POP OPERA – grand opening review

As mentioned in my previous blog entry, POP OPERA (686 West Hastings) had its grand opening tonight.  After over an hour of waiting in the guestlist line up (ironically, my guestlist didn’t go through…but that’s a whole other story) the only reason why my group of three made it through the wait was because we outlasted the lineup, contrary to many frustrated party-goers giving up and waving down cabs on the street instead.  That being said, the lineup was one of the more enjoyable aspects of my night!  The weather was fairly warm with no rain, the people in the line-up were civilized not rowdy, the bouncers were respectful not rude and I had the fantastic opportunity to catch up with two of my friends.

Once inside, coat check was $5: a steep price to pay on a summer’s evening, but not atypical of the Donnelly Nightclubs.  Pop Opera’s interior had the same architectural structure as the old Club 686 yet modern updates, including lighting and artwork, gave it an upscale feel.  This club was made for VIP – with several roped off areas encompassing white couches and rectangular tables, on top of which were menus for bottle service.  Regardless, the club felt…cluttered…rather than spacious.  True, the wooden dancefloor was large and accommodating, but tables were too close to the bar and more often than not, we had to squeeze past people in the narrowness. 

Like any other club, the dancefloor had its moments with a jumping crowd one song and a dwindling, thinning crowd the next.  Perhaps this was due to an erratic music choice.  The featured DJs were “Flipout and J Swing” from The Beat 94.5 FM yet I found the song selection more appropriate for radio, not for a dancefloor.  Perhaps that was the sound Pop Opera was aiming for – with a wide selection of song genres – from grungy hip-hip beats to classic oldskool.

A door to the left of the DJ booth led to a smaller area enclosed in dark glass.  (For those of you who have been to the previous Club 686, this would be where the VIP seating was).  With a square-ish dance floor and rounded walls with full length mirrors, a completely different set of music was being played absolutely isolated and sound proof from the main room.

Overall, the branding of “POP OPERA” brings to mind Andy Warhol style pop- art and bright bubbly colors (ie. the Friday night posters and guest passes for complimentary colors with its contrasting bright pink and pastels) yet the actual venue was inconsistent with my assumptions.  Nonetheless, I am glad I had to opportunity to check out such a hyped-up and anticipated club :)

**Enter MMV’s first contest SHEAR GENIUS.  Application deadline August 3rd.


4 responses to “POP OPERA – grand opening review

  1. I was also there last night. I was one of the lucky ones that somehow got in quickly. My guest list also fell through *interesting*. I would have to say your description of the night was very accurate! While the white couches look just right I can’t imagine what they will look like after a few months. Probably not the best choice for a club with little seating. Unless you were VIP last night, there was no where to sit. I had to wait until almost 1 AM to rest my tired feet, since I chose fashion over comfort and wore deadly heels. I did like the atmosphere and would go again but perhaps they can cater to the general public just a little bit more instead of spending the entire night serving champagne to the VIP section.


  2. Why did 686 close? That was a pretty decent club actually, whereas this place sounds expensive and crowded.

  3. I was there last weekend for a birthday party and seems like the trend of missing VIP reservations has continued since opening night. Hopefully they get that sorted out quickly.

    The bouncers were very accommodating and amicable and the bartenders were fast to get your drinks. My group was sitting in the enclosed VIP section and although small, it was nice to be away from the crowd at times and dance on our own dance floor.

    The vibe is definitely 100x better than the old 686 and the crowd better looking and mixed rather than just Asians. Feels like Donnelly Nightclubs is heading towards a Vegas feel nightclub catering to more VIPs so I understand why there wasn’t a lot of seating for regular guests. Overall, a great addition to Vancouver’s nightlife scene!

  4. Pingback: Websites tagged "djs" on Postsaver

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