Shark Club: Shark Club
The Shark Club, one of the city's top singles bars, is located in the Sandman Hotel, across the street from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre complex. A sports bar and nightclub, it includes a plethora of sports memorabilia, 30 big-screen TVs, and a long oak bar offering 22 different kinds of beer. Each night at exactly eight o'clock a DJ cranks up the music and the crowd heads for the dance floor. It's a great place to make new friends. The Italian dinner menu is better than you'd expect. Source: www.vancouverquick.com
I remember during my visit, it was during the Stanley Cup Finals and the Calgary Flames beat Tampa Bay 4-1 in that particular game, eventaually loosing the series, but it is a great atmosphere. Excellent sports bar and hostesses. Plenty of small and big screens.
The sea food lingini is also very good.
Morrissey's Irish House: great irish pub
This place is packin' on the weekends, and I can see why. Great food, great atmosphere, great music, all your fave Irish brews, great looking people.
Even better, smoke-free, like all the other venues in Vancouver. I love that about this city. Sucks to be a smoker here, now doesn't it.
Dress Code: casual
900 West Lounge: 900 West Lounge
Growing up in Vancouver, the Hotel Vancouver was a castle. It was this magical fantasty-like palace in the midst of downtown. It still stands out from all the rest. No other structure in the city has its enchanting gothic architecture with green copper roofs and greystone relief. There's no other hotel in Vancouver quite as large and solid as the Hotel Vancouver. It looks more like a hotel from New York or Paris.
I always love the interior of the Hotel Vancouver around Christmas. The chandeliers, the red plush carpets, the golden furniture, the Christmas trees and crimson velvet Santa makes it even more magical. Thus, the Hotel Vancouver seemed like the ideal place to escape a Sunday afternoon in late November. We decided to have a drink at the hotel's 900 West Lounge.
The 900 West Lounge is open from 11:30 am until midnight. Among cocktails, wine, beer and spirits, the drink menu had an entire page of martini choices.
We ordered the Frozen Greyhound martini made of fresh grapefruit slush and vodka. Later on we tried the Dragon's Breath martini, made of blood orange concentrate.
The menu also featured a page of tapas in which you could order 2 plates for $26. We decided on the lobster spring rolls and the antipasto platter.
When the food arrived, it was presented like pieces of art on white square plates stacked on a double level silver tray.
The lobster springrolls were fantastic. It was one large springroll cut into two pieces which we shared. It was extremely fresh and crispy - tasted like homemade authentic Thai food you'd expect from a great chef.
The antipasto platter was also delicious - olive & red pepper tapenade, olives, foccacia, bocconcini and feta cheese, roasted peppers, salami, and proscutto-wrapped asparagus.
This was a great way to wind down and relax in a warm, cozy environment. We were there in the early evening, but after 8pm they have live jazz. I'd definitely recommend 900 West Lounge if you want to treat yourself on a bit of "old money" luxury while downtown.
Dress Code: Smart casual, much like anywhere in Vancouver.Related to:
- Wine Tasting
- Luxury Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
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:
Bar None: Bar None
Beautiful people, colourful drinks, snazzy bathrooms... what more could you ask for?
Seriously though, I recently read in the Georgia Straight that you go to Bar None for grade A eye candy, which I find quite amusing, as I've recently been joining my boyfriend and his coworkers at Bar None for after-work drinking and socializing.
Bar None seems to attract the 25-and-over crowd of all different backgrounds, gearing towards the beautiful, chic and trendy in Vancouver's urban la la land, Yaletown. It's dominated by professionals - people working in film, the media, fashion, etc. It's unlike the nightclubs a few blocks away on Granville Street which often feel like you're visiting a first year university beer garden.
The main layout of Bar None is long and rectangular, with its focal point at the bar along the longest wall. A dance floor exists for those who dance, yet its boundary is blurred by the nearby barstools and tables. Enclaves with low cushions and couches are there for relaxing, and this is normally where you'll find my crew having a laugh, drinking our gin and tonics at the eve of a weekend.
