(Gerry Laing, left, along with bartenders Vanessa Gains and Dave Gros, will be celebrating Big Bad John's Day III this coming Saturday)

The crew at Big Bad John’s has been serving cold beer and complimentary peanuts just off the lobby of downtown Victoria’s Strathcona Hotel since 1962.

And nobody has served more of those pints and nuts than the legendary bartender Gerry Laing. Laing began serving at the hotel in 1968, starting as a bus boy.

While he “officially” retired from bartending at Big Bad’s in the summer of 2015, he actually stayed on longer, working a shift or two per week for a couple more years.

He still drops by often, and of course, he’s never missed a “Big Bad John’s Day”. And that won’t change this year, when Big Bad John’s Day III takes place, this coming Saturday, November 24th.

While he’s unlikely to take his former place behind the bar and pour beers this weekend, he’ll certainly don the overalls and drop by to see all his old friends and customers.

He’ll be shaking a few hands, posing for some photos, and more than likely chatting about old times. Of course, you’re invited.

Big Bad John’s Day goes right from 12 noon, all the way until 2am this Saturday, and into Sunday morning. There’s no cover charge, and the bar promises not only free peanuts, but “0% off whiskey, and 2 beers for the price of 2 all day” (typical BBJ’s humour).

Guests can also enter to win door prizes, and everyone that attends gets a free, limited-edition commemorative postcard too, produced just for this year’s event.

Big Bad John’s Day III 

  • When: 12 noon – 2 a.m., Saturday, November 24th
  • Where: Big Bad John’s, 919 Douglas St
  • Admission: No cover charge

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