Seven years ago this week a new bar and live music venue called The Electric Owl opened at 926 Main Street. If you’re unfamiliar or have somehow forgotten, it’s the voluminous space that now inhabited by The American and Monarch Burger.
Launched on a warm, late May evening in 2011 (during the hysteria of the Canucks’ last Stanley Cup run), The Electric Owl lasted five years, finally closing in the summer of 2015.
The place lay dormant for over a year before it was picked up by Ezra Kish, Patryk Drozd, and Simon Fallick of The Cobalt across the street. The American suits the neighbourhood better, coming complete as it does with a pool table; lots of good beer at night and good coffee in the day; a long row of pinball machines; fantastic burgers (essentially the same as the Dirty Burger); and arguably the best tagline of any establishment that has ever served liquor in Vancouver: “Don’t be a dick.”
Going over my (published) notes from the time, I remember The Electric Owl’s first week as a very busy one with loosely Japanese izakaya-themed food that was borderline inedible in its awfulness:
It definitely gets pretty wild at night (packed to the gills), but in the day it’s a desert – dead as Dunbar at night. I don’t mind the look of it in the least (great vibe and sound system), though I do think spreading a sweetened excuse for a carbonara sauce over perfectly good pork gyozas is a crime worthy of medieval punishment.
I’m sure some will recall it more fondly, while others might not recall it at all. Perhaps these images will dislodge the memories…