Some Fridays out, you want to have a bunch of drinks, burn off some steam, and put any weekday drudgery far behind you. Other nights, you want to be completely transported to another world by more than just your lowered inhibitions.
Thankfully, Vancouver has quite a few wacky bars to do the trick. In no particular order, here are 7 themed bars to visit when you want to have fun somewhere a little strange and fantastical:
The Black Lodge // 630 Kingsway
Calling all Twin Peaks fans. This rustic and cosy bar on Kingsway is a loving tribute to one of the best and most deliciously bizarre TV shows to ever air. Drawing on both visual references from the show and a Pacific-Northwest spirit, The Black Lodge will transport you far away from Vancouver with its kitschy and other-worldly vibe. With Laura Palmer's photo framed on the bar counter and heavy velvet curtains adorning the washroom wall, this bar will delight any Lynch fanatic - but regardless of whether you're channelling your inner Special Agent Dale Cooper or this is your first foray into Lynchian territory, any place with cocktails AND s'mores on the menu is bound to be a fast-favourite.
The Shameful Tiki Room // 4362 Main Street
This bar is truly unlike any other in the city. For starters: there are no visible windows to the outside, so once you're inside you really lose track of the time of day and weather. Drawing mostly on a vintage Polynesian tiki style, the bar features artwork from all over the world - including puffer fish lamps and unique tiki carvings. But the main attraction is, of course, the cocktail menu. The Shameful Tiki serves one of Vancouver's best Mai Tais, and also features cocktails like 'Day of the Dead' and classic Zombie cocktails. Feeling shameless? Try the tiki mystery bowl, a secret blend of rums, juice and spices.
The Storm Crow Tavern // 1305 Commercial Drive
The self-proclaimed original Vancouver 'nerd bar', Storm Crow is a haven for anyone who opted-out of parties in order to play Dungeons and Dragons in the basement. Celebrating all things nerdy, the bar has an awesome selection of board games, a quirky decor, a great BC beer list, and a selection of 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books. Bring your inner-nerd and an appetite: the lunch and dinner menus are also solid.
Jackalope's Neighbourhood Dive // 2257 E Hastings St
Jackalope's strikes a refreshing balance: a dive-bar feel (and cheap dive-bar prices!) alongside tastey Southern-inspired comfort food (seriously, their cornbread and house hot sauce are next-level good). The space is chilled out with rock and roll posters on the walls next to artwork contributed by local East Van artists. There's a jukebox filled with rock and country classics and a diverse drink menu; stop on in for some unpretentious Southern hospitality and eats.
Odd Society Spirits // 1725 Powell St
Odd Society is a one-of-a-kind distillery and a truly special fixture within Vancouver's craft alcohol scenes. Located on Powell St, Odd Society combines Old World distilling techniques with New World ingredients to create ingenuous experimental batches of spirits. Their tasting lounge, open Thursday to Sunday, mirrors this combination aesthetically: the charming space is both decadent and welcoming, otherworldly but charming. Stop in and sample some spirits, or else purchase a bottle to add to your home bar.
Stateside Craft // 1601 Commercial Drive.
While post-election we may all be sick of American politics for
awhile the rest of time, there are some undeniably American traditions that are appealing far and wide. Stateside is more or less an homage to America, with a menu featuring all its finest delicacies: hot dogs, chicken wings and different kinds of bacon. There's also a lengthy beer menu and a solid bourbon selection to enjoy while playing skeeball.
Prohibition // Rosewood Hotel Georgia, 801 West Georgia Street
Ever wish you could visit The Roaring Twenties? See Louis Armstrong live and dance with the flappers? Prohibition may be the closest you get in Vancouver. A bar as decadent and sleek as it is nostalgic, Prohibition transports patrons back to speakeasies of decades past. The entrance is located on Howe Street - a small green light is on when the bar is open. Tuck away under the Rosewood Hotel Georgia and, once your 'grams are happily taken, put those phones away to truly pretend you've been transported to another time and place.
Follow us on Snapchat: narcityvan