Banff Nightlife – Drinking Like the Locals in the Pump and Tap
Banff National Park, Alberta
There is only one thing that tastes better than a cold pint of delicious beer cascading down your throat and that is delicious fairly priced beer cascading down your throat. It’s hard to tell exactly when the world went crazy and decided a glass of wine in an up-market bar should cost more than the national minimum wage but people will always drink regardless. Downstairs in the hidden away Sundance Mall off Banff Avenue and beside the equally thrifty Locals Liquor store is my local and favourite Banff bar – The Pump and Tap.
It’s not just that I am cheap dear reader, it is also the fact that nobody likes to be ripped off. Add this to the fact that the atmosphere in The Pump is consistently…pumping and we are onto a winner. Rodrigo, the barman reminded me of the specials that have claimed my heart. “Well there are the $2.75 highballs, $9.75 jugs of Black Label beer and $3.25 for the same beer but everything in here is really well priced. I think the prices are what attract people here the most.”
“Our biggest nights are generally weekends as you would expect but Tuesdays are also big because Hoodoo’s (big Banff nightclub) has a big night on Tuesdays and people generally come here for a few drinks before. The crowd varies a lot. I mean sometimes we get tourists coming in during the day to see an English pub, locals like to come and play some pool and then nighttimes can be anyone really. Obviously there are lots of internationals around town who like to come and drink for cheap.”
Another aspect of The Pump that appeals to me as a sports aficionado is the selection of matches they show. There is a big screen as well as smaller ones dotted about. The English premiership is shown every weekend. “Yeah we get big crowds in for the premiership, especially as the season goes on. We also get massive crowds for the big rugby games. There is nearly always a big game on.”
There may be no windows, there may not be bathrooms with seats that clean themselves and there may not be ceilings made of mirror but The Pump and Tap is unashamedly exactly what it is – a small Banff pub where the staff and people are friendly, the pool tables are always in play and you can afford to enjoy a few drinks without the guilt getting the better of you.