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Good sports bars in Calgary?

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Maybe this isn't the most Chowhoundish question, but my husband and I will be spending the first week of September in Calgary and being diehard NFL fans we want to find a good place to watch the Steelers/Dolphins game that Thursday. I try to stay away from chains; other than that we're flexible--just looking for some good pub food and atmosphere.

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  1. I'd say go to Shank's for sure. They have one on MacLeod tr. in the south and another on in the northwest side of calgary up in Crowfoot.

    1. You'd better like smoke, because there are no nonsmoking "sports bars" in Calgary. Not until Jan 1 at least.

      4 Replies
      1. re: John Manzo

        Jan 1, 2008 that is. I really don't think the recent amendment to 2007 is going to hold up. From what it sounds, if an establishment says 'the whole area was a designated and ventilated smoking area' then they can allow smoking until 2008.

        Where in Calgary will you be Mandalay... If you are downtown with no car, Schanks would require transit/taxi... Brewster's in Eau Claire or on 11th Ave would be a better bet (brewpubs technically, but they have Big Screen's.

        If transit is not an issue or if you will be in the south or Northwest, Either of the Schanks would be a much better choice

        1. re: newJJD

          Ah I forgot about Brewsters- BREWSTER EAU CLAIRE, not 11 Ave as the one in Eau Claire IS 100% smoke free. Cool atmosphere. Decent noshes, a small step above some bar food- they have (or used to have) a tandoori chicken wrap that I love, when I'm in the mood for it.

          So there's a food note, and on the smoking- no, JJD, this is wishful thinking from bar owners and the legal terms will be clarified by the city's lawyers in September. It's already unambiguous, and the only thing that might happen is that the grandfathering of places with "smoking rooms" will itself be nixed to make the "even playing field" that the tavern owners' assn is now clamoring for. 1/1/07 is for sure; the question is whether we end up 99% or 100% smoke free.

          1. re: newJJD

            We'll be at the Hyatt Regency downtown and we'll have a car. Brewsters sounds cool but we won't rule out Schanks. Didn't mean to get anyone in trouble. ;)

            1. re: MandalayVA

              Schanks are in suburban sprawl land- since you're alread downtown you should definitely try either of the brewsters near you (Eau Claire, about 10 minutes walk north, or 8 St, about 10 minutes walk west- EC is as I say nonsmoking, 8 St is not); another nonsmoking alternative (if this interests you) is Key West Bar and Grill at 6th Ave and 10 St, by the new condos in the west end.

              One thing we should have mentioned- NFL football is somewhat popular in Canada but don't expect it to be on every screen. And what's on might not be the redskins (or whatever you're wanting to watch).

        2. Just a reminder folks, this is Chowhound and it is about the food, not bar scenes, if you are going to recommend pubs, please add some information about the food.

          Thanks.

          1. Ok, Ok, to comply with the above....

            The food at Schanks is good standard pub fare and Brewster's is a little better and a little more upscale and they brew their own beers.