Dream of the 90’s (in Victoria, BC)


We’ve got a couple great folks to interview coming up!  With other projects and illness it’s been slow, but I was talking with a friend and the subject of Victoria in the ninties.  It’s not Portland (Check out the Portlandia clip! ) but we definitely had a lot of fun in those days!  This world of devices and blogs was in its infancy and it certainly wasn’t all perfect but while we wait for the next interview here is the Westsound Magazine Top Twelve of Victoria’s Nineties!

12 – Red Rock City Billards

This was a wonderful pool hall that was eventually replaced by a nightclub and then street link (which is fair enough) but it was a wonderful place to have a beer with friends and play the classic game in a building that looked out over the blue bridge and the inner harbour.  There was also Peacock’s in it’s old location over on Johnson.

11 – Steamers

Auto mentioned that and we both waxed nostalgic.  One of the few places you wanted to play back then with a great staff, food and stage set up it was located just west of Government and Yates.

10 – Pluto’s Open Stage

Along with the Milky Way and Java (the latter run by bass player Rick May) Pluto’s on Tuesday nights was one of the places to be if you were trying to get your sound out there.  So much so that two compilation cds came out called “Pluto’s Open Stage” volumnes one and two.

9 – Twenty four hour joints!

Can’t put it gingerly so I’ll just go straight in.  You use to be able to smoke inside places like restaurants.  Because of this people would leave the clubs at night and go chill at various cafes around town before going home to crash.  Some of these wonderful places still exist but most are no longer 24 hours except for maybe Timmies that went full non smoking by 1998.  Memories bring up names like Cafe De La Lune, QV Bakery, Alzu’s/Humptys, and Paul’s.

8 – Johnny Z’s

And that’s all that should be said.  This was a great video arcade on Blanshard between Yates and View that was a great fun chill out place for all ages.  Above it…gotta say it…

7 – Capitol Six.

Before Silvercity this was the big theatre for Victoria.  Located right above Johnny Z’s, the building is still there and includes the super cool round glass construction that contains a giant ramp that would wind you up into theatre land.  Supercool way to provide all access.

6 – Early cybercafes

Back in the early nineties this whole Internet thing was just emerging into common usage.  Before that you would log into things like the Q’s bulliten board system with your smokin hot 1200 baud modem.  You would hear about this new strange thing coming before you played an online game at one of the other bulletin boards the Q listed.
At one of the cafés, now The Mint, you could try out this new thing called email and try looking up anything around the world.  You could get current news about a favorite band.  You could look up dinosaurs.  All pretty crazy stuff.

5 – The Early Classic days of Chapters

Ok, I can’t blame them like the smoking thing before for how they had to change.  Still Chapter’s back in those days was like the nightclub for quieter people.  There was Starbucks which was a new thing, there was couches everywhere and you could take a book into the cafe section and read it with your coffee.  There were performances and book readings.  My first gig was actually there with my second and the one in Nanaimo for their grand opening.

4 – Victoria Lanes.

Our bowling alley and pool hall that was across from Mayfair.

3 – Thrifty’s bulk bagels

Staple of a musician’s life these were a display that included the insanely yummy jalapeño cheddar.  Mmm!

2 – All access busking at the causeway.

Now the place for hard core pros only the waterfront had sections where you could play and hear live tunes without all that traffic noise.  Ran by the buskers it was a great spot to try out your sound with the sun at your back.  If you were lucky you could get the money spot which was the corner by Wharfside.

1 – Folkfest!
Great event of yesteryear put on by the Inter-cultural Association this project included food from all over the world and lots of live entertainment down at Ship’s Point.  Love to see this one or Luminara come back but it’s understandable that they had run their course.

Still those were some great memories!  What are yours?  Please feel free to add more to our illustrious 12 in the comments below!


Thank you for supporting independant artists!

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