the vancouver met pub sucks

The night started out with promise – to celebrate Amanda’s last night in town, we would go to a bar featuring karaoke and sing the night away. Good times, right? How can you go wrong with beer and music?

As we would soon learn, beer and music can evidently go very wrong, very badly.

Our first clue came in the form of texted warnings while Josh, Shan and I were en route – “Don’t commit to parking; we may not stay here”. It seems that Darren – who is hereby barred from ever choosing our destinations again – had convinced the unaware that The Met Pub in Gastown was a great place to go because it featured karaoke Saturday nights, cheap beer, and a certain je ne sais quoi. The problem lies in Darren’s standards – The Met definitely had a special something, but most people refer to it as “disgusting dive bar slash crack house” instead of “ambiance”. Not helping matters was the fact that Amanda and friends arrived earlier than the agreed upon time, promptly alerting the regulars to the three unaccompanied young ladies who were obviously looking for some companionship in the form of drunken old men.

Things started looking up when the lights were dimmed, masking the décor and making the haggard bar sluts seem almost attractive. As our friends started arriving, safety in numbers made for a cozy if scummy home for the evening. The decision was made to stay, and from that moment on our fate was sealed.

To be fair, the night started out great. The bar had Winter Ale on tap, the night was young, and we were treated to a really cute karaoke performance by a man who was 70 if he was a day, warbling his way through a song the title of which escapes me. The level of irony reached shiny new heights after an energetic performance of Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff” by a drunken popped-collar frat boy – maybe this place wasn’t so bad after all!

Then the other regulars started pouring in. In a crappy bar, you’d think the regulars were grizzled old beer veterans nursing their poison in a darkened corner – except for THIS particular establishment, the regulars were a crew of the above-mentioned collar popping frat boys, barely dressed princesses oozing sexual charm and STDs, and hard-ridden eyeliner-abusing white trash imported straight from a trailer park in 1994 by virtue of their ripped jeans, plaid shirts, and affinity for Kokanee beer.

The bar started filling quickly, with most people falling nicely into one or two stereotypes. And then .. the fun began!

Our night took the first turn for the fucked up when an old man accused Darren of stealing his wallet. There is no need for me to dress that up with fancy words – an old man accused Darren of stealing his wallet. It would seem that Darren – while seated at our table drinking beer, no less – somehow brushed up against the gentleman who was hovering behind our table and staring at Cait while drinking his many beers. During this brush up, Darren supposedly liberated the man’s wallet from his person and made off with an old man’s treasure trove of expired credit cards and crumpled $10 bills. The man leapt up and started yelling at our table, causing a bouncer to come over to see what the issue was. Darren was forced to empty his pockets to prove he didn’t have the man’s wallet, but this was not good enough – obviously, Darren had already handed his booty off to one of his accomplishes. We all loudly stood up for Darren, but it was out of the bouncer’s hands and the police were called in. Darren was taken outside and questioned at some length, at which point several of us followed and pleaded his case – namely that Darren easily cleared a six figure salary and had no reason to steal the man’s wallet, and nor was he anywhere near him at the time we apparently stumbled into the reenactment of Oliver! The Musical.

As Josh and I fought over the right to provide Darren with conjugal visits, the police determined that he did not have the missing wallet, and the disgruntled man eventually faded into the night. Now that the unpleasantness was out of the way, we could settle in for some KARAOKE! YEAH!

The night wore on, and it became increasingly evident that our table was not going to be allowed to sing. The regulars had taken over the list and were allowed to serenade us repeatedly while we patiently waited for our names to be called – after all, we followed the rules and surely our turn would come up in due time. As the karaoke got louder and drunker, we still hadn’t heard our names. We don’t have proof, but rumour has it that the regulars didn’t take kindly to our table at center stage and usurped our position in the line by ensuring that the trashy bar sluts were allowed to go on as many times as they desired while we stood waiting. This got old really fast, and we started grumbling to ourselves a little.

