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Apr 23, 2008 07:03 AM

Places to watch sports (soccer & hockey)

My husband and I will be in town this weekend and need to know places to watch some sports. Any ideas recommendations on the following?

1. Saturday morning (4/26) at 7:45 a.m.ET Chelsea vs. Manchester United. Are there any bars/restaurants/pubs that show premier league games and open their doors early just for the match?

2. Hockey, obviously. I'm sure the city will be alive with playoff hockey going on, but are there any places that would be fun to watch the game this weekend? We're not looking for something totally crazy and packed. Someone had recommended Dieu du would that be? And is it near Reservoir so we could eat dinner there first?

Thanks for your local help!

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  1. I think no matter where you go for the hockey game, it will be completely packed. There were terrible riots downtown after the last series ended. Yuck. If you want to avoid crowds, I'd recommend getting tasty snacks and beers at one of the markets and watching the game in your hotel...but I hate crowds so that's just me.

    I could be wrong, but Dieu du Ciel does not seem to be the type of place that shows sports - I don't remember there being a TV there when I last went. Someone might have more recent info for you though, or maybe they put a TV in for the playoffs. It is more a laid-back place for locals than sports bar.

    I like Le Pistol (corner Saint-Laurent and Pins) for bar food, they have tasty sandwiches, soup, and good fries. If you get there early you might get a good seat to watch the game. It is also close to Reservoir so you could eat there first then hop down to Le Pistol.

    For the soccer game, I know Champs on Saint-Laurent often shows these matches. (I had mixed up Cage aux sports with Champs but edited) The atmosphere is not great but you'd probably get a fun crowd if they are willing to get up that early for a game!

    Not sure if the chow hound police will allow this topic, since it is not about food.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Keramel

      Champs will also have the hockey game on for sure. I was at the Bell Centre Cage aux Sports for game 7 for work and it was crazy. The place was pretty packed, people were watching the game from the outside because there were no tables left.

      As for more other places to watch the game, most bars in town will have it on. The big plus from going to a Cage aux Sports is that most of them have the HD feed. The food is just ok typical sports bar food. Bifstek (sp?) on St-Laurent is a low key bar where they'll show it too. You'll find that all bars are gonna be full and most restaurants pretty empty by 7pm on sat.

      Don't let the "riots" discourage you. It was more a few dozens of idiots who took advantage of all the cops being around the arena to wreak havoc on Ste-Catherine. I wouldn't call that a riot, it was more like a vulgar display of disrespect.

      1. re: Keramel

        Going to Le Pistol after eating is not a good idea since their liquor license does not allow them to serve alcohol w/o food (read you can't go there without eating).

        If you want a rowdy/loud/half-time show/hockey-crazy experience for the game, go to Chez Serge. You'll have to eat first because the diner food (hotdogs and smoked meat) the get delivered isn't too good by the time it arrives to your table. Also, get there 1.5 hours before faceoff or else be prepared to stand and feel like you're in a more illuminated version of a night club.

        I'm thinking your best bets are Champs, McGibbon's, or Le Pistol. Decent (but different) food at all...get there early no matter where you go.

      2. You should call, but I think Maclean's does breakfast for the early England soccer. There is also Champs on St-Laurent, but I think they charge cover...

        For the Habs, it's true avoid downtown it's going to be packed. You could try Magnan for tasty roast beef and ambiance in their Taverne urbaine or Salon Mag... It is near the Atwater market.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Em24

          I think we'll call Maclean's to see about breakfast for the early soccer game.

          Thanks for the other tips too. I think this is a question about food though because for the hockey game, I like to know these places you're saying are good to watch the game but the food isn't very good. So I'd rather go to a more "off the beaten path" place where the game is on but the food is good.

          1. re: iatethebean

            Well if you don't mind being close to the action, there's Brasserie Brunoise right next to Bell Center that has good to great food and flat screens. Not your typical bar food, more like a bistro. Google it and you'll find the menu. But again, you're next to 21,273 screaming fans in the building across the street.

        2. There's Les Brasseurs de Montreal that opened less than a month ago, which offers both great food and beer, and are now open for the hockey game nights

          Food is great, so is the beer, a little off center, they are in Griffintown. The place wasnt packed when i went, but had great ambiance nonetheless.

          Brasseurs De Montréal Inc
          1483 Ottawa, Montréal, QC H3C 1S9
          N° de téléphone : 514-788-4500

          1. This might be (at least at first read) a less appealing option but...a friend took me to the St. Hubert on St. Denis (just south of Mt. Royal) for the last hockey game and I actually really enjoyed it, despite myself :). I don't know if it's a new direction for the chain, but the part we sat in was lounge-y and seemed recently re-done (and not like a St. Hubert from my childhood!). The vibe was good, people were loud and excited (but not annoyingly so) and, well...I hadn't been to St. H for years and I re-developed a love for the spiced fries.

            1. I was at a restaurant(pseudo sports bar restaurant,with about 5 television screens) just over two weeks ago(it was the night of game 1 of the Canadiens vs Bruins playoff game), & it was just after the game started. The restaurant was filled to the rafters, & they were not taking anymore customers if people wanted to dined there(only take-out orders accepted). I was a bit turned off by that.