A couple weeks ago, some friends and I went downtown to try out The Factory on Granville and watch a hockey game.
The first problem with The Factory arose when I arrived a little later than my friend only to find that we’d been seated in a dark corner of the small restaurant with a very poor line-of-sight to any of the TVs, despite the empty tables in the more open part of the place.
I had to argue with the waitress (who was nice, but had to enforce policy) to get a decent seat — apparently the best tables are “reserved for the owners” and “small groups aren’t allowed to sit at the ‘party table'” which wasn’t actually one big table, but rather two 4-seater tables pushed together.
Eventually my three friends and I were allowed to sit at one end of the party table, but were told we’d have to move if a big group showed up.
No big group ever showed up, but we did share the other half of the table with another group of four people who were as cool as we were with sharing space in a restaurant-bar.
The food at The Factory was about what you’d expect for the price — nearly everything on the menu is $5.95.
My friends enjoyed their burgers and perogies with chives and bacon, and I really liked the bruschetta I ordered. The tomato ‘salsa’ was crisp and peppery, and the grilled bread came with melted parmesan and balsamic drizzle — if I were to ever go back to The Factory, I’d get it again.
My grilled cheese, however, was nothing special — a little bland and soggy, and the fries were just average.
The Factory has regular sorts of local beers on tap, stuff from Molson, Granville Island, Big Rock, etc., with fairly standard prices (about $5 or so for a pint).
They definitely play it safe with what they serve, but don’t think you can go there just to drink — they’re under a restaurant-primary license, which means that you have either cap yourself at two drinks or order food with your next brew.
My second biggest beef with The Factory was the way they’d turn up their music during game intermissions — even the ones under 5 minutes!
One minute you’d be chatting away with your friends, the next you’d be yelling over the din of the stereo. On top of that, the bartenders (who controlled the music) didn’t pay very close attention to when the next period, the overtime, or the shoot-out was starting, so they’d often be playing obnoxious music over crucial game commentary… at least until all the fans started howling for them to turn it off.
Overall, I didn’t like The Factory — even though the servers were nice, I was disappointed by their ridiculous seating policies, lackluster fare, and their unfriendly hockey-watching environment.
I can’t even say that The Factory would be good on a budget, since a beer costs about the same as food, and the beer and the food isn’t all that special.
Next time I’m really on a budget, I’ll just stay home, spend my money on groceries, hit-up the liquor store, and watch the game online — I’d honestly probably get more enjoyment out of my night by doing that than by ever going to The Factory again.