It’s really unfortunate that at that exact moment, some of our group were struck from above with a mysterious case of Tourette’s Syndrome. Unbeknownst to ourselves, we started berating one of the delightful regulars and calling her names. Naturally, the only thing she could do at this point was to tell on us – so she went up to her friend the bartender, and just like that, we were told to get the fuck out.

Our table of mild mannered hipsters, featuring the only sober person in the entire place (that’d be me), was KICKED OUT of the most disgusting bar any of us had ever been in. We – Josh, Shan, Darren, Miranda, Reilly, Amanda, Cait, myself, and a couple others – are NOT GOOD ENOUGH for The Met Pub, and were asked to leave because we were apparently classing the joint up a little too much. Assured that it was not in fact a joke, we were told to leave by the bartender and multiple bouncers because we had somehow upset a drunken skank with the saddest pair of wobbly tits I have ever seen.

How ‘bout that.

We opted not to cause a scene (mostly because we didn’t want the cops called on Darren twice in the span of a few hours) and left the enchanting atmosphere of The Met. It was close to 2am at this point, so we spent some time hanging out on the corner of Abbott and Water, watching what happens when last call is announced. I was entranced – THIS is what normal people do? Really? People go to bars regularly and drink and fall over and really wear those outfits and act like that without a trace of irony? THIS is what I’ve been missing all these years? Honestly? THIS is considered perfectly normal and acceptable, and I’M the social outcast in these parts? REALLY?!


Hunger set in, and naturally the only thing left to do was go to Denny’s. While we were figuring out the logistics of getting our group to food, a great number of sirens wailed by. Fire trucks! Our night had been sorely missing fire, so we watched with interest. Eventually we decided to go to the Denny’s on the North Shore, and we split into two groups of three – Darren and Reilly driven by Miranda in their car, and Josh, Shan and myself in the Mazdabator.

As we walked to the parkade to get the car, we realized that those fire trucks that had gone blazing by seconds before were in fact at the parkade itself. The newly installed sprinkler system had malfunctioned, and mystery water was cascading throughout the parkade like a miniature Gastown tsunami. After looking around for Noah and seeing no ark, we opted to walk up the five flights of parkade to our car, making our way around the deep puddles of water that had pooled around the cars. We found our car, investigated the source of the water, and drove off to the North Shore for some food.

On the way there, my cell phone rang. It was a picture message. The picture was of Darren’s wang, helpfully exposed in the Denny’s parking lot and sent to my phone with affection. I was amused, but Josh was torn between drunken confusion and drunken outrage – “Darren’s naked? Darren’s naked on the NORTH SHORE?! I will have to battle his nakedness with my own!” Darren’s wang dancing through our heads, we made our way to Denny’s safely and ended our evening with heaping platters of much needed grease and gravy.

Eventually, our exciting night came to an end and Josh, Shan and I parted ways with Miranda, Reilly, Darren and Darren’s wang. It was 3:30 at this point, and Josh and Miranda and plans for a 7am 4×4 adventure. Baffled, full and slightly giddy, we returned home and settled in to catch what little sleep we had clearly earned from our night out.

tl;dr: The Met Pub in Gastown fucking sucks and isn’t worth going to, even if you’re slumming or on the prowl for a wretched one night stand. I don’t care who you are; you can do better.

In closing: I’m clearly jealous that I’m not classy enough to consider myself a regular at one of the skuzziest bars in town :(

MAN, I wish I was a drunken slut.

20 thoughts on “the vancouver met pub sucks

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  2. Some of this shows why I don’t like going out to Gastown restaurants and bars: the regulars all seem to have this sense of superiority, a “nouveaux riche” sort of vibe. Look at me in my fancy clothes drinking my $12 cocktail that contains imported fruit essence and only the most expensive liqueur. Then again, if The Met’s not like that then it just thinks it’s awesome by location.

    My preferred hangout, now, is Dix. The food’s not that great but you get bottomless shelled peanuts that you get to break on the table and throw the shells on the floor. Screw elegance.

