whole basis of the night is for dancing - the dance floor is always packed.
The music at the Affair circa 2004 used to be a lot more geared towards indie rock and 80's (Broken Social Scene, the Smiths, etc) but now it seems to have a blend of cheezy R&B mixed in. If you're into old-school Beastie Boys (ie: Brass Monkey), Postal Service (Such Great Heights), or "Let's Dance era" David Bowie... this is the place. If you're into The Cure's "Close to Me" back to back with Beyonce Knowles... this is your place.
The Library Square as a dance venue is somewhat odd, as it feels like you're in a restaurant. There are pool tables and foosball tables.
Since The Affair has moved to the Public House, they now charge a $10 cover charge.
Dress Code: Traditionally, when "The Affair" was held at the Marble Arch, it attracted the hippest of scenesters, and the fashion reflected that. Now that it's being held at the Library Square Public House its about a quarter scenester and 3 quarters preppy frat club. Of course, this may fluctuate depending on the night.Related to:
Sanctuary Sunday @ Celebrities: Vancouver's longest-running goth night
Sunday night is "Sanctuary" - the only night in Vancouver for 100% EBM, electro-industrial, synthpop, goth and more. Note that Sanctuary is not the name of the club, but the name of the Sunday night event. Celebrities, though it hosts this one night for the gothy subculture, is not a goth club.
Vancouver has a very small underground goth/industrial scene, so you will usually see the same people at the same events. Vancouver's goth scene can be described as very close-knit, but it's inclusive, not exclusive. When you go, don't be intimidated to say hello to others. I've found practically everybody accepting at Sanctuary - they always enjoy meeting new people, especially visitors from out of town. New faces are always a welcome sight at Sanctuary... so come down and say hello! While I'm not your traditional goth girl, I enjoy the music, and I do go down there occasionally to dance and meet up with friends. It's a great atmosphere!
Samples of bands you'll hear:
Skinny Puppy, Covenant, Apoptygma Berzerk, Coil, And One, Wumpscutt, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Faint, Haujobb, Wolfsheim, VNV Nation, Project Pitchfork, Fischerspooner, etc.
Dress Code: No dress code, but most people do the traditional goth: black.
Fashion preferences at Sanctuary usually include medieval gothic, new wave, fetish, military and industrial.
Fishnets, black combat boots, boots with chunky heels, vinyl PVC pants, spiked collars, mesh tops, body piercings, bondage pants, and wedding dresses are just some of the things you'll see people wearing.
Feel free to experiment and be daring with your clothing here. It's the perfect atmosphere to sport something you might not normally wear. All in all, it's usually a fun night.Related to:
- Gay and Lesbian
Pubs a plenty but disco no-no
From what I could see there are a lot more pubs and bars in Vancouver than nightclubs. There is an area which seemed to be very lively on Granville St which housed many clubs and bars and eateries. I know there were more places out there than what I had seen I just couldn't tell you where they were!! We went to one place called Caprice; not too bad but not that great either. The music was questionable but when you're desperate to dance you'll kick up your heels to about anything; Billy Jean included. I was looking for a proper House Music club that didn't cater to the druggies and dirtbags but I had no success. If you're into the pub-thing than this town is for you!
Dress Code: I think "style-code" is most appropriate here. That seems to be the trend here in Canada; as long as you look like you made an effort and you're pants are not sitting on you're kneecaps before completely falling off, you're ok. Trainers (sorry, running shoes) may not be allowed; I didn't really take too much notice.
Many bars around Vancouver: Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dolls ...
Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dolls
A spectacular ensemble of musicians and burlesque performers ... Big John Bates will rock your soul and enchant your spirit. Will cause a need to dance. Rock-a-billy and psycho-billy. A claimed "Psycho-ala-Go Go". This dynamic group mixes rock n' roll live performance with burlesque. You have Big John as lead, the incredibly talented sCaroline on Bass, and drummer Gregory StageCoach giving a wild beat ... The Voodoo Dolls troupe - Little Miss Risk and Starlet Bourbon were hot and mesmerizing. If ever they come to your town ... you'd be a fool not to go out. 5 Stars out of 5.Related to:
The Caprice: The Caprice Nightclub
A pretty nice space that once had the intentions of replacing Luvafair (a club that cannot be replaced) - but several of the old Luvafair staff are there, great open dance floor, good ambience, and double-floored like Luvafair used to be. Good seating and decent drinks - though some of the drinks are higher end than I'm used to and a bit weak. The Luvafair nights and the 80's night, are occasionally worth a visit, haven't been on the other nights ... I always still go for the memory of the nights. Friendly staff and good times always had. Rating: 3 stars out of 5. (Luvafair nights are 3 1/2 stars)Related to:
Sin City at Club 23 West: Sin City, 2nd Saturday of...
Sin City, 2nd Saturday of every month, at Club 23 West
Sin City is a monthly club night dedicated to the truly kinky club demons of Vancouver. Cover is $9 without a pass, $6 with passes which can be found at many downtown locations. In addition to the dancefloor, drink specials and antics of DJs Pandemonium & Klaxxon bangin' out dark n' dirty retro, electronika, industrial & dance, we offer a seperate play dungeon complete with friendly monitors, lovely sturdy black & cushioned bondage equipment with plenty of couches & viewing space, and a private, outdoor patio looking over Gastown's blood alley. Sin City is a cross-over night with all sorts of people and scenes coming together to celebrate a truly sinful party - young, old, gay, straight, fetish veterans, newcomers, partiers, loungers, we all come together once a month to party in high style.
Dress Code: Very strict dress code which must be adhered to in order to gain access to the celebration of sin! Absolutely no t-shirts (unless fetish-related) will be admitted, jeans, suits, or streetwear of any kind. Some examples of acceptable dress are: rubber, pvc, vinyl, leather, full uniform, fantasy or period costume, armour, cross-dress, bondage, body paint, and lingerie.Related to:
- Gay and Lesbian
Boatcruise: Enjoy the Scenery!
Not exactly nightlife ...but hey., if you've been partying like a rock star all night this could definitly qualify.
Throughout the summer various promoters throw boat cruise jams on Sunday afternoon. (usually around 1pm-4pm. Its a great way to see the coast and boogie to some funky beats. The best parties usually follow a long weekend.
Dress Code: The Funkier the better.Related to:
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