Gentleman’s Guide: West End Vancouver
The West End is home to some of the city’s most vibrant thoroughfares, best beaches and the biggest city park this side of NYC. The western reaches of Robson Street, Denman Street and Davie Street offer gentleman visitors abundant choices for food, drink, personal grooming and nightlife.
If visiting, consider staying at the oceanside, oft-overlooked, Sylvia Hotel. Ivy-covered and exuding a faded elegance, this 1912 landmark boasts reasonable rates and a charming, if not slightly tired, hotel bar with unparalleled views over English Bay. And rumour has it, the ghost of regular guest, Katharine Hepburn, haunts the corridors giving the term ‘old world charm’ added meaning!
Named after a Vancouver institution, the hetero-friendly gay nightclub, Celebrities, Davie Street’s newest barbershop offers men’s haircuts and straight blade shaves for $15.
The west end is teeming with food choices. The variety is truly astonishing from Australian pies and gyros to elegant izakaya and tapas – you will not go hungry.
Busy, unpretentious and excellent, Kingyo will impress with its izakaya fare. The chicken Karaage is a must – one of the best fried chicken options in the city.
Embracing the 70’s brutalist architecture of this former bank, Centro serves up classic, homemade Italian fare alongside modern cocktails in groovy surrounds.
Authentic with a twist, Espana elevates traditional Spanish tapas to an exquisite level. The menu changes regularly but the Espana G&T remains and offers a twist on the classic.
Hook Sea Bar
Near the water’s edge, Hook Sea Bar offers a great 3-6 pm Happy Hour features Buck-a-shuck oysters.
Sleek and chic,1181 has an extensive cocktail list, fit and friendly bartenders, and modern décor. A chill early evening vibe suitable for conversation gradually transitions to an amped up party by 11pm.
The go-to gay club for everyone, Celebrities has been serving up fun for decades and its vibrancy hasn’t waned.