Because Victoria’s downtown is fairly small, most of the nightlife is located within walking distance. Cabs aren’t too expensive and there isn’t too far to go to get from point A to B. Victoria’s police force has an aggressive crackdown on drinking and driving, so take a cab, all you have to do is stumble to Douglas and eventually you will grab one before someone else. But if it’s a “special” night like Halloween or New Year’s Eve, expect a bit of a wait. Compared to clubs in larger cities, cover in Victoria is cheap, ranging from $3 to $10. Fridays and Saturdays: expect to pay $7 to get in the door and another $2 to check your coat. Compared to larger cities, Victoria’s liquor is pretty pricey. There is a law in Victoria that requires all drinks to cost $3 at minimum for a serving of alcohol. Expect to pay at least $3 but most likely more for each drink. Beers and shots are about $5. Most bars have cash machines inside, and accept only cash as payment. The Blue Pearl Nightlcub, located under the Station House Pub in Langford, is one of the more happening places in the greater Victoria area. It’s known for its wild “foam parties” and celebrity hosts. It has a 6000 square foot room boasting the nicest cleanest nightclub washrooms around. A two-level dance floor surrounded by over 16,000 watts of speaker power. There is a leather clad lounge area for chilling out and kicking back. A 40 foot solid granite bar for ease of service as well as a full service martini bar. Thursday nights are Retro Request Student Night, $3.25 for all drinks and no cover with valid student ID. Fridays are Top 40 and Hip Hop. Saturdays are Rock n Roll, classic and contemporary. The club is also available for private parties and functions. Lucky Bar 517 Yates. A bit small, but not nearly as costly as others. Wednesday night is Mod Night so dress in your hipster finest. Thursday night’s “Hang The DJ” is probably the most tasteful music in the city, and the music-snob crowd reflects that. The crowd is a mix of straight and queer. Monday night is 90210 so dress to impress and get down there early.
Red Jacket View St. (at Blanchard). The popularity of this bar changes depending on the day and the month – Thursday might be busy one month, dead the next – but this is generally a posh crowd of those looking to see and be seen. The crowd does tend to be a bit more ethnically diverse. The bar itself is large (when both sides are open) and features a bright fish tank that is very cool when you’re drunk. When this club is popular, usually Thursdays, expect to wait in line unless you come early or know the right people. For a slightly older crowd, head to Upstairs Cabaret (in Bastion square). Above the popular pub Darcy’s, the place gets busy on Saturday after the pub crowd are kicked out at 1am when the (awesome) rock cover band finishes. Upstairs is a good size and plays a wide variety of music. The staff often ignores all patrons but their friends but with a bit of persistence you’ll get a drink.
The younger crowd tends to head to Plan B. Its a younger crowd so if you are into that head here for an awesome time. They play a good mix of top 40 and house music. Lots of parties are thrown here and there is a large UVIC crowd who goes here on weekends. How can you go wrong with stripper poles and cages?
For years, one of the most popular spots was Legends (on Douglas). It has been renamed Element and has a new look.
For rock and 80s fans, go to Evolution at 502 Discovery. They play classic and modern rock and that’s it. 80’s night on Wednesday’s is especially popular and the drinks tend to be a bit cheaper. The crowd is really mixed and rowdy.
If you want a club that’s open six nights a week and has a different theme every night then stop at The Boom Boom Room. This place is Victoria’s only hip hop nightclub but does play to requests. On your way, see if you can score free passes from somebody handing them out usually on the corner of Government and Yates.
A slightly more pretentious version of Lucky Bar is Hugo’s Bar on Courtney St. Get gussied up and fork over your cash because this place is expensive. The staff won’t be friendly unless you tip well and tip often. And don’t bother requesting music – the DJ thinks he knows best. The crowd is very upper-middle class and a bit older. Pretend you’re a business person and hit on some secretary.
Victoria’s gay crowd, although usually more comfortable at Lucky or Hush, will occasionally show their support and hang out at Prism the “official” gay bar on Johnson St. The music is pumping and special drag shows or karaoke contests are often. Straight people are welcome…sort of…if they are willing to have a little fun anyway. This place is also home to the only good Karaoke night in tow
Another “sort-of” gay bar is Hush. The music is almost purely pounding trance and other dance music genres and anyone is welcome. The bar is fairly small but you can find it on Government St. This is basically where everybody went after the City of Victoria completely destroyed the awesome rave scene that used to happen here.