Friday, September 08, 2006


Audience Participation: Hockey Bars

In a recent post, Tapeleg over at Jerseys and Hockey Love alluded to Sobo 151-- one of Denver's finest (if not finest) hockey bars. Besides making me homesick, it made me contemplative and nostalgic -- cue sepia tone and jazz -- of good hockey bars I've been to in the past.

A good hockey bar is tough to come across, and a fragile thing; the place that was probably leading the race for Atlanta's best went out of business years ago and is now a karate school. When I travel, if I don't have tickets to a game, I'm rather partial to hunkering down at the bar with other hockey fans, and watching on television, but if you're just hitting the city, it's not always obvious where to go (as evidenced by a trip to St. Louis a few years back, when I wandered into a rather flamboyantly gay bar on a quest to watch a Blues game). What if... what if there were some sort of guide?

So I put it to you, Hockey Rants readers-- in your town, what's the best place to go and watch hockey? Not just NHL cities -- Bakersfield to Hartford, Cardiff to Omsk, Liberec to Oulu -- where's the place to go?

Edit: Here are two pics of Jagr's bar that my pal Joeri took a few years back - Jes

Always worth a visit when around: Jagr's Bar in Prague.

Picture on demand.

Come to Raleigh and check out Blinco's sometime. :D
Actually, I'll be in Prague briefly next month and plan to make a NC trip sometime this fall, so both of those can be put to practical use.

I meant to mention an Atlanta bar, too -- since I generally stay within walking distance of home when bar-hopping my options are limited, but the place generally cited as top hockey bar is the Thinking Man Tavern.
Hey, what a great idea. I would love to know if there are any good Hockey bars in Seattle. I can never seem to find a game on in any bar I have been into, gay or otherwise...
I rarely ever go to bars in the first place, much less to watch a hockey game...

In Vancouver, the Shark Club is the 'place to be', which means you'll get a bunch of yaletown yuppies who think Cloutier was/is a great goalie. The SC is obnoxiously loud and not a fun place to watch a game.

I used to work at a hotel with an adjoining pub called the Jolly Alderman. It's right near City Hall and is/was a decent place to watch sports, play pool, etc. It's not too pretentious and kind of low key. You can get a little booth and watch one of the many TVs in there.

In Seattle? I went to visit my G/F and she wanted to watch a Flyers game. We ended up in one place and had to ask them to turn to hockey. Every other channel was football or some other crappy Amerikan sport. Somebody actually wanted our TV turned to something else, but they got overruled.
Just outside of Washington you'll find Bugsy's, a bar/pizza joint owned by ex-Cap Brian Watson. Not much to write home about, but how can you not love a place with a siren on the bar?
The only one I've been to outside Vancouver is Gretzky's in Toronto. Even met Walter Gretzky there. :D
Was he more talkative than cliché-doll Wayne?:)

Greg, let me know when you will be in Prague, we could have a beer somewhere.

Good place to watch hockey and have a chance to meet local hockey stars in Znojmo is Sportbar at Hostan Arena -
Detroit loves Hockey!
In Lake Placid, NY, is Wiseguys. Serious hockey bar. The USA women's national hockey team can be found hanging out here. Look for some of the signed jerseys, and enjoy the Center Ice package.

Greg, Sobo 151 was hopping last night. It was the day of the golf tourney. Peter (if you know him) was very drunk, almost to the point of passed out. Good times had by all.
Great idea Jes,

If you ever find yourself stuck in Albuquerque NM during hockey season a small but very loyal group of puckheads can always be found at Coach's.
Thanks, but it was GREG's post! :)

On Vancouver some more, I've heard that BOSTON PIZZA, at least certain spots, can be a good place to watch the game if you already have a group of friends.

The Courtnall brothers used to own a place near GM Place/BC Place which was popular, but they sold it and I'm not sure if it's really worth going to for a game. I heard it was a good place to go when the brothers owned it.

I'd love to hear some suggestions from Vancouverites where I might want to go if I go out to a bar/pub to watch a game. I look for a place that's the opposite of the Shark Club, basically

PS: Greg, you bastard. Yer goin to Praha and not taking me? :(
A plug for my work...

Displaced Oiler fans in Vancouver found their home at The Black Frog these Stanley Cup Finals..
Thanks, everyone, maybe I'll plan out some kind of round-the-world trip based on these...

Jes, just briefly on the way back from Russia. I'll bring you a Sparta puck.

I still got your pics of Jagr's bar, somewhere...


Yer goin to Praha and yer gonna see $parta? Oh, that's right, you like evil :) Slavia do toho!

when you come over we might be able to visit some Czech games. I'll arrange you an interview with Tomas Demel, but promise me not to drool:)

Just to let you know, Sparta got its ass kicked by last year relegation contender Vsetin on Saturday, broadcasted on national TV :) All with Tomas Demel participation, he scored one goal. He would be ideal for an interview, because he dont speak english. To be honest, during interviews he dont speak at all :)

Hey, guys, we had to make an international "hockey rants fans" gathering soon :)

Joeri, got that Hvezda Brno jersey for you, you should come here soon. Otherwise they will be sold, there is a high demand for such and obscure shirts :)

Shot you an e-mail, to what I think is your address - you get it?

I *still* can't find anywhere in NYC. They demolished McHale's, now there is nowhere, it is all baseball, then it will be all football then basketball.
Check out a great hockey bar in Michigan...owners are Derian & Kevin Hatcher(NHL) - Hatchy's in Downtown Utica.
If your in Michigan check out Shanks On Ice in the kalamazoo area, it has had a bad rep in the past but it is now under new management and let me tell you i had the time of my life; the girls are hot, drinks are great, and the food is awesome!!!!! Best hockey bar i have ever been too!!!!
Being a Detroit native, there is always hockey on in every bar with a TV. Now that I live in the middle of nowhere in Arizona (a state where most people have never even HEARD of hockey, let alone are fans), we have the Center Ice package at home and are slowly converting our friends into Red Wings fans. The thing is, we travel quite a bit, especially to the LA area. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a place to watch games in LA/Santa Monica/Venice/Hollywood?
I’ve been to Prague many times and I never get sick of it. This last time that I was there I saw live all the Slavia matches with Liberec, it’s a pity I wasn’t in Prague anymore when they won the last game and were champions. Anyway the environment in the stadium is amazing nothing like brutal hooligans from football. I found the city very safe, as you can check in this link form the government. I never had a problem for being out until late and alone or ever saw any incident.
What I also enjoy in this city is the night life, the Prague music clubs are all so cozy and have such a nice environment and decoration and make you want to stay long. If you or any of your friends want to go there again I leave you here a nice site with good clubs to go.
In New Orleans, I'd recommend Finn Mc Cool's. I have not seen a game there, but I would imagine they would be most open to airing one; just make sure you are not competing with any soccer match (Most of those are broadcast live from Europe anyway).
Also, Cooter Browns has something like 30TVs in their bar/grill, so you may be able to get hockey on there.
Has anyone ever been to The Flying Puck in NY it's not do far from MSG
LI like that bar only one in NY I found that was really devoted to hockey (but I guess that is obvious by the name haha)
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