Happy Hour: $5.75 craft beer from 5-8pm
Walking into Portside Pub kind of feels like stepping down into the belly of a ship — a well-loved, rum-soaked ship. Exposed wooden beams line the ceiling, and glass mugs with regulars names hang above the bar. The aesthetic is wood, rope, and more wood.
Portside is located at 7 Alexander Street, just steps away from where Gastown legend Gassy Jack’s first bar, the Globe Saloon, once stood. The Gastown area is always bustling, with tourists and the tech startup after-work crowd hustling in search of a patio or a photo opportunity.
With so much happening around this central location in Gastown, Portside’s entrance can be easy to miss. But locals know the spot well, and weekend guests will often find themselves lined up to enter along the cobblestone sidewalk. The unassuming entrance gives little indication of what lies beneath, as visitors delve downstairs into the belly of this local fave.
“Great beer, friendly staff, comforting food, and good music.” – Sarah Whitney, events and marketing coordinator
Tucked beside the biggest patio in Gastown, at the corner of Carrall Street and Water Street, Portside is an “east coast pub” in a west coast city, according to Sarah Whitney, their events and marketing coordinator.
“The goal with the Portside Pub is to be the friendliest bar in Vancouver. Great beer, friendly staff, comforting food, and good music,” says Whitney.
Portside lives their friendly motto through a wide range of east coast-inspired events that lure thirsty visitors into the bowels of the pub. Regular “appie hours,” huge east coast boils with mountains of fresh seafood and beer flowing, whisky and beer tastings, and live acoustic performances from bawdy local talent are mainstays.
Regulars also flock to favourite nights like the weekly “Rock, Paper, Portside!” competition, an adult take on the schoolyard classic that features an official referee, prizes, and lofty bragging rights.
On weekend nights, Portside takes visitors from casual afternoon beers straight ahead into the high seas of nighttime festivities with a bumping dance floor and a line that often stretches along the block. An upstairs bar and gangway-esque walkways provide ample space for revelers of every speed.
On event-free nights, the pub’s daily happy hour offers $5.75 pours of 22 local craft beer taps. Happy hour at Portside is all about allowing guests to “[blow off] some steam off after a long day at work, without breaking the bank! Or maybe just cooling down after spending a day at the beach,” says Whitney.