A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine and he mentioned that his boyfriend's brother was moving here from the UK and us hetero's should hang out and do some girl-watching. Now I\m a guy that doesn't mind knocking back a drink or 2 and admiring the female form so I took out the brother on a mini pub-crawl to familiarize himself a few of the downtown Vancouver hot spots and check out some lovely ladies along the way.
Scotch And Soda
Here's one you can write the recipe for on the back of your hand. On second thought, bugger the recipe. It's Scotch... and soda. What part of Scotch and soda don't you understand? For a Scotch and water, substitute water for the soda. See how easy it is? This is a good one to make at the end of a long evening of drinking because there's really very little even an intoxicated person could do to screw it up.
"Scotch goes well with everything, especially marriage."
- Gary, 65, retired marketing manager
3oz club soda
For our 'Welcome to Vancouver' bar, I brought him to a place called the Yaletown Brew Pub. It's a nice little place to have a bite to eat, and it also has a separate bar/lounge for optimal people watching. By the time we got there (pre-10pm) the bar was fully packed and there was a DJ spinning some tunes. We got a few drinks and made our way to the patio, so we could admire the people (read: pretty girls) walking by as well as the ones in the bar. Truth be told it was a little too packed and we moved on to another downtown staple: Doulin's Irish Pub.
If you've never been to Doulin's let me spell it out: short, plaid skirts. We got there sometime after 11 and there was no line-up at all (really odd for a Saturday night), and we quickly learned why: the entire population of Vancouver was already inside! I'd say it was packed wall to wall, but it was more like floor to ceiling; we got through the front door and hit a wall of humanity so thick that this former football player was at a loss to get to the bar. We managed to ride the wake of one of the waitresses by the bar and I scooped us up a few more drinks and in the words of Fmr President George W. Bush, "Mission: Accomplished". Oh right, but now we were stuck in the ebb and flow of the humanity as it swayed and shifted with each pass of a waitress. We were lucky enough to grab a table, but to be honest it was WAY too packed for our purposes and we moved on.
Now, if you're from Vancouver you may have heard of the final stop on our tour but even then it's highly unlikely. The Famous Warehouse (formerly El Furniture Warehouse) on the north-west corner of Nelson and Granville has long been one of those hidden gems in the downtown bar scene. We arrived just at the stroke of midnight and were greeted by a very friendly member of the staff that got the Host to round us up a few seats. An interesting note about this place is that there's no standing allowed, you mush have a seat or you're not allowed in, which REALLY helps with the laid-back and friendly atmosphere and lets the bar-staff get around quickly to deliver everyone drinks/food. We took our seats at the bar and were immediately greeted by George Harrison. The drinks flowed once more and if I might say, I *love* this bar! We were flanked on either side by really friendly couples and passed the time by playing a game where I would test my musical knowledge against their Shazam which each new song/video that came on the tv. I was only bested by one:
Oh yeah.. there was a drink here wasn't there? I'm no stranger to some Scotch (went to the annual Hopscotch Festival in November) and I like mine single-malted and preferably 20 years old ;) Is that a euphamism? Who can say... Now since I was mixing it there was no need to break the bank, so I went with a pretty stock Glenfiddich 10-year. It was an evening of drinking Strongbow ciders and this was the prefect way to finish off the evening. It's smooth, has some bubbles which pop on your tongue and instantly puts me in a relaxed, content state of mind. Also, it goes really well with a $5 burger at 1am! Seriously, the kitchen is still open and serving a full menu at 1am.. this place is magical! In a review that harkons back to the history of the bar, I give the Scotch and Soda 5 ottomans out of a chaise-lounge. Soft, relaxing and suave. Magnifique!