If you’ve ever been to the new Boneta in Gastown (of course you have), you’ve probably seen this oddly-shaped brass pole at the end of the short bar. Though seemingly without function, it is nevertheless a priceless piece of Vancouver’s past. It came out of the old Drake Showlounge, the venerated but sketchy stripclub at the foot of the ancient and storied Drake Hotel (606 Powell). The City purchased the building for $3.2 million back in 2007 (apparently from the Hell’s Angels), and have since renovated it for SROs. Back in the summer, they opened the main floor’s interior up for salvage grabs. Among the discarded flotsam, Boneta owners Mark Brand and Neil Ingram found the brass pole that the strippers once employed to help them up and down the dance stage (ie. not the pole they used to gyrate upon, the fate of which remains unknown). “This can’t be allowed to just disappear,” Ingram remembers thinking upon the discovering it. He and Brand purchased it on the spot and carted it down to their new bar, which was then under construction. There, it has been anchored it ever since as a piece of our history, suitably recycled.
Vancouver Detail is a new (and overdue) offshoot of Scout’s regular Seen In Vancouver column. With it, we aim to share the more macro scenes of our city’s awesomeness, the things that some of our more hurried readers might miss, from hidden works of art to all manner of unlikely but cool things lying in plain sight.
I don’t think they actually ever did renovate the Drake. They just housed them there as an emergency.
Being the last operator of The Drake,I have both brass poles safely tucked away in my house,along with a few other pieces that we took when we vacated.