Also, a live DJ is normally the main feature of a night at Bar None. This can often influence the price of the cover charge. Yet, Bar None doesn't present an atmosphere for spectators to watch DJ's, but an environment where those who wish to listen have ample opportunity to do so in comfort throughout the club.
I myself wouldn't go to Bar None alone, but with a group of friends it's fun. Regardless, many people likely go there to hook up. Sure, it can be meat-markety, but at least it's a step up from the others.
Dress Code: Vancouver never has a dress code, but dress nice at Bar None. Put on a nice pair of pants, a sexy dress or your favourite designer button up shirt.
Nevermind: Cheap Tuesdays
I'm not being a smartass the place is called "Nevermind". Tuesday night is there night. Beer is 2 bucks and appies are 2 for 9 bucks. Pretty sweet deals that are the best in Kitsilano. The beer itself isnt that fantastic but ater you've had a pitcher you won;t care or notice how the beer tastes. There is often a DJ spinning mixed in with alternative rock. They occasionally clear a tiny dance floor for some B-Boys or for drunken dancing. They have cool artwork on the walls and the tables are candlelit giving it a pretty cool underground feeling inside. They also have a moderate-sized patio that is always packed in the summer.
Dress Code: Pretty casual. I've worn shorts an sandals. Alot of skater type clothes are worn but don't feel pressured to join in.
Mesa Luna: Did someone say Salsa?
If Salsa dancing is your thing then Mesa Luna is the place for you. They have a great live band on Friday and Saturday nights mixed in with popular music (people don't dance to the pop but trust me, a break is nice). The dance floor is kind of small so if you're a novice (like me) be sure not to spin your partner (or yourself) into someone else. Drinks are expensive on Thu/Fri/Sat but the other nights they have drink specials (margaritas etc. for about $4.25). Cover is also 10 dollars, which is pretty standard for Dance clubs. They have a dining room upstairs as well. I have never eaten there but it is supposedly pretty good.
Dress Code: I wouldn't wear jeans or sneakers, i never actually saw a dress code sign or anything stating this but I think it was kind of understood. Plus it's fun to dress up and go dancing. I wore a dress shirt and black khakis and that seemed to be the general consensus for alot of the older guys but alot of younger people wore t-shirts.
Kits Pub: The KP...because you have to
Despite closing down twice for renovations...Kits Pub is still one of the trashier bars in Vancouver. Maybe because it's one of the few "clubs" in Kits and it attracts all the trash who can't afford downtown. Orignally known as a cougar bar it has transformed into an underage bar...it seems *** and a smile can get you into anywhere for fee in vancity. I started going there after big swim meets in Vancouver, because the meet ends on sunday and...well...it's the only place open on sunday plus they had $5 triples!!! Well the triples went the way of the cougars but this place still packs 'em in on Mondays...their big night ($3.25 pints of Canadian, $2.75 watered down shooters)...get there before 9:30 or expect a huge line (or expect to pay off the bouncers at the back door).
Dress Code: Coat and Tie required...ya right! I wore shorts and sandals their last time.
Fifth Avenue Cinemas: My Favourite Vancouver Movie Theatre
The 5th Avenue is a small, classy movie theatre always showing great movies, many of which are not the mainstream Hollywood types.
It's the kind of place to go if you really like films, like I do.
They've teamed up with the nearby Italian restaurant, Chianti's, to offer a discount on the meal if you go to the theatre the same day.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Theater Travel
Sonar is a popular nightclub located in Gastown, in the north-east corner of downtown Vancouver on Water Street.
Before the late 90's, it used to be a popular live-music venue called "The Town Pump". Ask any music fan who was in Vancouver during the 1990's and earlier, and they'll tell you fond memories about shows they saw in the Town Pump. Often people called it the best place to see a live band.
However, in the mid-90's, live music venues were no longer money-makers in the entertainment industry as DJ'ing and "electronica" was the next big thing. So the Town Pump shut down and "Sonar" opened up in its place.
