Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,785 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, March 07, 2015

#2353 - Grand Union Hotel, Vancouver, BC - 11/29/2013

At the moment I am writing this I have listed 2,713 different bars where I have had a drink, and I don't believe I've ever seen a more classic, more pure dive bar than this one. You walk through the sketchy neighborhood and past a couple people out front with their belongings in shopping carts, and enter a medium-sized space that is utterly uncompromised by hipsters or college students, craft beers or matching furniture. Of course it has the staples of a classic dive -- cheap, strong drinks, elderly, low-income patrons, and decades of repairs done on the cheap or not at all. Eventually we noticed, almost stunned, that with more than 40 people in the joint in the middle of the day, we could not find a single hint of a mobile phone. So you'll have to excuse the lack of interior photos, as pulling out a camera or iPhone just seemed entirely inappropriate.

The bar appears to have been established sometime in the 20s (prohibition stood in British Columbia from 1917 to 1921), and we were told it has had the current owners since 1960. While there is, unsurprisingly, little about the bar online, apparently as evening sets in some people under 70 will wander in, and here are a few selected comments from yelp contributors and bloggers to help give you a bit more of the flavor:

'The cop’s reply: “If I were you, I’d get the fuck out of here right now. With every passing second, the likelihood of you getting stabbed with a needle or a knife grows larger,”' (

"I asked a couple of girls to meet me there, however, and they both felt really uncomfortable and asked that we leave."

"Where the bar band goes up on a tiny stage and plays spirit of the sky with a midi-synth drummer on a cheap panasonic keyboard? Where youre GUARANTEED to get a shoulder massage by someone much older and drunker than you are, to be sold a pair of bowling shoes ..."

"The place may be filled with older native people who may or may not have teeth, but these are the friendliest people you're going to meet on a drunk adventure in Gastown."

"When you walk through the doors, you know that life is, or has been, a warzone for almost everyone inside."

"If you value ur health and safety, do not go in!"

"Check your teeth at the door, as you'll be one of the few who still has them all. Prepare to be asked for a cigarette 90 times by the same person in a 5 minute span, told you're beautiful (at least I think that's what the word was), and called by any name the regulars can remember (one guy was named Boy George all night)."

"We went in, sat down and within five minutes a woman wearing a bright pink turban staggered over, mumbling incomprehensibly as she gestured at her cell phone. I assumed she was trashed and couldn't turn it on, but we eventually figured out that she was trying to sell it to us. When that didn't work, she sat on my friend's lap and tried to steal my cider."

"6 Asians walk into a bar and what do you get?  Stares and incoherent hellos in every Asian language possible.  Apparently Asians rarely go to the Grand Union Hotel."

"Also sitting down a tranny sold me friend shoes. We danced and crowd surfed on the dance floor. Then left to watch chicks brawl outside. It was amazing."

74 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G6 - (604) 681-6611
Est. 1920?
Web site: Um, no.
Reviews:yelp - viren - sleazybars

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