Jump to content

      













Photo

History of Saloons, Beer Parlour & Pubs Victoria, BC


  • Please log in to reply
118 replies to this topic

#1 glenalan54

glenalan54
  • Member
  • 97 posts

Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:11 PM

Your sitting in your favourite pub; what is the history of the place?
What is the very first pub and/or beer parlour you enjoyed your first beer in?
What quirky or interesting things do you remember about local pubs?

I am researching and writing about the history of local drinking establishments of Greater Victoria from the opening of the very first saloon in town (know what that was called and who owned it?) until today.

Please jump in and tell us about your favourite (or worse) experiences and/or your thoughts about the history of local watering holes.

#2 glenalan54

glenalan54
  • Member
  • 97 posts

Posted 23 March 2010 - 10:17 AM

The first place I drank at was the Drake Beer Parlour once located near the northeast corner of Store & Johnson Street. It has been a saloon, hotel or beer parlour since 1860.
The place closed in 1974.
It was the very first beer parlour to open within the City of Victoria boundaries since prohibition killed the saloon business. You may find this link of interest (as for some reason I cannot upload images into Vibrant Victoria):

http://www.flickr.co...ory/2106227688/

http://www.flickr.co...ory/3337931191/

#3 Bernard

Bernard
  • Member
  • 4,241 posts
  • LocationVictoria BC

Posted 23 March 2010 - 03:29 PM

I miss the Beaver because it was so not the Empress and still served singles of draft that the waitress filled up your terry cloth covered table with when she came by. It was like that until the last night in 1987, I had a t-shirt from that night for years.

I also loved the Snug at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

The Sub Pub was great with the long cheap wood tables, no decor and just your basic boozing.

#4 Sparky

Sparky

    GET OFF MY LAWN

  • Moderator
  • 10,605 posts

Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:46 PM

^ Thanks Bernard, I had forgotten about the Beaver. I loved that place.

#5 victorian fan

victorian fan
  • Member
  • 1,923 posts

Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:34 PM

I can't remember the first place I had a drink. Probably The Empress,
James Bay Inn etc.
The Drake, Kings, RO, Churchill or The Douglas were not for me.
I did go to the Colony when beer sold at 15 cents a glass. I know the Douglas sold a smaller glass for 10 cents.

#6 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 23 March 2010 - 11:30 PM

A bunch of us kids went to the King's Hotel because none of us had seen an actual real nekkid lady. We nursed our $1.25 glasses of beer until the burly beerman told us to buy another round or get lost.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#7 glenalan54

glenalan54
  • Member
  • 97 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 05:56 AM

I miss the Beaver because it was so not the Empress and still served singles of draft that the waitress filled up your terry cloth covered table with when she came by. It was like that until the last night in 1987, I had a t-shirt from that night for years.

I also loved the Snug at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

The Sub Pub was great with the long cheap wood tables, no decor and just your basic boozing.


You may enjoy this picture taken in the Beaver Pub in 1975: http://www.flickr.co...57600083647885/

I have a few more from 1979. Love to have seen what your t-shirt looked like - a piece of history.
Interesting that the Beaver Pub is rarely mentioned in the over-all history of the Empress Hotel as though they are ashamed to admit they operated a pub. I thought the place was great, especially in the early years (1970-1979).
A little known fact: when the Empress opened in 1908 they had a tavern in the basement located across from what would later be the Paint Cellar Cabaret. The tavern closed when prohibition took effect.

#8 glenalan54

glenalan54
  • Member
  • 97 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 06:00 AM

I can't remember the first place I had a drink. Probably The Empress,
James Bay Inn etc.
The Drake, Kings, RO, Churchill or The Douglas were not for me.
I did go to the Colony when beer sold at 15 cents a glass. I know the Douglas sold a smaller glass for 10 cents.

Now that I didn't know. (The Douglas sold smaller glasses of beer for 10 cents) Every little detail is interesting and helps form the big picture of what it was like in the early days of beer parlours and pubs in this great city.

#9 Sparky

Sparky

    GET OFF MY LAWN

  • Moderator
  • 10,605 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 08:28 AM

Now that I didn't know. (The Douglas sold smaller glasses of beer for 10 cents) Every little detail is interesting and helps form the big picture of what it was like in the early days of beer parlours and pubs in this great city.


In the 60's most pubs sold two different sizes of beers. The 20 cent glass was the familiar "hourglass" style glass, and the 10 cent glass was small at the bottom and was wider at the top. The 10 cent beers were called "trainers."

#10 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 09:02 AM

What was the actual beer sold during this era? I assume it was Blue or Canadian depending on the establishment, just like restaurants sell either Coke OR Pepsi but not both.

