Nightclub closures shows young people’s tastes have changed - The Orca

Nightclub closures shows young people’s tastes have changed


Every generation has its own tastes. As Ada Slivinski notes, this one prefers safer, boutique – and photogenic experiences.

Over the past ten years, Granville Street in Downtown Vancouver has changed considerably. Half of the street’s nightclubs have closed. Republic, one of the largest, has just announced they will be following suit next year.

It’s being replaced by a Cineplex Rec Room entertainment centre, the concept designed by local architectural firm Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership. This multi-level venue will span almost an entire city block, taking over three buildings. It will include a 61-person interior and 314-person capacity outdoor patio and games area on the third-level rooftop, and a 646-person capacity event and concert venue within the 11,500-sq-ft basement level.

There are also talks about more residential and office space in the area following expressed intentions from Microsoft, Amazon and Apple to expand into this space.

Let’s not forget that part of the reason for this change is the audience.

A generation ago, twenty-somethings would stand in line to drink an overpriced vodka cranberry and have strangers grope them on the dance floor are now looking for a different type of experience altogether.

Never that the majority of them are priced out of living in the neighbourhood and cab waits are absurdly long and the city still doesn’t have Lyft or Uber.  And if they’re just looking for an easy hookup, they can log on to Tinder, Bumble or Grindr, skip the cover charge and small talk.

The market for smaller, more boutique-style experiences has experienced a boom thanks to the power of social media. Young people can be “in the know” faster than ever. They crave a photogenic experience they can post to Instagram, or use as a dating site profile image.

They are heading to white parties, art galleries, music festivals and fancy brunch restaurants. They prefer not to make fools of themselves in a public place prone to photos and videos that could follow them around forever.

Thus, the sunflower festivals boom while nightclubs bust.

It’s a funny transition that makes 30 and 40-somethings feel old. “Back in my day, we used to go out and make public fools of ourselves trying to get a date,” will sound like grandpa’s stories of having to walk uphill both ways to and from school.

I just hope that while the young people are busy taking styled photos of themselves at the new Rec Room pinball machine or sipping a root beer on the rooftop, they won’t forget to make those real memories, the ones where no one ever took a photo.

Ada Slivinski is the Founder & Principal of Jam PR, a boutique agency focused on helping small businesses get big exposure. You can reach her at


  • It’s not clubbing – or specific to any generation – but Jody Vance said Vancouver police really shouldn’t be worrying about people having a glass of wine on the beach.
  • Those crazy kids and their crazy trends (picture me shaking my fist) and their newfangled time-saving innovations, like laundry service.
  • The millennials might not be clubbing, but Bob Price discovered what their parents and grandparents are doing in ever greater numbers – Pickleball.