In my 20s, I spent most weekends club hopping along Vancouver's Granville Street, lining up for hours. I look back on those days and wonder how on earth I had the patience. Now in my 30s, I take a much more refined approach to our so-called Entertainment District. Like staggering past The Roxy on my way home from a much more grown-up bar, hollering at the youngsters to go somewhere else. To which I'm greeted with eye rolls and blank stares.
I'm over dirty bathrooms, d-bags and dance floors that reek of pre-pubescent boys just gagging for a dry hump. Godspeed to any bouncer who tells me to get in line. Apparently telling someone to go f#&k yourself doesn't translate to a speedy entrance.
The biggest complaint I hear from my 30-something friends is that they just want to go some place where they can dance, order from a proper wine and cocktail list (sans Jager shots) and be surrounded by people in our demographic. A seemingly tall order these days, but if you're looking for a good night out in Vancouver I recommend the following:
Located on South Main just outside the downtown core, Electric Owl is one-part lounge, one-part resto that morphs into a nightclub as the night progresses. Live music every Sunday, with local and international bands and DJs playing throughout the week. Check out their calendar of events.
After sampling some seriously divine Caribbean cuisine, head downstairs for another round of rum cocktails and groove into the wee hours. Calabash is another Vancouver hot spot that features live music most nights and local DJs spinning hip hop, reggae and old school. See what's on this month.
From the owners of The Yale Hotel blues club (which is temporarily closed for a historic upgrade) most of the bands have moved a few blocks to Fanclub. This New Orleans inspired performance venue is set up cabaret style. Have dinner, enjoy some kick ass live music and stay late for local DJs. Check out their upcoming shows.
Hooker's Green is a welcome retreat from Yaletown's high brow, high-end establishments. Grab a whiskey on the rocks or choose from their rotating list of craft beer. Live music and local DJs hit the stage nightly and don't worry, the name is a nod to 18th century painter William Hooker. There are no $10 massages here.