I seem to recall bottled beer being sold during the mid-80s at beer parlours but I can imagine sitting in a room full of draft-drinking men with your fancy import would be a lonely experience.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#11 glenalan54

glenalan54
  • Member
  • 97 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 11:19 AM

Most beer parlour/pubs sold one main draft beer. For example the Ingraham Hotel Beer Parlour, later known as the Ingy Sports Pub, sold Labbatt's Blue; it was known as the biggest Blue House in the world. Some may remember the big wooden sign above the bar that showed a globe of the world and a flag striking out to show the location of Victoria, BC and the Ingraham specifically. (I wonder what happened to that great big sign?)

Significant changes took place when the NDP won power in the Province in 1973-75. Alex McDonald, Attorney General, relaxed the liquor regulations to allow greater variety of freedoms in the beer parlours as well as choices of beverages. The hope was to turn many of these "drinking holes" into more attractive places for adults to relax after work. They had the old British Tavern in mind with sing alongs etc... What resulted was stripper bars in many cases: Tally-Ho, Red Fox, Colony Pub, Kings and eventually Monty's in the Century Inn.

#12 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 11:23 AM

The hope was to turn many of these "drinking holes" into more attractive places for adults to relax after work. They had the old British Tavern in mind with sing alongs etc... What resulted was stripper bars in many cases: Tally-Ho, Red Fox, Colony Pub, Kings and eventually Monty's in the Century Inn.


Hey, nobody says you can't sing along with the strippers....

#13 glenalan54

glenalan54
  • Member
  • 97 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 11:25 AM

Oh you mean, "Shower, shower, shower!" Or is that considered chanting?

#14 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 11:28 AM

Oh you mean, "Shower, shower, shower!" Or is that considered chanting?


I was always OK with the chants of "shower" as long as it was not accompanied by the pounding of glasses and bottles on the tables/ledge. That was/is annoying.

#15 t-mitch4

t-mitch4
  • Member
  • 39 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 12:04 PM

The "relaxing" of the liquor laws post 1973 also made it possible for some great places such as the Crow & Gate in Cedar to open. I was told years ago that the Crow & Gate was the first pub in British Columbia issued a neighbourhood pub licence.

The further changes in the liquor laws prior to Expo '86 also opened up many more opportunities for change, such as Sunday openings.

Things are much different now.

Tom

#16 glenalan54

glenalan54
  • Member
  • 97 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:08 PM

The "relaxing" of the liquor laws post 1973 also made it possible for some great places such as the Crow & Gate in Cedar to open. I was told years ago that the Crow & Gate was the first pub in British Columbia issued a neighbourhood pub licence.

The further changes in the liquor laws prior to Expo '86 also opened up many more opportunities for change, such as Sunday openings.

Things are much different now.

Tom


It was Expo 86 that allowed the bars to open on Sunday, Prior to that they could not legally open except before prohibition when there was no restriction on saloon hours. Some saloons were opened 24-7 prior to 1914.

But the beer parlour was a compromise between allowing beer by the glass but not allowing the return of the saloon. It was poorly conceived as all one could do in a beer parlour was to drink.
I agree with you, in most but not all ways, things are better.

#17 t-mitch4

t-mitch4
  • Member
  • 39 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:18 PM

Glen, I am curious if in your research you came upon any mention of Pubs in Victoria closing for an hour or two over the dinner hour. This was common in Australia in the late 1960's and I often wondered if it happened in Victoria.

Thanks,
Tom

#18 glenalan54

glenalan54
  • Member
  • 97 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 09:38 PM

Yes it was common practice for many of the beer parlours to close for an hour or two (depending on the owner) especially from 1925-1959. Eventually that practice came to an end.

#19 Holden West

Holden West

    Va va voom!

  • Member
  • 9,058 posts

Posted 24 March 2010 - 10:24 PM

Was Maude Hunters on Shelbourne the first neighbourhood pub in the Victoria region?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#20 VicHockeyFan

VicHockeyFan
  • Suspended User
  • 52,121 posts

Posted 25 March 2010 - 01:26 AM

Was Maude Hunters on Shelbourne the first neighbourhood pub in the Victoria region?


I think so. It opened before I was of drinking age. Maybe one day they will have a website.

But what was/is a place like the Tudor House? Was it a hotel?

Monkey Tree was pretty early too:

Built in 1986 The Monkey Tree Pub was built to an exeedingly high standard, the quality and care of craftsmanship lasts today both inside and out. A dream come true for the now B.C. hospitality icon, Mr Gordon Charles Card. The origin of the pubs name, coming from that there was a very Large Monkey Tree of 60 ft+ that stood on the highest point of land at the pubs location.....it was a natural beacon and landmark to the community of Sannich. The Tree itself was felled in the early ninties , but The Pub had quickly secured its position as a landmark , along with its Cold Beer and Wine store which was one of the first non- Govt. owned stores in B.C.


http://monkeytreepub.com/about.php

You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

Use the page links at the lower-left to go to the next page to read additional posts.
 



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users