Sonar originally focused on live DJ music and anything electronic. Slowly but surely, live acts were re-introduced to the venue, and it's definitely one of my favourite places to see a live band or a live touring DJ, whoever is in town.
In December of 2000 I was lucky enough to see Skinng Puppy's cEvin Key and Phil Western's collaboration, Download at Sonar. In June of 2003 I saw local Vancouver band Brundlefly and Montreal's The Dears at Sonar. In July 2004, I saw DJ James Lavelle (aka: Unkle) perform a set. Other famous DJ's, whether its Thievery Corportation, or Junkie XL, are just some of the names to visit Sonar. It's one of the better clubs in the city for those with a real interest in the music they're listening to.
The venue is small - one main stage at the end built up from the dancefloor... a DJ booth in between, and a bar at the back, and a little upper balcony for panoramic viewing. Sonar is small, but it has a lot going for it because it's intimate, and there's really no barrier dividing the crowd from the musicians - only a step or two. Most of the musicians mingle with the audience before and after the performance.
Dress Code: Depends on the event. Generally anything goes - no real dress code.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
The Bayside Lounge: A stylish bar with a great view
The Bayside Lounge is my favourite bar/lounge in Vancouver. They make good drinks and the food is okay. There's a spectacular view of English Bay and Burrard Inlet.
Gentlemen, if you want to make a great impression on a first date then bring her here after dinner.
Dress Code: Fancier is more suitable for the ambience here.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Kino Café: Flamenco in Canada?
A very unique place that a lot of tourists have not heard about. At Kino Cafe you can watch live dance performances and enjoy live music while you drink some sangria.
Monday - Gypsy swing by Lache Cercel
Tuesday - Ian Ross Jazz Quintet
Wednesday - Café con Leche (salsa/flamenco)
Thursday - Flamenco Alcala or Los Canasteros
Friday - Flamenco Alcala
Saturday - Flamenco Moraima
Sunday - Los Canasteros
The Atlantic Trap & Gill: Where East Coast meets the West Coast
The Atlantic Trap & Gill is one, if not the only, Maritime-themed pub in the city. And by Maritime, we're talking the four eastern-most provinces of Canada. Although I haven't been to the Maritime provinces yet, those in the know say this pub feels like it was yanked out of Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, and flung into downtown Vancouver. In a city over-saturated with trendy nightlife venues, these kinds of unpretentious pubs are real gems.
Most of the seating is picnic table style, and to call the interior "cozy" is an understatement. The walls are painted green, which apparently is common in pubs along Canada's Atlantic. You will certainly get to know your neighbours at this pub if you aren't already seated with a group of your closest friends. On most nights there will be live Celtic-inspired music. I have walked by here many times to hear fiddle music entertaining the masses.
Although this is a pub, the Atlantic Trap & Gill's also known for its seafood. They have bargain lobster dinners, for example. They also have mussels, clams, and all you can eat fish n' chips. While the food isn't high end gourmet, it's probably authentic in all its deep-fried glory. I mean, where else are you going to find clamstrips & fries without going all the way to Halifax?
For homesick Maritimers or those merely interested in this aspect of Canadian culture, I can highly recommend it for a fun few drunken hours.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
The Gallery: Artistic Drinking
The Gallery is the second major bar at the University of British Columbia. Unlike the Pit, which caters mostly to younger students, the Gallery is more suited to senior and mature students.
Beer is roughly the same price as the Pit downstairs, with most pitchers of beer costing between $10 and $13.
Monday night is open mic night at the gallery, so if you have a musical instrument, and want to get up in front of people and play, here's the place to do it.
Dress Code: Anything goes..
The Capitol Six: Downtown Movies
The Capitol Six houses the largest movie theatre in all of BC, holding nearly 1000 people. It's a great theatre to see movies in.
When The Two Towers openend this year, Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf) came to the Capital Six and opened the first show!
Dress Code: Anything goes.
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