Above the warm fireplace, a wall of televisions bathes onlookers in the blue glow of four different sports games, eliciting waves of cheers and whoops from an ebullient crowd. In the background, the muted click of billiard balls mixes with animated chatter at the bar to create a merry symphony that lasts late into the night. This is a typical evening at Legends Pub & Restaurant, which fosters a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere for families and sports fans alike.
Legends hosts a variety of activities and events throughout the week— game days beckon fans to ogle 20 TVs, and an outdoor patio festooned with hanging flower baskets invites guests to bask in balmy summer breezes. On weekends, live DJs or bands broadcast their sonic creations over an advanced sound system, prompting those in attendance to practice their dance moves with a partner or wig-clad coat rack. The spacious dining room has a separate section reserved for families to nosh on burgers, pizzas, wings, and British pub classics surrounded by burnt orange walls peppered in sports memorabilia.
E-Spot combines the best parts of a pool hall and arcade to keep visitors entertained well into the night. On one side of the 18,000-square-foot, warehouse-like facility, billiards players drill shots on 26 mahogany tables—17 of which are for pool, 9 of which are for snooker, and none of which are for puppet repairs. Not far away, competitors trade cues for keyboards in a massive Internet-gaming area. There, 52 computers—each outfitted with subwoofer speakers—and high-speed Internet allow for hours-long marathons spent playing popular titles. Friends can also face off in E-Spot's arcade and mah-jong rooms, and the café fuels gameplay with snacks and caffeine-loaded drinks.
Marine Pub & Brewhouse, under new management and newly renovated, still retains much of its old charm. Out on the wooden deck at Marine Pub & Brewhouse, clusters of tables under big umbrellas lend an at-home, backyard feel for those enjoying drinks and eats on the patio. Inside, you can enjoy the same food while soaking in the sun pouring in from the skylight. Aside from the bright, airy vibe inside and out, the brewhouse also offers a extensive menu of pub food of burgers, sandwiches, and wraps. You can can also opt for italian pastas, new york steaks, and specialty pizzas. The in-house brewery ensures that there’s always a freshly brewed beer to wash down meals.
It’s hard to tell what’s more awe-inspiring: a 150-inch high-definition TV screen ablaze with a heated sports game or a 6-ounce beef burger patty towering with bacon, danish blue cheese, and blue-cheese mayo. Great Bear Pub lures patrons into its dark-wood restaurant with both of these treats, along with four other signature burgers, more than 20 craft beers, and a slate-stone outdoor dining area lined with televisions of its own. Patrons dig into internationally inspired eats, such as jamaican steak bites and cheese-stuffed pierogi, or stop in for a quick lunch that's prepared and presented in less than 10 minutes. The sophisticated pub also hosts live entertainment six nights a week, and sits alongside its own liquor store to ensure dry pint glasses don’t stage political revolts.
Equipped with varied experience and an in-depth knowledge of alcohol and service regulations, the instructors at Fine Art Bartending School guide their students toward mixology mastery or job placement in the bartending industry during intensive eight-day courses. While many schools focus solely on the craft, Fine Art's instructors also hone customer service skills through a guest bartending program at local bars and clubs—teaching students tip-enhancing approaches and how to graciously deflect customer's attempts at Bryan Adams sing-alongs. They also hold individual classes targeted at everyday drinkers, divulging industry-style instructions for blending specific drinks, performing difficult mixes, or pouring the perfect beer.
In the dining room, the rhythmic pounding of a bodhrán hand drum mingles with the joyful melodies of a tin flute, flooding every inch of the space with an ebullience punctuated by onlookers’ clapping hands and tapping feet. The diners have left the feasts spread across their tables mostly untouched, their attention glued to the band in the midst of their lively song. Such moments aren't a rarity at Donegal's Irish House, but are an almost nightly occurrence at the jovial eatery that brings locals together to make new friends and share in internationally inspired meals.
Champions of fostering an atmosphere of community and friendship, the affable staff goes out of its way to make guests feel welcome, thanks to attentive service and an ever-changing calendar of events that keep inviting guests back. On select evenings, patrons can convene at Donegal's to watch a Canucks game or to see local bands. As guests chat and mingle in the dining room, the kitchen buzzes with chefs concocting Irish standards such as shepherd's pie and international cuisine that includes perogies and sausage, jambalaya, and butter chicken. Donegal's signature dish remains the whopping blarney stone burger, a 7.5-pound charbroiled Canadian beef patty that gets its eater a commemorative T-shirt and a place on the wall of fame if it's eaten within two hours with no help. Unsuccessful competitors, meanwhile, find their snapshot displayed on the wall of shame, under the most personal entry from their dream journals.
Paddlewheeler Pub woos patrons with a menu of tongue-tantalizing bread-embraced meats, 14 sudsy beers on tap, and 12 wines by the glass. Fashion-forward mouths can try on the shrimp purses ($10.95), deep-fried wonton-wrapped shrimp served with sweet chili sauce, or potato skins ($9.95). The california clubhouse sandwich transports taste buds to the VHS-paved streets of Hollywood with three layers of bread layered with chicken breast, avocado, and bacon ($10.95). Canines can chomp nine juicy burgers, including the mushroom ($10.45), bacon and cheddar ($10.45), and wild salmon ($11.95), all served with a choice of savoury sidekick, such as above-average-temperature soup, fresh salad, or cape-donning crispy fries.