College night at Bimini’s relocates downtown

One of UBC’s best-known party traditions is coming to an end at its original location.

Bimini’s Public House on 4th Avenue has played host to the Wednesday Greek college night since it started in 2013, but the party is now moving to Republic nightclub on Granville street in downtown.

Chris Badyk, a 2002 UBC and Kappa Sig alumni, started the weekly party back in 2013 when he first became general manager of Bimini’s. He said he recognized the potential of hosting a weekday college party, especially one that was closer by in Kitsilano.

“I always knew there was a secondary night, it just wasn’t always happening,” said Badyk. “You know it was happening downtown, but I decided to bring it local and did the bus so they got a safe ride here.”

Wednesday nights at Bimini’s quickly became a regular fixture.

“Once the summer hit and the night kept going, we knew it was an established night in the city,” said Badyk. “So in the summer, it never died down and the industry people in Vancouver would be like, ‘Bimini’s is the busiest.’”

Recent rumours online suggested that the night had been shut down by the City of Vancouver for disrupting the surrounding residential area.

Neal Wells, communications manager for the City of Vancouver, confirmed that they did not force Bimini’s to discontinue the event. City officials, the Vancouver Police Department and Bimini’s did have joint meetings in response to numerous noise complaints, but the last meeting happened in 2016.

“We had two meetings with all of the city and the police.... They brought it to our attention on how damaging the night was to the neighbourhood, and they did say that they were gonna pull our license back by an hour,” said Badyk. “And it wasn’t a threat — that’s just what their protocol is.”

He also noted that Bimini’s “has not heard a word” after increasing its security in order to fix any recurring issues and that the establishment could “have kept college night here forever.”

Instead, Badyk attributed the relocation as part of Bimini's departure from the Donnelly group and transition to a 'neighbourhood pub.' He also pointed out the benefits of the party’s new venue in downtown.

“We’re all getting older and so now we’re embracing more pub culture and community versus the nightclub, party atmosphere,” Badyk said.

“It’ll be a place where there will be no noise complaints, we can fit more people, better sound system, better lighting so it’ll be a better product and a better place for college night ... It was a hard thing to let go of, but it’s just time for Bim’s to become that top pub in Kits again.”

This article has been updated to clarify that Bim's will no longer be a part of Donnelly Group.