Some nights, it's not enough to just go out for a drink. Sometimes you need to ride a mechanical bull or paint a masterpiece while sipping a cocktail.
Vancouver has plenty of venues where barhoppers can not only imbibe, but also be transported to the worlds of gaming, medieval culture or "Twin Peaks."
There's the Storm Crow Tavern, which calls itself "Planet Hollywood for geeks." The bar offers ales in "Beerbarian" steins and pitchers, and has mead on its menu. The walls are adorned with nerdy sci-fi memorabilia including a shrine to octopus-like monster, Cthulhu.
Then there's EXP Restaurant + Bar, which describes itself as a "classy restaurant for the grown-up gamer." Drinks include "Hadouken" (raspberry vodka, Hypnotiq, Blue Curacao and soda) and a "Broken Down Mario Kart" (Amaretto, melon liqueur, and bar lime).
And there's always the epic Black Lodge, a frighteningly accurate homage to the frighteningly amazing "Twin Peaks" TV show.
Check out photos from theme bars around Vancouver:
The Bourbon: Save a horse, ride a cowboy! Vancouver's only country bar, located in Gastown, offers a mechanical bull, line dancing and staff dolled up like they're running a saloon. See how long you can last on the bull. Eight seconds is nearly impossible.
EXP Restaurant + Bar: A video game-themed restaurant and bar on West Pender Street that taps into the gamer in all of us. The walls are decorated with eight-bit Nintendo characters like blocks and ghosts from "Super Mario Bros." One day, the owners hope to allow patrons to play video games in-house.
The Shameful Tiki Room: Put on your best Hawaiian shirt and step through the dark curtains into tiki madness. Sip on a Mai Tai and dream of Polynesia. There's even live surf music and a ukulele player on the odd night.
Storm Crow Tavern: Where the cool fear to tread. The Commercial Drive hangout offers a geektastic experience with cards, board games and classic sci-fi on the televisions. It even hosts "Game of Thrones" nights.
Raw Canvas: Channel your inner Picasso at this Yaletown spot. Put paintbrush to canvas (or tote bag) in their paint pit, and sip on wine at the same time.
Canucks Sports Bar and Grill: It's not quite the same as being at a game, but given how well the Canucks did this season, that will do just fine. Opened in Septebmer 2013, the Vancouver airport bar has vast amounts of Canucks memorabilia as well as a store for team merchandise.
The Black Lodge: "Twin Peaks" is never coming back, so you might as well enjoy a detailed tribute to one of the most bizarre and amazing TV shows ever made. The owners of this Kingsway bar have decked it out to look like the setting for David Lynch's show that blended absurd humour with supernatural elements in a Pacific Northwest setting. One of the bathrooms looks just like the otherworldly setting from the show's confounding finale.
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