It’s a review! But not of a book…

I like bars, I like sitting on a bar stool and chatting with the bartender and the people sitting around me.

There’s something about a bar that makes people comfortable talking to strangers. I suspect it might be the presence of the bartender who often facilitates conversation.

We often go to a bar for a drink and a snack in the evening and we tend to go to the same bars. Not every week, not even every month, but there are a half dozen places on our regular route.

This is the view from one of my favourites – the Cascades Lounge in the Pan Pacific Hotel. I love the entrance to the bar – just getting to the bar involves all sorts of delights. From street level, you travel up two long escalators looking up into the atrium of the hotel, designed to look like the interior of an extra large cruise ship. Why? Because when you get to the top – which is the lobby of the hotel – you get this same view.

You see the Five Sails (built for Expo 86) and beyond them you look across Burrard Inlet to the North Shore Mountains (which are a subrange of the Pacific Ranges, which are a subgroup of the Coast Mountains). When you sit down in the bar, you can look west to Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge. It’s a view so beautiful you never want to leave it, especially on a sunny day – doesn’t matter if it’s winter (because then you get the snow on the mountains) or the summer.

It’s not cheap but the food is terrific and the service equals it. Patrick, one of the reasons we go to the Cascades Lounge, is a true delight. He’s a sports fanatic, as we are, and he knows everything about all sports. He’s a people person, so we often end up talking with him and others about all kinds of things.

The other thing I like particularly about this bar is that because the hotel is attached to the Convention Center, there are always people staying there for some conference or another. Last night I spoke to a psychologist who was up from Phoenix to go to the Biomarkers for Alzeheimer’s conference – and I learned a whole lot from her.

Nice bar. Nice people. Beautiful view. Can’t beat that, can you?


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