The Yale closed November 21, 2011 for at least 1 year for a heritage upgrade renovation. Scheduled to reopen late 2012 or early 2013.
Depending on when I've lived or worked in Vancouver or Victoria, I have visited the Yale daily, weekly, monthly, or every 6 months continuously for nearly 20 years.
You don't go for the food - there is none other than a junk food vending machine near the pool tables.
You don't really go for the beer - it's basic macrobrew and generally overpriced except for the "Yale Ale" served relatively cheap on weekday afternoons. The barmaids and waitresses are either sullen or friendly by turns. Some of the daytime clientele can be a bit rough around the edges, but no problem.
You go for the music. Day and night, real down blues are playing either on speakers or live. The pub's featured greats over the years and never lets you down on that score. I've had many many nights of memories here listening to superb live blues music played.
The decor is predominantly red, the big bay windows are screened shut giving the evening feel one of dark lounge coziness. The vibe rocks.