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Pubs in Victoria


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#41 Rorschach

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 04:41 PM

Swan's is still the best as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure there are incidents of bad service, but I've never personally experienced it. I like the beer and the food and the atmosphere. It's probably crowded because there is no cover and live music every night. Discount pints on Monday and discount jugs on Wednesday also bring in more people. And on the weekends, it's overflow. If you want things quieter or less crowded, go before 8 PM (Music starts at 9PM and so does the crowd of regulars). Lots of dancers go there regularly and even if you just watch, you'll see some great talent.

#42 Mike

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 01:26 AM

Swan's: I like their location, and I've almost always gotten a good pint or decent food from there. When they're moderately busy though, the service goes downhill. Some of their servers are excellent, however a curt, unprofessional "not much we can do" response from the manager when a truly bad mistake was brought to their attention kind of sealed their fate for me last weekend. Definitely not the place to book a 30-person room and expect them to follow through.

Garrick's: the only thing I'd change is the wicker furniture at the top perch there. Actually no, I like that too. Perfect because the tourists are across the street.

Hugo's: Haven't been there in about 8 months since all the staff left, and then the service went in the dumper. Some great beer made there; too bad they can't seem to get it in bottles.

Smith's: great staff, tasty beers.

Canoe: stayed away for awhile, but lately the food has been quite good and it's not that packed.

#43 gumgum

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 08:02 AM

Good to hear the food's improving at Canoe. It was donkey's poop before, and expensive.

#44 Rorschach

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 08:20 AM

I like Canoe as well. They have tasty beer and good food and a beautiful looking restaurant interior.

However, they have literally no entertainment/music and you have to run the gauntlet of the homeless shelter next door and somehow find a place to park - if you want to risk parking in that area at all.

Canoe needs to take out a few tables and get some live music in there so you could dance and have a good time. It's a restaurant; not a pub.

Recommended beer: Pilsner -- Smooth, clear, liquid gold.

Why do we have a waterfront homeless shelter anyways? Canoe is a little gem among a generally depressed area which should be a prime location.

#45 Walter Moar

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 09:31 AM

Canoe needs to take out a few tables and get some live music in there so you could dance and have a good time. It's a restaurant; not a pub.

Personally, the last thing I'd want to see at Canoe is a band. Particularly of the ilk that play at Swans, I think "Johnny B Good" has been covered more than enough times.

I'm curious, how many restaurants do you go to that have live music and you dance? That sounds more like a nightclub to me. I see Canoe as a pub on one side, and a restaurant on the other. The restaurant should have good food and good service, the pub should have good beer and good conversation. No need to sully it with a cheesy band :-D

#46 G-Man

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 10:15 AM

They do sometimes have music at the Canoe. Personally I prefer my pubs quiet enough to talk. If I wanted to dance and scream in someones ear there are more than enough venues in town. Of course just my opinion :)

Logan's has live music fairly frequently probably the reason I don't go there too often.

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#47 Amanday

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 10:55 AM

Yeah, if I wanted to go dance, I'd go to a club. When I want a pint of beer and a chat with friends, I 'd go to a pub...except 90% of the pubs here turn into discotheques after 1opm!

#48 m0nkyman

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 11:06 AM

If there is amplification of the music, it ceases to be a pub and becomes a nightclub, but there is nothing more pub-like than an impromptu jam session in a corner of the pub, composed of drunken regulars playing acoustic instruments......

#49 G-Man

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 11:11 AM

^This is true.

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#50 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 12:42 PM

Swan's is still the best as far as I'm concerned.... Lots of dancers go there regularly and even if you just watch, you'll see some great talent.


You mean like dancers from the nearby Monty's?
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#51 Rorschach

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 11:34 AM

Personally, the last thing I'd want to see at Canoe is a band. Particularly of the ilk that play at Swans, I think "Johnny B Good" has been covered more than enough times.


You've got a point there. Some of the bands at Swan's are too loud and screw up the pub atmosphere. However, a nice acoustical only type band, soft jazz or swing music would likely be complimentary to Canoe's environs.

