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Whistler — Apres-ski and nightlife


Apres-Ski / NightlifeApres-ski spills out onto the snow from Garibaldi Lift Co. Bar and Grill at Whistler Village Gondola base and Merlin’s at Blackcomb. Both are beer-and-nachos spots with lively music. The outdoor patio at Longhorn Saloon & Grill, in the Carleton Lodge at the base of the village gondolas, always seems to be jammin’ with people of all ages, whether it’s for lunchtime, apres-ski or late-night revelry. Music pumps, the draft beer flows and you can even grab a bite to eat. It’s known for its 29 burgers. Dubh Linn Gate Old Irish Pub, an Irish pub in the Pan Pacific Mountainside Lodge, is another place for immediate fun when the lifts close. Enjoy a rousing atmosphere with Celtic music, 50 whiskies and 16 beers on tap. Citta’s, in the center of Whistler Village, has an atrium and is another good apres-ski and people-watching spot.

Every Sunday evening at 6:30 beginning December 17 and running through Spring, Whistler’s Fire and Ice show features fireworks, fire spinners and a show of skiers and snowboarders jumping through the Ring of Fire. Free performances take place near the base of the Whistler Village Gondola.

Things don’t slow down when the lifts close. Whistler Blackcomb has happening nightlife, from hot and heavy to sweet and subdued. Amsterdam Cafe in Village Square is Whistler’s funkiest local hangout for nighttime mingling. Drop into a deep couch or pull up a bar stool beside a famous local athlete. Tommy Africa’s is in the main Whistler Village, under the Rexall Drugstore and behind the zebra poles. It’s a treasure hunt to find, but the music and atmosphere make the search worth it. It’s the “best place to dance in Whistler” as voted by the locals—and our staff! If keeping in step with the go-go girls is too tough, belly up to one of the two bars for fuel. Beware: Most of the crowd are 20-somethings, but middle-agers should just show them how to groove and they’ll show new respect. Buffalo Bill’s, after 16 years one of Whistler’s favorite nightspots, has pool tables, video games and a crowded but friendly dance floor. This is the place to see and be seen. It’s just across from the conference center in the main village.

The Savage Beagle, near the Village Center, is recently renovated. This doggie dancing heaven favors funk and acid jazz in a double-decker, double-loud lounge right in the middle of downtown Whistler. More people watch than dance, but it’s the dancers who have all the fun. Open until 2 a.m. Search out the legendary Garfinkel’s, pumping music for the younger crowd in the Delta Whistler Village Suites. It’s a popular locals’ bar that features electronica nights and brings in very good live acts. Another nightspot to see and be seen, it’s next door to Lush, the natural soap and fragrance “bar.” Just breathe deeply and follow your nose.

Dusty’s Bar & BBQ at Creekside is still the locals’ choice. Recently renovated, Dusty’s is home to stellar live music. Now here’s some local lore: The DJ station in the bar houses one of the original gondolas named for Seppo, another original who actually set up the first Whistler gondola in 1966.

For a more civilized apres-ski or evening drink, snuggle in at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s Mallard Bar just off the hotel lobby with a view of Blackcomb Mountain. The Four Seasons’ Fifty Two 80 Bar is a relaxing place for a specialty martini or glass of British Columbia wine. The Firerock Lounge at the Westin Resort & Spa in the heart of Whistler Village is an intimate spot to have a brew and some Northwest cuisine. Black’s Pub on the square in the Sundial Hotel is also in Whistler Village, just 20 yards from the gondola bases. You’ll get 180-degree views and have your pick of 99 beers and 45 scotches.

Check The Pique or The Whistler Question for the weekly entertainment listings.