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.
Dunbar Theatre keeps things simple: fresh popcorn, comfortable seats, a friendly staff, and one big screen. But in simplicity is something fresh. Those seats have enough room that audiences can stretch their legs, armrests raise for cuddling, and a balcony lets viewers change up their sightlines. Old-fashioned styles aside, the movie house stays up-to-date with recently upgraded projection technology and a sound system with the clarity of 10,000 Morgan Freemans. Located near UBC, the theatre is within walking distance of numerous diners and cafes, making it a date-night no-brainer.
The bartender at the Riva Supper Lounge notices something peculiar about the patrons he's been serving. All of the men are between the ages 35 and 45, and all of the women are between the ages 30 and 45. It's not a coincidence; it's a speed-dating event hosted by 25dates.com. Since 2002, the site's staff has created age-specific dating events like this for straight, gay, and lesbian singles in LA, Chicago, New York City, and all across Canada. At a typical event, they set up attendees with 25 one-on-one dates, each lasting three minutes. After each mini-date, participants write "yes" or "no" behind the ID number of the person they just met. 25dates.com then finds mutual matches and exchanges the two parties' contact info. More than 75% of participants find at least one match, a number that has caught the eye of myriad press outlets. If a mutual match can't be found, attendees receive free admission to a future event.
At The Academic Public House, patrons choose from a huge selection of specialty cocktails, whiskies, and craft beers, and peruse a menu of nibbles made from locally sourced meat and organic cheeses and eggs. Crispy pancetta surfs atop the Modern Pub burger’s grass-fed beef patty ($14), and the blackened chicken sandwich’s brioche bun hoists Maple Hill Farms free-run organic chicken, BC farmstead cheddar, and veggies ($14). Reasoning with the Angry mussels ($12) requires a cool head, acquaintance with Robert’s Rules of Order, and an appreciation for thai coconut curry, ginger, and basil. Modern twists settle themselves in brunch favourites such as short-rib hash ($14) and late-night treats.