Canoe is a much larger place and since it's all tables and food service, it does not seem like a pub to me. The bar area is small. With the right music, conversation is easy and pleasant dancing an extra. The romantic side of Canoe's setup is missing -- all the other elements are there, i.e., food and drink and atmosphere.

The only semi-authentic pub is at Irish Times -- and they even have all the authentic beers and ales and such from Europe. They have the same Irish Band day in and day out and it's not too bad.

Canoe could be improved upon. A nice place to park and a disintegrator beam for the homeless mess and their business would take off.

#52 Walter Moar

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 12:10 PM

The only semi-authentic pub is at Irish Times

Oh my :cry:

#53 G-Man

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 08:25 PM

What is an authentic pub?

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#54 Holden West

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 09:54 PM

That's a good question. Oddly, just about any city in the world has an "authentic" Irish or English pub (I remember one I went to in Bangkok) however, actual Irish pubs are increasingly less popular, with many young Irish people heading towards the less formal and hipper "wine bars".
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#55 Rorschach

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 07:31 AM

Since Irish Times dismantled the interior of an actual Irish Pub in Ireland and re-assembled it here, they have a good start.

But a public house (pub) is not the building and fixtures. The customers and regulars decide whether to frequent a pub. Since Walter is so scornful here, I'd like him to say which place in town he feels most closely resembles the archetype.

I like the selection of beer and food at Irish Times. I like the atmosphere, beer, and my crowd of friends at Swan's. To me, those are my pubs. Your mileage may vary and there's no accounting for taste.

We have such a nice collection of places to go and try here. Victoria is a great city of you like pubs of all sorts and styles.

#56 Walter Moar

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 10:20 AM

I only commented about Irish Times because I don't see "authentic" being the same thing as "fake". Why is there an Irish pub in Canada? Because people are suckers for the notion of a quaint sense of community that they read about in a tourist guide somewhere. Irish Times is Disneyland with $7 pints. It might be authentic (whatever that means) if it was in Ireland, here it's a contrived tourist trap.

Every pub has its own community, but some are more neighbourhood-y than others (Bent Mast vs. Irish Times). Everyone will have their favourites, for whatever reasons.

#57 jaylow

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 10:47 AM

I had a roommate from ireland (who worked in the same shop as monkyman) who hated irish times, he did say they poured a proper guiness though.

#58 gumgum

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 10:50 AM

I think the term "authentic pub" defines itself in terms of region.
Christies, # Mile Pub(s), Garrick's Head, Maude Hunters etc, are all authentic because these all meet a certain flavour defined by the locals, and thoughout the years have been molded to what it is today, to meet the desires of locals. Coming from Ontario - an outsider, I have a strong sense of how these pubs are very distinctly local, and in my opinion, authentic. It is slightly blue collar, musty, earthy and slightly raw. It is dark and comfortable. There's keno, sports on the tv, but the beer is good and so is the food. The waitresses are casual and friendly. The floors are bare wood, or covered with 70's carpeting that needs replacing, and the furniture is dated and unstylish.

In the UK and Ireland, there is an entirely different catagory of what is authentic. In Ottawa, where I'm from there is an distinct regional definition as well.

It is not to say that I have no time for other pubs, but these pubs I mentioned above are truly what I would define as authentic.

#59 G-Man

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 11:25 AM

That is more my thinkiing as well.

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#60 Rorschach

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 07:08 AM

I have to agree that Christie and the 4/6 Mile Pubs have the right look and feel. Of these, I only got decent service at the 6 mile. They didn't have the beer I like and they are further away - beyond my reasonable walking distance.

The guy from Ireland who said Irish Times pours a proper Guinness is on the money. They have the proper glass and pour it the proper way -- for all the beers they serve -- and they serve a long laundry list of imported beers I've not seen in any other pub hereabouts.

Has anyone here been to the "Nine Fine Irishmen" pub within the New York, New York Hotel in Las Vegas? I loved that place too, so I guess I'm a sucker for tourist traps. However, each of these places has what I'm looking for when I go go out for the pub experience. The beer and pub food mates.

Last time I went to Garrick's Head I got into an argument with a drunk at the bar and barely made it out without a fight. Needless to say I haven't been back.

Chacon a son gout.

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