When the city itself is the biggest buzzkill of them all
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
If you’ve been living in Vancouver, you’ve probably noticed that there is no such thing as a nightlife in this city.
Call it hyperbole, call it ridiculous, call it the truth. There’s a reason Vancouver is nicknamed ‘No Fun City’ (there’s even a documentary about this, check it out) and it’s not because we’re lacking in bouncy castles. Rather, it’s our sad excuse for what passes as a fun night out.
As the old proverb goes, “he who parties in Vancouver is home by midnight.” Location is everything for good venues, bars, and restaurants, and the locations for all of Vancouver’s businesses have been allocated onto a single street: Granville Street. I’m not even going to get into nightlife outside of this district because it’s too sad to even discuss.
This wouldn’t be a problem if Granville Street was right next to a university district. With that being said—seeing as most students are poor and living in the suburbs with no college campuses in sight—it makes it very difficult to get to and from clubs, bars, and venues. This means that people must either take ridiculously expensive cab rides back to the suburbs or leave via transit just as everything’s actually getting started.
Moreover, the only food places open after midnight is Megabite Pizza or McDonald’s, and I shouldn’t have to tell you why that’s such a travesty. Compare that to Japan, where restaurants stay open until the sun rises, and you’ll realize the difference. With most halfway-decent places staying open until midnight at the latest, there we find our first problem with Vancouver’s nightlife.
Venues that once featured Vancouver’s music scene have since shut down or were forced underground due to strange laws surrounding which places can have dancefloors or live entertainment and which can’t. This caused many venues that fostered Vancouver’s music scene in the ’90s to disappear altogether. With there not being many decent buildings for up-and-coming musicians to play in, Vancouverites have lacked affordable entertainment as a consequence.
Granted, with the semi-recent change allowing for all businesses to be able to apply for a liquor licence starting last year, things should be gearing up to change. Prior to that legislation, the Rio was one of the few exceptions to the rule, being one of the few theatres around Vancouver that could legally sell booze.
In other words, if clubbing isn’t your thing but you still wanted to be able to drink publicly, it’s difficult to do so without going to a restaurant. Need I repeat the fact that most restaurants aren’t open very late around here?
The final complaint I have about Vancouver’s nightlife is the lack of variety in music at the major clubs. Every. Single. Club. Around. Here. Plays the same damn music. If I have to hear another shitty trap beat that every single Vancouver DJ seems to rely on, I will lose it. Maybe we don’t have the population to keep that many different clubs open, but I would like some variety in music—and not just for ’90s night.
Drinks are overpriced, food is shite, and it is nearly impossible to find a club that changes it up in terms of song selection. Vancouver nightlife is abysmal, but I guess that’s what happens in a city where everything is overpriced for both business owners and customers alike.