15 Lonsdale ave
Raglan’s is a bit of a North Shore legend. So much so that since I had moved to North Vancouver I had heard about it so many times I had to see what the fuss was about.
The exterior instantly let the patron know that this was a themed pub. The patio was surrounded by a bamboo gate and covered with thatched roofing, giving the impression of a beach-side bungalow. The bamboo theme carried on inside where fake palm trees, tiki masks, and surfboards welcome you. A large projection screen plays surf videos on the back wall and beach murals cover the walls. The menus are made out of a woven substance and the text is painted on.
There are really only young adults in this bar and the menu reflects it. Jäger is served on tap there and there are drink specials every day, displayed on a bamboo framed chalkboard on the wall. The food is your usual pub fare (burgers, sandwiches, pizza) with an “island” theme. What doesn’t reflect the youthful atmosphere are the prices. With $8 drinks and $12-18 appetisers, this bar would only be affordable to teens with too much money or carrer-ers (30-40).
Unfortunately, the prices do not reflect the quality of the food. The food is generally quite greasy and flavourless, over-fried and over-sauced. There are very few vegetarian options and all of the plates are overloaded with meat and starch, leaving you feeling bloated and disgusting. This place would be great as a hangover dive, if not for the prices.
What Raglans is most famous for are their fruit drinks. They come in three sizes: squall (single), hurricane (double), and monsoon (bowl). Once the kitchy appeal of a bowl of fruity alcohol had worn off, it was quite apparent that the drinks were made up of mostly concentrated fruit juice, sugar, and a bit of alcohol. These cocktails are tasty, but more than one or two will leave you with a terrible sugar headache. They have a very basic selection of beer, a list of which can be found on the wall rather than on the menu, all in bottles rather than on tap.
I’ve never stumbled upon a bar that was so well spoken of, yet so horribly disappointing. I’ve been to this pub three times now, each time on recommendation of different friends, and each time I’ve left with a sore stomach and an empty wallet.