Section 3 has become our regular Friday night haunt.
Intentional or not, we somehow always end up there on Friday evenings - a large table of 5-12 of us, mostly guys... mostly guys from the same video game studio - and I (for the most part) the token girl.
It starts out innocently enough.
We start with a table on the patio - a few drinks after work.
Throughout the evening friends and acquaintances who also live or work in the neighbourhood will come and go. A few bottles of wine will have gone around, and we'll dabble into several appetizers - pizzas, baked brie, and yam fries.
Before you know it, it's 11pm and they shoo everyone from the patio to the tables inside where there's a DJ (Bee or Blondetron) playing 80's and indie discopunk tunes on their iMac. The place is packed with beautiful people and the staff look like models and rock stars. It feels like a nightclub without a dancefloor. The atmosphere is fun and high energy, and lacks the typical Yaletown snob appeal found elsewhere.
Then somebody from our table gets the bright idea to buy a round of tequila shots or jaeger bombs, and the next thing you know, there's a table of 20 of us, and we've collectively run a 4 figure tab, and it's almost 2am.
Oh, life is rough!
But this happens consistently on Friday nights, without fail, at Section 3. There's a reason why our blonde waitresses have memorized what we drink. In a way, we've got Friday nights at Section 3 down like clockwork.
Located at 1039 Mainland Street between Helmcken and Nelson, Section 3 has been a fixture in Yaletown since the mid- 90's, somewhat before Yaletown became the fashionably superficial yuppy party mecca that it is today.
Back then Section 3 was known as DeNiro's. And back then, Yaletown was still somewhat under the radar. And by that I mean, instead of the celebrity hangouts like Blue Water Cafe, you had casual joints like Benny's Bagels. It was better known for its pool halls than its meat market. So DeNiro's comes from that era.
In case you're wondering, the owner of the restaurant was a die hard Robert DeNiro fan. To show her appreciation, she named her restaurant after the actor, and even named a few dishes after his key roles. A glowing tribute to an actor, no doubt, but when the man himself discovered that somebody was using his name without his permission, he threatened a lawsuit. A well publicized "name the restaurant" contest ensued, and Section 3 became the winner.
Why Section 3?
Section 3 is the section of law that covers these types of lawsuits.
But that's the brief history of Section 3, although it truly has come into its own and has developed its own identity. The only evidence of the previous name is the neon orange NERD sign over the bar - letters that were once collected with the intention of spelling out, "DeNiro's". They only never got that far.