Vancouver is home to some of Western Canada’s hottest clubs and live music venues. For listings, pick up a copy of the free Georgia Straight city weekly, visit www.clubvibes.com or just head straight to these recommended nightlife neighbourhoods.
In B.C.’s long-established nightlife capital, expect crowds of revellers, lots of twinkling neon and plenty of mainstream clubs and bars. Check out Ceili's Irish Pub & Restaurant (www.ceilis.com); Ginger Sixty Two (www.ginger62.com); the Roxy (www.roxyvan.com); and Republic (www.donnellygroup.ca). The Granville Strip is also home to two of the city’s beloved live music venues, the indie-inspired Commodore Ballroom (www.thecommodoreballroom.com) and the blues-loving Yale (www.theyale.ca).
Luring a heady mix of hipsters and bar-hoppers to its historic brick-paved streets, the nightlife hotspots in Gastown include Post Modern Dance Bar (www.dhmbars.ca) for a pumping nightclub vibe; the Lamplighter (www.donnellygroup.ca) for live music and late-night dance floor shenanigans; and the Blarney Stone (www.blarneystone.ca) for a live Irish band party vibe. This is also one of the city’s leading pub districts, with boozy favourites like Irish Heather (www.irishheather.com) and Steamworks (www.steamworks.com).
Colonizing the historic loft buildings and refurbished rail warehouses of Vancouver’s “little soho” area, Yaletown is a sophisticated nightlife option, with club hotspots like Bar None (www.dhmbars.ca); the swanky bar of the Opus Hotel (www.opushotel.com); and the intimate Afterglow bar (www.glowbalgrill.com). Also check out the beautiful people at George Lounge (www.georgelounge.com) or join the microbrew beer crowd at the ever-popular Yaletown Brewing Company (www.drinkfreshbeer.com).
There are two key scenes on this major East Vancouver thoroughfare: the welcoming, hipster-loving neighbourhood bars in Mount Pleasant and the newly emerging cool scene in and around the Chinatown end of Main, where hotspots include the beer-tastic London Pub (www.thelondonpub.ca), cocktail-hugging Keefer Bar (http://cms.tourismvancouver.com/cms/pages/content/httpwww.fortunesoundclub.com). Consider a story comparing each of these distinctive nightlife areas.
Live music is a Vancouver passion. Along with revered venues like the Commodore Ballroom, there are some great off-the-beaten path venues to catch a show. Consider the rock and indie scene at the Media Club (www.themediaclub.ca) or the Malkin Bowl (www.malkinbowl.com) – this tree-shadowed outdoor auditorium in Stanley Park offers several live shows throughout the summer, with recent performers ranging from Elvis Costello to Blue Rodeo.
For a casual night out and a chance to rub shoulders with the city’s hockey, football or soccer fans, head to these favourite bars to catch a live game on the TV screens.