Gin & Sin – Back in the day!

gin-and-sinBack in the mid 90’s me  and a few other friends used to run a night at the Mighty Niagara Hotel. It was called Gin & Sin and let me tell you there was plenty of both.

Gin and Sin is a Lounge Nite hosted by The Society Cocktail Club every Wednesday nite at the Niagara Hotel Pub, 435 W. Pender St., Vancouver Canada. It is a tribute to Space Age Bachelor Pad Music and other lounge favorites. Now live music every other week. The one that started it all in Vancouver. For more info call the Society Cocktail Club and join us for an evening of hi-phonic full color, 360-degree, 3-D sound that will send you straight to moodsville. Cocktail Attire Required of Course.

ginThat quote was what we used to describe the nite in magazines and event listings. The night started through a friends return from a recording stint in Los Angeles. Rob had been recording some tracks with SNFU and saw that there was this lounge thing going on in LA and had spent time at a tiny little club called the Lava Lounge on La Brea. Rob felt that a night like that was just what Vancouver needed. Another friend Steve was tight with Ronnie the owner of the bar we all where hanging out in on a regular basis and felt that he could convince him that this was just the night that the bar needed. So now Rob would be responsible for the music, Steve would run the night operationally and promotionally and I would give the night it’s look.  

Steve approached Ronnie, the owner of the bar, who was a long standing member of the Italian family bar business in town. He was sold on the idea pretty quick and was excited by the fact that we were going to be playing Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin songs once a week. This was a huge change from the punk rock venue that the bar had become. The bar was called the Mighty Niagara in the now defunked Niagara Hotel [Now a cheesy Ramada Inn]. The bar had a sorted history and once was a low/mid strip club with an actual water fall as a backdrop for the girls that graced the stage and brass pole. The outside the hotel had an amazing neon sign out front and would be a great beacon for weary cocktailers in need of an extra dry martini. We decided to launch Gin & Sin on New Years eve and printed up a schwack of tickets. We figured you can sell tickets to just about anything on New Years and people will come. Steve went all out on the decor and Rob readied the set of music for the night. Well it did sell out and the place was full of retro dressed punkers, artists and hipsters from all over. We even had a transvestite cigarette girl that sold cigars and cigarettes. It truly was like no other night in town and Ronnie wanted it every Wednesday after that. 

The night just grew and grew over the next year and inspired a few other imitators including the Blue Lizard lounge that would be held at the famous Waldorf Hotel and it’s amazing tiki rooms. We fire eaters, live jazz bands, Bolistico the magician just to name a few. There were so many cocktails consumed in following years it hard to imagine the toll it took on my liver. The night went on for a couple of years and with all night club scenes it faded out with a little less grace than it probably deserved. I now that to this day there is great fondness in the many that danced and drank to the sounds of the crazy thing called “Space Age Bachelor Pad Music” 

I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. They wake up in the morning and that’s the best they’re going to feel all day. 

Dean Martin



  1. *sigh* those WERE the days!


  1. JP Holecka

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