I'm not surprised there's no reviews being that the Press Box is a bar/pub but I have a sad story to tell. For years this space sat unoccupied once the Canucks moved to GM Place and the original bar (The Garage I think) went belly-up. A friend and I used to walk by on occasion and peer through the doors and hope that one day someone would reopen a pub so we could finally have a local place for drinks. Eventually it did reopen but as an Italian restaurant. Even though I never tried it a neighbour of mine used to go there regularly and told me it was excellent. The Italian joint didn't last for long and not long after that the Press Box opened. It was great! Nice atmosphere, very friendly management and staff and believe it or not GREAT food. I was told that the chef that ran the Italian restaurant had stayed on as the cook hence the menu and food was top notch. I used to go there fairly regularly with friends and we all agreed the food was excellent not only for a pub but for any restaurant for that matter.
That was awhile ago now. It had been a long time since I'd gone there when my co-workers decided to go as a group to a Whitecaps game. I recommended we go to the Press Box for dinner and drinks before the game even tho friends and neighbours had told me the food had gone downhill. Little did I know how bad it actually was, in fact I was totally embarrassed that I recommended we go there for dinner. They've obviously had a shake-up in the kitchen and replaced with original cook and his menu for some deep fryers, microwave ovens and perviously prepared and frozen meals. It was just AWEFUL. Probably the worst nachos i've ever had in a pub, hot wings that came with a little plastic dish of hot sauce so you could dip them yourselves, a Party Platter that consisted of what we all agreed was frozen items that were reheated for almost $20, beef dip that my co-worker could barely eat half of, and the list goes on. How could a place that was once so good turn into the worst pub food in Vancouver?
Food aside that server was very friendly and attentive. The atmosphere in the pub was great before the game and they even had a host on a mic choosing patrons to answer trivia questions for free beer if they answered correctly. The music was unbearably loud but I figure that's me just being an older than thirty and not appreciating "good music".
As far a place to go for drinks no problem, its a bar. But if your thinking of buying something of the menu to eat with drinks, be warned.
Food here tasted like it was frozen or pre-packaged - not freshly made. Waste of money. Stopped by tonight and was very disappointed with the food and the lack of quality. It didn't help that the band that was playing was also not very good. They've got all these posters for New Year's Eve posted all over the bar and near the washrooms...seriously? Who would want to fork out $$$ for such a dive and awful tasting food to boot! Tried to talk to the manager, I think his name was Doug, who was inattentive and passively aggressively rude! The owners of this pub are losing out on potential income based on the bad management and horrible food! YUK!!!
I've had the luxury of visiting pubs on both the west coast and east coast. I am a live performer so I am probably a little more sensitive to quality of food and service than most. I'm far more critical and pass judgment easily. When I first arrived at the Press Box, the outside of the venue was unassuming. However, once you enter the pub, the first impression is that it is warm and welcoming. It's a place you can hang out comfortably and have a good time. The fact that the PNE and junior hockey are just around the corner helps.
The people running this place, the new owners/managers...know what they are doing. The staff is attentive and curteous. There's no bad attitude. And the food is great - the standard burgers are more than that - they are really, really good. And did I say I liked the service? Nothing angers me more than servers with attitude and all I can say is that I wish my experience at other licensed venues was as good as this. The fact is that this is a good up and coming pub that is moving in the right direction. They have solid live music acts as well as other sports oriented functions prior to games. They are keen on entertaining their patrons.
So when I go to the other venues where my band plays, the expectation is pretty high. I highly recommend the Press Box.
The Press Box is under new management and has a new menu. The quality of the service and the food has improved immensely and the ambiance is all about being a fun place. Joe Leary from Shore 104 comes in regularly to play some tunes and get people to participate in trivia games so they can win free beer. Nothing wrong with free beer!!
I had their fried chicken basket for dinner (4 pieces of chicken that came with cole slaw and fries) and it was awesome - not greasy - rather was crispy on the outside and very tender inside. The Manager (Doug) told me it was something he brought with him from his days at Marriott and he hopes it will be a big hit at The Press Box. My wife had their new potato skins appy - quote from her "they were very good" - and she snagged one of my pieces of chicken when I wasn't looking. She agrees, the chicken is awesome!
I heard a rumour that they are planning to have live bands in the bar. If they do that I will definitely stop in after the game. It will be a good way to celebrate a win by the Giants!