    I wonder wtf was up with that old guy. Was he trying to get money off you guys? Did he forget his wallet at home and he was trying to find a way to get away without paying? Maybe he was senile.

    And how do you know it’s Darren’s wang you saw? Strangely, nobody ever phone-messages me photos of wangs, theirs or otherwise. It’s rather a waste of my cellphone’s high resolution.

  3. Amanda passed on this link to me, and this is a wonderful summary of the night’s events! Darren, I’ve only met you twice, but as it is stated above – I hope you are forever banned from making establishment choices!!!

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  7. Why would you even think of going there? The place loloks like a dive even from across the street. In Gastown ahyone hip would be at the irish Heather, Black Frog, Chill Winston, or Steamworks for a pint.

  8. We’re blaming Darren for that one :) The key was really the karaoke, as we wanted to have some fun before Amanda had to leave for Calgary. The Frog is our usual Gastown hangout, it’s great there .. but we tried to spread our wings and got burned for our efforts.

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  10. what a great read…sorry the night had to be so crappy….never heard about how lovely the bathrooms are in the dive though…my guess is they don’t have any, and you had to ‘relieve’ yourselves in the alley. Am I close?

  11. I was also at the Met with you all but had a total different take on the evening. I wouldn’t call the place a dive or sketchy at all. It’s no Irish Heather but then again it’s a lot cleaner then the Cambie.

    Maybe some “regulars” felt the groups passive superiority. I also didn’t see “popped collar frat boys”. The guy singing Limp Bizkit looked no different then some people at our tables. I feel the whole night was trumped up for good blogging. Although the stuff with Darren was a bit odd, but nothing stranger then what Darren and I used to get up to a few years back.

    Anyway, it made for good blog entries and mobile facebook status updates for all.


  12. Shanman

    The craziest thing I think about the place was that it was totally sketchy one minute, then there was a decent chunk of time where it was a great time and we could all see us heading there frequently – even after the Darren incident which you witnessed – and then it went downhill FAST with the crap at the end of the night.

    Respectfully, you were only there for the middle chunk. You arrived later than everyone else, missing the members of our group being accosted by drunk old guys with missing teeth. You aren’t female, so some of the creepiness factor of some of the other patrons wouldn’t affect you. You also missed the women’s washroom altogether, which truly is a blessing for you!

    And yup, the dude singing Limp Bizkit definitely had the popped collar thing going on. I’m pretty sure *you* weren’t sporting a popped collar, so I think the moniker fits!

    And really, the icing on the proverbial cake was the end of the night when we were booted. It was totally crazy… all of a sudden the female bartender was over shaking her fist about how we were causing a scene and to get out, the bouncers were involved and in many cases entirely confused, and the most poorly dressed of the table of regulars went entirely Jerry Springer on poor Cait’s ass as she was lashing out at her. It really, truly, was a comedy that had to be witnessed to be fully understood.

    As for cleanliness – when everyone was removed and you just looked at the place based on spic and span factor, sure, it might have the Cambie beat. Sketchiness and completely earning the dive title, however, are based entirely on the people inside from the regulars to the staff, and those accusations – from my perspective – were most definitely not trumped up!

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  14. uhh… I sent the link to this entry to the folks at the forum, which is a Vancouver-based hospitality industry site. The forum is private but very well attended (if you want to read it, just ask the admin) and the consensus amongst the pros was that yes, the Met is a dive.

    And so is Denny’s. :)

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  16. An amusing article, indeed. Honestly, I attend The Met semi-regularly, but I’d *never* go on a weekend. You see, they also have a karaoke night on Wednesday, which is pretty awesome by dive-bar standards. As for your songs well, to be honest, if you haven’t gotten in a tune by 11:00 PM, you’re not getting on. People usually drop off three songs at the beginning of the night (at least on the one I go to) and wait their turn; the guy who runs it is very awesome though, and usually tries to get people in. I can’t imagine you were intentionally snubbed. Sorry you had such a shit time of it, though at least it made for good writing/reading material!

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