12 Kings Pub
Article and Photos Provided by Abby Wiseman
I walk into the 12 Kings Pub grab myself a pint of Yellow Dog IPA and find a spot at the only empty table in the place. It’s round five of the Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Anthony Pettis UFC fight and everyone is glued to the many televisions throughout the room. I scope out the dart boards, pinball machines and old Street Fighter arcade game while I wait for Pettis to lose his lightweight championship.
The fight is over and the bar shifts gears as some clear out, but many stay for the karaoke. Within minutes the sports bar is gone and in its wake a karaoke bar is born. The karaoke master informs the room they can text their song choice to a number on the screen, but most people use the old school pen and paper method. The music moves from 2000s bands a la Simple Plan and Blink 182, to Dr. Dre, to the Rolling Stones and then Will Smith’s “Just the Two of Us” sung by a trio of young women. I’m feeling brave so I belt out my best tone deaf “On and On” by Erykah Badu. The mood is light and fun, the beers are good and everyone is feeling free to express their diverse musical tastes. I try a Merridale cider.
I met up with co-owner Adam Chatburn on a quieter night to get a tour of the space. Adam was Vancouver President of the Campaign for Real Ale Society of British Columbia- also known as CAMRA BC- before becoming co-owner of the 12 Kings Pub, which is named after its location, 12th Street and Kingsway. A longtime resident of Mount Pleasant, he had seen this space, which is in the same building as the Biltmore, change over a few times before he got his hands on it.
“All of the ownership live in and love the neighbourhood, I was just waiting for this place to become something I wanted to go to,” said Chatburn. “The other owners; Armin, Mony and I are passionate about craft beer and believe in this space, so when the opportunity came up we just had to go for it! We all believe that a craft beer sports pub will really take off in this neighbourhood.”
The 12 Kings team is so dedicated to having great craft beer on tap that they will go pick up kegs from breweries that are so new they don’t have their distribution sorted out.
“Each time people come in they will have something new to try and that is something we are very keen on,” said Chatburn. He adds that a Storm brewing “Brainstorm” beer and the Yellow Dog IPA will always be available.
We continued on the tour through the pub and through the kitchen to what Chatburn calls the “super secret legendary ballroom.” I had heard about the ballroom and have always wanted to see if it actually existed. I felt like I had found the unicorn of event spaces.
The Roxanne Room is big enough for 270 people, has a beautiful crystal chandelier in the centre and a stage with two 10 foot golden Grecian goddess statues on each side. I can already picture drag shows and comedians gracing its stage. With the rent on the ballroom being so affordable, now I’m looking for a reason to throw a big party.
“The space has already been used by us for baby showers, Christmas parties and LGBT gatherings”, said Chatburn.
Accommodating large parties is part of the vision for the 12 Kings. Booking large parties in Mount Pleasant is a challenge and the 12 Kings team hopes to fulfill that need.
“It’s almost impossible to get a big reservation in the neighborhood, but people call us up the day before and ask for a reservation for 40 or more and its usually no problem,” said Chatburn.
Check out the 12 Kings Pub & Grill if you’re looking for a chill place to drink good beer and watch hockey, or if you’re throwing an event that would be enhanced with vintage crystal chandeliers and Grecian statues.
Visit the 12 Kings Pub website or see their contact info. below for more information!
12 Kings Pub
Vancouver, BC V5T 3J7