There are a lot of bars in Edmonton to get your boogie on, listen to obnoxiously loud music varying in the Top 40 area of sounds, get sweaty real quick due to the millions (accurate number) of people in the crowd, and have the option of drinking a different beverage all night until you can’t see anymore.
But where are the dive/dive-esque/hella chill bars? You know the ones: Lights are turned on so the lighting for your selfie is not on point. Hardly any dancing since people are too busy conversing thanks to the subdued music volume. And having the option of either drinking a few choices of beer or a few choices of high balls.
These are my three favorite dive/dive-esque/hella chill bars and they have all been part of my Definitely Had an Unreal Night Here list.
- The Strat. Of course, this list has to start with my favorite dive bar, a stomping ground that I have frequented more than just ‘often’, and a place that ALL of our parents have had a few wobbly pops. But what do you call it? The Strat or The Strath? It depends on what generation you’re from. If you haven’t been here, have you truly lived in YEG? Don’t forget to eat enough popcorn your mouth starts physically hurting you, or, if you’re looking to go buck wild, ask for a pizza pop.
- The Empress Ale House. This is a bar I frequent after work every once in a while with the same people. It’s a great spot, also located on Whyte Ave. The front porch patio is a great place to chill in the summer and while sipping on cheap happy hour beer. They have comedy night, quiz night, and live shows. It doesn’t suck.
3. Blues on Whyte. Much like The Strat, this one is a classic. The hotel above Blues has been around for over a century and it would not surprise me if the bar has been around that long too. Recently, they did a big ol renovation on the interior and did a bang up job on it. 7 days a week of live music, an alarmingly awesome revolving door of loyal regulars, and a dance floor that is never empty, you can’t go wrong here. It’s always a good time. Sure, I said people don’t tend to dance at dives but this is a welcomed exception!