Greater Vancouver Bar Scene
[ Downtown’sYaletown | Kitsilano and Area | Others ]
When the weekend hits, its time to relax (or not) with friends, or at a nice place to meet some new ones. Whether you’re part of the suit & tie crowd or have tattoos & body piercings, we’ve got some suggestions for you. Vancouver ’s club scene is strong, one of the most vibrant in Western Canada, and tends to diverge in two opposite directions: with live bands or with recorded music. You can find a club that caters to your musical (and social) preferences, but some of the good ones are a bit of a drive. But there are some parts of town where a critical mass of clubs and bars mean you can park once, and then walk around.
Downtown is pretty big, and besides, there are just too many clubs to lump into one grouping. Gastown and the area around it is the oldest part of Vancouver. Its the part of downtown closest to the shore of Burrard Inlet. Sample to home-brewed beers at the Steamworks Brewing Co., a sprawling brew-pub with various levels to get lost in (you can also enjoy watching the setting sun over the water). Starting from Main, you'll find 7 Alexander, Loft 6, and The Purple Onion Cabaret (on Water St), which is a longtime favorite with live music in the lounge. Neaby, you'll find Sonar, is a club that plays progressive house and tribal, followed by Shine and The Drink.
Gastown alone starting from Main there's 7 alexander, loft 6, Purple onion, sonar, shine and the drink. On Granville street there's roxy, plaza, skky bar, tonic and caprice... Downtown’s Granville St
Right in the middle of downtown, beside the world famous Vancouver Art Gallery, is the exciting end of Granville Street. The Cambie Hotel offers cheap draft, and has turned from a "dive" to a college hangout. Next stop is the Roxy, an easygoing bar where movers and shakers in their later twenties hang out (and its always lined up). Heding up the street, you'll fid the Plaza Club, Skky Bar, Tonic and the Caprice. The Yale is a great place if you’re looking for blues music.
Put on your dancing shoes if you want to venture into this neighbourhood — clubs in this area thump relentlessly with the latest dance, disco, rock and alternative sounds. Richard’s on Richard’s (Richards St) is one of the oldest and better-known venues has a great decor with live bands or top-40 music and is usually filled with upscale party people. The Shark Club Sports Grill is next to GM Place is a popular meeting spot for the sports minded, with some good single action. Relax for a bit at the Yaletown Brewing Company (on Mainland), a brew pub popular with the area’s fashion industry. Celebrities is Canada’s largest gay bar (on Davie St), which opens its dance floors for Friday’s Straight Night (they host a drag show on Wednesdays). Bar None (on Hamilton) is a funky place with a separate cigar lounge catering to the twenty-somethings. Head around the corner to Luv-a-Fair (on Seymour) which rocks dancers with a sound system loud enough to break glass, a killer light show and a cool atmosphere.
Kitsilano and Area
Kitsilano’s club scene is enjoyably spread out, allowing scenesters a chance to take a stroll in the night air before stumbling into another haunt. On the beach is Malone’s (on Cornwall St), a good post-volleyball sort of atmosphere and clientele. Lou's Grill & Bistro (on W Broadway) also fits the style: good, cheap beer and snacks and a great place to see-and-be seen after the beach. The Big Bam Boo (on W Broadway) blasts off most days of the week with upbeat dance sounds and a refreshing crowd for those sick of fighting the adolescent set. Nearby, the Cellar Jazz Café offers weekend jazz bands to help you unwind. The Kino Café (on Cambie) attracts an interesting crowd next to the Park cinema with its jazz and flamenco shows.
Other notable areas
The Lower Mainland area is huge! There’s no way you could check out all the nightlife from White Rock to Langley to Horseshoe Bay in a weekend. Still, every community has great clubs, pubs or bars worth checking out (you gotta LIVE where you live, right?). If you’re in one of those neighbourhoods, and you know a couple of spots, let us know…we’ll update this listing information as we go along.