Edmonton’s nightlife thrives off these pubs, bars, and entertainment venues whose longevity — they’ve all been in operation for at least a dozen years — is a testament to how they draw crowds and shape the character of the city and its neighbourhoods. To celebrate these established favourites, WHERE Edmonton Magazine has compiled a list of 12 spots that have been entertaining guests for more than 12 years!
Come for: Classy atmosphere and longevity
Location: 10251 Jasper Ave., 780-429-4471
An Edmonton institution born the same year the Titanic was launched, this well-loved pub shows no signs of sinking! The long, narrow bar creates a cozy, old-fashioned atmosphere. For food, the burgers are your best bet, with regulars’ favourites including the Signature — with double-smoked bacon, Monterey Jack, barbeque sauce, and banana peppers — or for those who like it hot: the Jalapeno Cheddar Burger. Located in the centre of downtown on the happening Jasper Ave., The Hat is a tasteful joint and convenient spot to gather after a thought-provoking show at the Citadel Theatre or Winspear Centre. —Matthew Stepanic
Come for: A cozy and intimate atmosphere
Location: 10203-86 Ave., 780-432-0428
The Edmonton jazz scene owes a great deal to this local club. In 1957, a group of musicians with unparalleled passion for jazz opened the first location of the Yardbird Suite in a basement space on Whyte Ave. Although the location of the venue has changed multiple times since then, the current incarnation on 86 Ave. has been in operation since 1984. The club gives artists a creative and interactive space, while also offering Edmontonians a chance to see top jazz talents up close. Part of what makes the venue so popular is the casual, hip, and intimate atmosphere it provides for musicians and audiences alike. —Danielle Mohr
Rose & Crown Pub
Come for: Pre-game beers
Location: 10235- 101 St., 780-426-7827
Located next to the new Rogers Place, this popular English pub is a hot spot for pre- and post-game drinks and eats. Historically, the pub is noted for being the first “stand-up bar” in the city after the AGLC changed the liquor laws, allowing Edmontonians to consume drinks while standing. Expect Olde English style comfort food, a friendly atmosphere, and plenty of televisions to satisfy your sports cravings. Sit back with a scotch at the bar, enjoy a pint with friends after a game, or book a party in their private dining room. —D.M.
Blues on Whyte
Come for: Unpretentious, non-stop blues
Location: 10329 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-439-5058
With the classic feel of the blues bars of a bygone era, this welcoming spot will have you returning for some of the best live music in the city. No matter what night of the week, this well-loved bar is a haven for live bands. An entirely down-to-earth venue, anyone is welcome to swing their hips on the dance floor — or in their seats — where the only rule is to have a good time. Play some pool, enjoy a cold beer, and chat with the regulars. Be sure to swing by on a Saturday afternoon for the Blues Jam, when musicians riff each others’ songs, and a new group takes to the stage about every 20 minutes. —M.S.
The Next Act Pub
Come for: The Cameo Burger, an ever-changing special
Location: 8224-104 St., 780-433-9345
This classic pub is quite literally the next act for the many actors in the area who’ve just finished their innovative play or improv show. (Chances are good you can congratulate an actor or ask a director follow-up questions here!) The bar was purchased by new owners and renovated in 2010, and the upgraded menu is now one of the best reasons to stop in. The burgers at Next Act are a local favourite, and with the Cameo Burger changing from week to week with exciting toppings, there’s always something new to try. Often, the menu borrows smoked brisket or chicken from its sister restaurant next door, MEAT, making the food an extra tasty treat. —M.S.
O’Byrne’s Irish Pub
Come for: Live local music
Location: 10616 Whyte (82) Ave., 780-414-6766
O’Byrne’s proudly holds the title of “Edmonton’s Oldest Irish Pub”. As one would expect, the Guinness flows steadily here, and the menu offers a tasty selection of traditional Irish dishes created from scratch. Give the Irish Stew a try, or sample their Sausage and Spuds, an Irish classic topped with Guinness gravy. The cozy and welcoming atmosphere of this Edmonton favourite is made lively with regular entertainment throughout the week. Tuesday night Guinness Celtic Jam sessions are popular among patrons, and the Big Rock’n Open Mic shows on Sunday nights give local talent a chance to shine. —D.M.
To read the complete list of restaurants from WHERE Edmonton Magazine, visit the website!