Post Game Drink? Keesje Knows Where...

Real Sports in Toronto was recently named by ESPN as the best sports bar in North America and if you have ever enjoyed a night there you would know why.  The place has 199 HD televisions including a two and half floor big screen that certainly enhances the viewing experience, a diverse menu along with any draft beer you could possibly name.  What it doesn't have is a playoff team for  patrons to rally around but it did get me thinking about the remaining teams broadcasted by Hockey Night in Canada.  Now, I want to preface this by saying I don't need corporate alcohol counselor Warren Scheppel and acknowledging how fortunate I am to have been able to visit all of these great towns.  Each is unique in their layout, vibe & population but united in their mutual love of sports and a good time.  So in this spirit I give you my favourite place to grab a drink.  This is not to suggest that these are the best sports bars, trendiest clubs or serve the tastiest food but rather through my first hand experience the places that left a lasting foggy memory.

Let's start with Vancouver.  I could go with Richards on Richards, or as local's like to refer to it Dix on Dix's, as they price (or at least use to) their game day draft beer based on the Canucks teams goals against average or Coal Harbour's Cardero's because of their outstanding ambience but will instead put forward the Roxy!  The Roxy is legendary!  Live bands and good looking crowd makes this the place to be for your post game Granville street destination!  Just beware as there is a plethora of 'hungry eyes' so be careful or dress your best depending on your nights expectations or intentions.

Boston's bar choice is tough for some many good reasons as Beantowner's have done an outstanding job combining their love of booze and sports into some of the best pubs in North America.  Just ask anyone who has ever experienced Quincy Market, Beacon Hill or walked the area surrounding Fenway Park.   But for consistency sake and to limit those readers who are thinking that I might have a problem, I'll put forth to you only one suggestion, Sullivan's Tap.  Sully's is the quintessential dive bar wreaking of old beer served to you by bartenders coming from the Moe Sislak school of customer service.  This cash only establishment is located a mere five minutes away from the Boston Garden and if the walls could speak would certainly regale celebratory championship tales of years gone by.

Did you know that in the old Veteran's stadium in Philadelphia you could get arrested, charged and convicted of a crime without every leaving the facility?  That's right folks, the stadium was fully equipped with a holding cell, Judge, lawyer's and more than enough boozed up fans to justify the cost associated with maintaining this makeshift judicial arena.  Now, I know most of you are thinking,  "good work Keesje what was your sentence?" and given the topic of my blog today I don't blame you for the assumption (for the record I have never been charged with a crime).  My point is any city that needs to invest in such a system is obviously one that doesn't shy away from some pre or post game libations.  My favourite?  This seems somewhat ironic given the above introduction but the post game atmosphere (especially after a big win) within Wells Fargo Arena's AT&T Pavilion is electric.  Fired up fans fuelled by Bud Lights and house DJ's tunes top off an exceptional sporting experience.

I've saved the best for last.  Nashville, while probably the least well known within hockey fans, has probably the best per capita bar scene of any the four cities highlighted in this article and has long been a favourite destination for scouts, broadcasters and media alike.  Broadway Avenue, roughly two blocks from the Sonnet Center, is the honky tonk epic centre of the world and it is not uncommon for establish country music stars to quietly try out new material in front of unsuspecting patrons.  Tootsie's World Famous Orchid Lounge is a must visit post, pre or on non game days.  This split level establishment is designed to allow for simultaneous live bands who, for the right incentive, will play any tune you can imagine!  Tootsie's flat out rocks and lives up to its world's famous title or at least I think it does memories from those nights are still somewhat hazy!

So what does this article have to do with Star Selector or helping you choose your starting five for upcoming Canuck, Bruin, Flyer or Predator games?  Truthfully not much but given that our game is sponsored by Crown Royal I thought it would be fun to look at these series from the perspective as to who I think will square off in a Stanley Cup based on my bar experiences.  TSN has the monkey and I give you my HNIC bar inspired final.....Tootsies vs Sully's or sorry Boston vs Nashville!

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