The Morrissey on Granville


Thursday, October 1st, 2009 — 9:54am PST
Comments 7

A few weeks ago I got a tour of the newly-renovated Morrissey on Granville and last night Keira and stopped in for a bit to check it out at night. The renovation of this watering hole with a loyal customer base represents far more than a design overhaul; it’s a non-pretentious, laid back, yet really cool place to grab a drink which over the last 20 years or so, was next to impossible to find on Granville.


Photo credit: Stephen Downes on Flickr

Anyone who has been to Vancouver knows that Granville street is a pretty interesting place. At night it’s club district is filled with short skirts, egos and testosterone-fueled spats. In the light of day, especially now that the street is undergoing a revitalization, it’s like a blast from the past. The architecture is from a different time, actually more so from various different times.

Art Deco theatres now house night clubs or stores, while hotels from the 1920s have been turned into hostels or parking lots. Piercing shops and tattoo parlours speckle the landscape in between adult novelty stores with neon “25 cent peep show” signs. Just down the block there’s a Burger King, a Payless Shoes, and private parties for things like BC Fashion Week. This eclectic mix of old and new, posh and rough, trendy and edgy makes it an area of the city where you either go to have fun, or avoid like the plague.

I met with the designer of the new Morrissey, Reisa Pollard, who said that the renovation was to be the antithesis of EarlStonesClub. However, it was still supposed to be friendly and welcoming to the hotel guests, as it is a part of the Ramada. A classic live venue that has hosted rock and roll acts for a pint or five, she also didn’t want to lose that part of its history. Taking an Irish-themed hotel pub and turning it into a relaxed tribute with antique highlights was definitely a challenge but I’d say Reisa and her team pulled it off.

Before

Morrissey - Before Morrissey - Before

Morrissey - Before Morrissey - Before

After

Morrissey - After Morrissey - After

Morrissey - After Morrissey - After

Morrissey - After

The Morrissey is located on Granville between Davie & Drake, and its building – the Austin Motor Hotel, dates back to 1906. Some of the elements you’ll see out in the open, as a part of the design, are either original or throwbacks to that time period. During the renovation Reisa removed the wood paneling from the back wall and uncovered the original wallpaper and you’ll also notice band stickers on the bar stools, funky pillows, and old radios stacked up on the walls.

Music has always been an important part of the Morrissey and they still have live performances and every Saturday night at 10:00pm they will feature current buzz bands, indie, punk, rock, electro, old school hits and rotating DJs.

Keira and I really enjoyed hanging out there last night. The staff was friendly, helpful, and courteous, and the music was simply fun. Once a Beastie Boys song turned into Tears for Fears Keira exclaimed, “I wish they would play some Duran Duran.” I assured her that given what we had already heard that night, it was probably on tap. Sure enough the very next song was Planet Earth. I would recommend checking it out and if you do, I’d love to hear about your experience.

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7 comments

  1. paul says:

    to be honest, i forgot about that place… the reno’s look awesome though, can’t wait to check it out again.

  2. Duane Storey says:

    I used to frequent that place quite a bit. I was staring at your before pictures and going “wow, it looks exactly the same!”, then realized I was an idiot.

    I always thought it looked really cool inside. What I hated was how loud they kept the music all the time. The whole place was/is set up such that you can have conversations with people (couches, intimate tables, etc), but they always kept the music so loud that you were shouting at the person across from you. I hope they fixed that.

  3. Dom Richards says:

    My office is just around the corner from the Morrissey and it was a place we used to go to quite a bit for a few beers after work. It’s been months since I was there last though. I’ll have to rally the troops again and start going back. I like the look of the renovations. I always enjoyed the music too.

  4. Miss604 says:

    @Duane The music was just right, we didn’t have to yell or raise our voices at all to be heard & were still able to enjoy the tunes.

  5. Cynnamon says:

    Whenever I’m looking for a place to hang out and have a beverage on Granville I always choose the Morrissey. Thanks for this update! I can’t wait to check out the new renos.

  6. Keira-Anne says:

    It was great – I had a fantastic time on our “Whiskey Wednesday” and can’t wait to do it again.

  7. Lisa Honel says:

    I just went there for the first time since the reno’s, on the weekend. I can just tell that its going to be one of theose places where I tell everyone not to tell anyone cause it is such a gem, but then everyone finds out and ruins it because I cant get my friends in there anymore. Its so $#@*& awesome! Its so original, not like all the plastic and wenge places that line yaletown, they put serious thought into this place. I love the corners, the middle, the bar, the smell….but not the bathrooms, they suck. I didnt spend much time in the bathroom so I had a damn good time!

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