Because Paying A $20 Cover To Drink Beer In A Tent Is Retarded

February 23, 2010.


The biggest draw of Gastown right now seems to be the temporary German beerhall set up in the parking lot next to Steamworks. It’s not even in Gastown proper, but rather at its gates, sucking a lot of the daytime Olympic traffic from the neighbourhood. I went by yesterday and marveled at all the folks lined up when over a dozen kickass watering holes were within reach down the street. I hear zee Germans actually sold more beer in the first 9 days of the Games than they did at Turin altogether. Word is they actually ran out and had to charter a flight full of Thuringian suds to meet the ridiculous demand.

To help the local establishments out, Richard Gallagher, partner and creative director of Gastown’s Engine Digital, put this cool two-sided flyer together. Feel free to tweet, copy, paste, Facebook and forward it to all your contacts. All of those included - The Alibi Room, Cobre, The Diamond, Shebeen, Irish Heather, Boneta, Chill Winston, Six Acres, Salt, Jules, Revel Room, Black Frog, Pourhouse, Greedy Pig – are just a wedge to a 3-wood off the typical tourist track. Check ‘em out, not least because paying a $20 cover to line the pockets of people who aren’t invested in the city is sort of dumb. “No Tents. No Line-Ups. Actual Bars”. Dig it.

  • JP Holecka

    Now I am not a prude or uptight at all but that headline is not going to boost any foot traffic to Gastown at all. I also think that the lines are idiotic and a waste of time the venues in Gastown are much more interesting and a better reflection of what Vancouver is all about for sure. Calling people retarded then inviting down to a better place is not really the best way to do it. Not trying to come down on you either I just want the foot traffic to follow, ya dig?

  • Scout Magazine

    I understand the motive behind your comment, JP. It’s an honourable one and I respect that. But I disagree with how you’ve characterised my use of the word “retarded”. In the modern vernacular, I suspect only the out of touch would use the term to describe a person who is mentally challenged. I’m not calling you out of touch, but only reminding you that the word has been liberated enough to exist as a colloquial dig without offensive intent, ignorant or otherwise. If it stops people from doing anything interesting, such as venturing a few extra blocks to enjoy a well-made and well-priced drink, I’d be more disappointed than guilty. Thanks for reading.

  • bz

    I’m with JP, Andrew. While Scout is often cheeky, it is also an articulate and creative magazine.

    I get that your use of the word can be defended, but colloquial or not, it’s still an unnecessary jab.

    I’d go so far as to say it’s gay. */sarcasm/*

  • Quinn

    I don’t know if it’s retarded (no matter how you interpret the word) necessarily to choose a big tent with a gigantic screen showing Olympic events that’s full of people whose sole intent is to get drunk and get excited about sports.

    It’s not my first choice, even with the Games on, but there are different reasons to eat/drink somewhere. Just taking those Gastown establishments into consideration, if it were just about quality of food and drink, why the Hell would anyone go to the Black Frog instead of Six Acres or the Alibi Room? Because there’s a Canucks vs. Oilers game on and sometimes I’ll take draft beer and a average burger over cask beer and a charcuterie plate, because I’m going out to watch Edmonton fans dejected faces when we crush them, not necessarily just to eat.

    It sucks that these places are hurting, because most of them are great (although Pourhouse seemed to have re-jigged their menu in the spirit of the Olympics during the first few days of the Games–I haven’t been back to see if they changed it back), but I don’t think you can blame the lack of business on bad taste or not knowing these places exist. Cascade has been pretty full most nights I’ve walked past lately, but Habit’s been empty. One has a bunch of TVs blaring, the other one doesn’t.

  • Scout Magazine

    @Quinn It’s only the $20 cover thing that has me balking. Thanks for your two cents.

    @bz Thanks for the compliments. That said, I disagree entirely with you. :-)

    The more we build walls around language and allow ourselves to be wounded by terms taken out of context (especially those that have more than one definition), the more we narrow the goalposts within which we can freely express ourselves. I’ll have none of that, thank you. If there are people who would read that headline and assume I was somehow using it to slight people who are handicapped, I’d be more amazed than I’d be sorry.

  • Oleander

    Saying ‘retard’ is downright rude and offensive.

  • Scout Magazine

    Just saying it? I prefer not to limit myself. Once again, the term “retarded” was used to describe an act, not a person. Gosh.

  • kenny

    Language is a living, breathing entity and changes over time. The use of the term gay(cheerful, homosexual, lame) has changed more than twice.

    If we can’t use the word retard colloquially, when is the right time to use the word? In front of a mentally challenged person? That, I would find downright rude and offensive.

  • Scout Magazine

    Hear hear.

  • kenny

    Oh, and I have a beef with people needing to point out that they’re being sarcastic. That sort of undermines the process of creating sarcasm. It’s like giving the punchline without delivering the joke properly. Might as well not be sarcastic in the first place.

  • ThomasV

    I would suggest that an inability to draw the expected or desired numbers to one’s establishment during a time like this says more about the venues than it does the potential clientele.

    I wouldn’t suggest that the owners of the above mentioned venues are retarded but if you can’t get this right…..

    Perhaps this is a “beer tent event”; one that celebrates the temporary rather than the somewhat permanent?

  • George Baugh

    Change ‘retarded’ in the head to ‘fucked up’. Anybody offended?

  • JP

    I’ll go with Georges recommendation on word choice. At least Gastown attempted to do something about it. My local Denman Street restaurants have been decimated and have done nothing to date.

  • Stephen

    Folks, please get over the headline and realize the point of this post.

    The Gastown House campaign is a positive program intended to bring our international visitors to a neighborhood that’s absolutely part of the Vancouver experience. Sure, visit Robson, visit Granville, try the tents and pay $20 cover if you wish, but Gastown House was created to pull the out-of-towners into a real, historic, and permanent part of the city that’s full of great *independent* pubs, bars, and restaurants – exactly what everyone does when they visit a typical tourist destination – ahem, except apparently when the Olympics are in town.

    Maybe if people would focus on the objectives of this rather than a subjectively disputable headline, we’d keep the momentum going and bring even more support to the Gastown business owners that need the help.

  • scott

    wouldn’t you rather visitors come here and then return home and tell their friends about authentic permanent Vancouver experiences that can be revisited again by their friends than temporary beer tents in parking lots that can not be visited again???

    flying in more beer to the german beer tent for a Vancouver olympics when there is lots of great beer here already???? WTF! (sorry if the WTF offended anyone……. well not really.) did we really spend all of this money to host the games to showcase other peoples beer and culture?

  • mike

    sorry just don’t get why you needed to trash the disabled by using the word retarded. Oh I know you weren’t talking about “them.” just tell me one way that the word retarded is used with a positive spin.
    it’s not like you don’t have a million other choices of words.

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