Simply walking through the neighbourhood is a pleasure. Gastown is different from the rest of the city with a history that speaks through the bricks, the mortar, the alleys and the streets. Pubs have been here since the beginning and we have Gassy Jack to thank for all that. Here we present to you the Pubs of Gastown. Whether you walk, run or crawl, take time to enjoy the flavour and character of each establishment.
The Lamplighter Pub is quite possibly one of the most iconic drinking establishments in Gastown, if not, Vancouver. Established in 1925 (and having received Vancouver’s first pub license), this well loved haunt is steeped in history. The ghosts of the past perhaps linger, to vicariously lean in on the good conversation, merriment and laughter that occurs nightly.
The Lamplighter draws locals and tourists alike with its extensive selection of craft beer of around 50 taps pouring everything including premium ales & bitters, lagers & pilsners, IPA’s, stouts, sours and ciders. The pub also boasts one of the best collections of pinball machines in the city and is the place to go watch the soccer match – Lamplighter is home to the OFFICIAL Manchester United FC Supporters Club in Vancouver. There’s fun to be had and music to enjoy throughout the week with Bring You Own Vinyl (Mondays), Trivia (Tuesdays), Bingo and Free Pinball (Wednesdays), DJ’s on Fridays and Saturdays and live Bluegrass with Brunch on Saturdays.
The magic of the Maritimes comes to life at the Portside. Like stepping aboard a great fishing liner at sea, the pub is split across three levels where pubgoers swagger over to the low-lit bar and take their pick of 24 craft beers on tap, or hoist a glass of Jameson whiskey poured out of a suspended bathtub. Keeping with the maritime theme, the menu serves up delicious comforts including a Nova Scotia lobster roll and classic Philly cheese steak. Resident DJs spin the latest & greatest motown, hip-hop and dance tracks turning the pub into a nightclub on Thursdays and weekends.
Portside is well known for their East Coast Boil – happening a number of times throughout the year, the event is a night of feasting on the fruits of the sea, gluggling back Alexander Keith’s, foot stomping to live music and kissing a fish. Tickets often sell out and the setting such as this for a themed dinner like the Boil, is hard to find beyond the East Coast. Mondays are for Trivia, Wednesday – Karaoke, Motown on Thursday’s and Dj’s on the weekends.
The Blarney Stone is the only ‘original’ Irish pub in Vancouver that is still standing. The building that houses the Blarney Stone went up in 1888, and was built as the Klondike Hotel. In 1942, the building was converted to Vancouver’s first government liquor store and the upstairs became a rooming house for some of Vancouver’s most notable people such as the well-known Joe Fortes.
Today, it’s a hotspot on any weeknight and most certainly on weekends. The party is mighty at The Blarney Stone where live bands belt out Celtic rock and traditional and contemporary Irish music. Home to The Vancouver Southsiders ( die hard fans that bear allegiance to The Whitecaps) each time the Caps play at home, The Southsiders gather at The Blarney Stone for a pregame celebration.
The Cambie Pub is the liveliest pub on the street and a regular hangout for a mixed crowd made up of artists, bohemians and students. The street side patio is where it’s at where patrons enjoy sitting in the open air, sharing affordable pitchers and food served in large portions. Check out the weekly specials from Monday to Friday that include food and drink specials and half priced appies. Inside the pub, you’ll find long tables and benches that create a communal atmosphere, making it a fun place to hang out.
It’s best to go with a group of friends, as you are sure to end up meeting others. Tuesdays are Latin Night with DJ Wellz from 10pm. Wednesdays – come for Country Rock and Cambie Pong from 7pm. Thirsty Thursdays offer Live music on the last Thursday of every month and a DJ every other Thursday.
Situated at the base of the mighty Woodward’s Building, The Charles Bar has a fun little patio and great banquette seating indoors. Local Vancouver DJ’s round out the baron weekend nights – dropping everything from classic hip hop and R&B to your favourite Top 40 songs.
The interior is upscale casual modern, subdued, warm and inviting. You can catch the game here as well as the action on fight night. Lunchtimes and Friday evenings are packed with regulars and the patio is always a hive for good times.
The Metropole is a simple place with cheap drinks and a communal atmosphere. You’ll find a nice variety of music here as the Dj’s rotate on different nights. Friday nights you’ll hear house, top 40, and 90’s. Saturday night dj’s play charts and popular mixes. Sundays are slow with lots of space on the dance floor and the DJ takes requests.
The Metropole offers some great daily specials including an everyday Burger & Beer $7, Tacos on Friday for .75cents and other awesome specials on the weekends. On Sunday nights come for Free Video Games on The Big Screen with Dj Hobbs spinning old school vinyl.
The Bourbon has a mechanical bull, indoor Bocce Ball and 4 craft beers on tap. As they proudly claim from their subtle website: The Bourbon in Gastown – Now celebrating the golden age of craft beer,cocktails, and competition. Hip Hop Fridays are on at The Bourbon until June 23.