Updated: Apr 3, 2021
Its 3pm.You had a big day on the mountain. Lap after lap, tree runs, groomers, Peak to Creak (longest run on Whistler Mountain). It is exhausting. Your legs are throbbing, you are absolutely parched. What better way to pat yourself on the back for a job well done than to head straight to the closest bar from the ride out...Longhorn's.
The legendary Longhorn Saloon is based right at the bottom of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. With a massive heated patio, DJ pumping music, and quick service, this booming après spot will ensure you keep the 'stoke' from the day alive. Pre/post COVID, dancing on tables is encouraged.
Longhorn's is known to be pricier- geared to the international crowd with money to throw (on thousand dollar bottles of champagne to spray on people instead of drink).However, being a local has its perks. Longhorn's has a 'Legendary Locals' card, which spares you the Longhorn prestige prices. It includes local drink and food prices like 25% off jugs of beer, cocktail of the day, as well as the necessary after-ski nachos. If you are not a local, you can still participate in the daily specials which range from cocktails to beer and food deals. One must-have drink is the Bulldog or Corona-rita as some may say. It is an over the top cocktail and expensive ($30 on a regular day). Good news is, the daily special brings it down to $20, which for a Corona and 2oz margarita combined, is not so bad.
Because of the expensive nature of the bar, you might only want a jug of beer, maybe a Stoker(a locals secret; rye, ginger ale, and apple juice for $8), a snack, and head to the next bar. Us locals don't stay in one place for long.
Dubh Linn Gate, steps away from Longhorn's is a personal favourite of mine. It is the closest you will get in Whistler to a proper Irish pub. Similar to Longhorn's, it has a big patio with a fire pit, heat lamps and plenty of space to fit the après crowd. They feature live music everyday of the week, ensuring an energetic après experience. Drink deals at Dubh Linn go from 5pm-7pm, making it an excellent second après spot. This deal includes BC craft beer pints, highballs, and 6oz glasses of house wine for $5.75. Dubh Linn also has daily food specials, such as 2-4-1 Fish and Chips, $12 apps, $16 burger and beer and more. If you choose to sit inside, be sure to have your dancing shoes on as the live music makes it very tempting to swing your friends around and practice your Irish step dance. Pair it with a pint of Guinness and you have the Irish experience, making everyday feel like St. Pattys Day. Dubh Linn Gate is also known to host events, such as Bingo nights and more. Keep in mind, unfortunately due to COVID no dancing or live music is permitted at this time.
Next stop, Crystal Lounge. Crystal Lounge is just a bit further down the village stroll. It is a warm, cozy bar, with couches, board games and friendly service (with servers like me). They are known for their cheap drinks and wings. You don't have to be a local to get locals prices here, the cheap prices are for everyone! All day Happy Hour: 40 cent wings, $14 jugs, $5 shots, are a few of the many deals you can enjoy. There are also daily specials which showcase a beer, mixed drink and shot of the day.With 9 TVs surrounding every inch of the bar, you will have ski and snowboard videos playing in the background, as well as NBA,NFL, and NHL games depending on the time of year. Pre/Post COVID, Crystal is the place to be for all things entertainment. Monday Trivia night (a favourite of mine), Tuesday Karaoke night, Wednesday-Saturday awesome local live music, and Sunday Jam nights to wind down the weekend. Crystal will ensure a cheap and cheerful experience.
In todays landscape, 10pm is the cut off so you probably don't have time for more bar hopping. However, if you are visiting or living here when life is normal again, there is plenty of fun to be had and more bars to explore, including underground clubs which will keep you dancing in your ski and snowboard boots all night.Call a cab, get home safe, and be ready to do it all again tomorrow!