August 6, 2020
Category: Blog Posts
Where to Watch Hockey Outdoors in Downtown Edmonton
The first round of the NHL playoffs almost always occurs in early spring, or what’s known in Edmonton as “late winter.” Sure, the sun may be out when the teams start contesting the playoff rounds, but, we can also have a foot of snow on the ground.
But, this year’s unusual, behind-closed-doors restart of the season means that a) there’s no way to see the game in the arena b) games are being played in the height of patio season.
So, even though it might be a bit warm for your favourite team’s sweater, this unusual hockey season of hockey seasons offers the chance to watch games while soaking up the sun or enjoying a comfortable summer night. And, Downtown establishments have been upping their patio games for this unusual combination of our favourite winter sport and the summer.
Campio Brewing (10257 105 Street)
If you want to watch hockey on a screen where the puck is as big as your head and the players look like giants, the parking-lot patio at Campio Brewing has a screen that’s 16 feet wide. We repeat, 16 feet wide. The backlot patio seats 120, but that is just one of 29 screens that can be found throughout the premises, from the front patio to the backlot to the indoor seating areas. Yes, overkill can be a good thing. The beer isn’t bad, either. Campio won a silver medal in the Brewery of the Year Category at the 2020 Alberta Beer Awards.
Real Canadian Brewhouse (10338 109 Street)
There are three screens outside and plenty of shade, so there’s no bright sun reflecting off the three large TVs and you don’t have to load up the sunscreen. And, yes, there are dishes that might attract fans of teams, cough, other than the Oilers. Montreal Smoked Meat sandwiches for the Habs fan. Manitoba Yam Fries for the Jets fans who had to suffer as the team’s injury list swelled. Sure, we guess Flames fans are welcome, too, even though it’s fair to question their life choices. If you’re looking to watch multiple games in a row, caffeinate with the Kraken A Cold Brew, a cocktail that mixes rum with chocolate milk and Starbucks coffee..
Central Social Hall (10909 Jasper Avenue)
If you have a three-tiered patio, you should have three televisions, to ensure maximum viewing coverage. That’s what’s available at this 109th Street destination, which is cheekily referring to itself as the “Central Social Distancing Hall” in the time of COVID. But, remember to refrain from hugs if you’re favourite team scores — keep the celebrations to cheers and fist bumps. CSH offers all-day brunch, including a breakfast sandwich and “The Cure,” poutine with red-wine gravy, free-run eggs, bacon, avocado and roasted poblano pepper. So, no matter if the game starts before noon or is the late one on the schedule, breakfast is always available.
Rocky Mountain Icehouse (10516 Jasper Avenue)
How do you prep the patio for throngs of hockey-loving patrons, but also create enough space for social distancing. Well, you make more patio space. That’s what’s happened at the Rocky Mountain Icehouse. The main patio on Jasper Avenue has three screens, so no matter where you’re sitting, you won’t have to crane your neck to catch the action. But, the parking lot behind the Icehouse has been replaced by, you guessed it, another patio, with a large screen. The Icehouse is offering happy-hour specials through the day. With games starting in the late morning and running until midnight (later if there’s overtime), there will be specials on hand no matter what team you’re cheering on.
El Beso (10432 Jasper Avenue)
Book ahead to get a spot on the patio for NHL games. This tequila-and-tacos spot features tasty summer cocktails and upscale takes on wings and nachos. Yes, it’s gameday fare, but it definitely is kicked up a few notches. To celebrate, try the Mango Margarita, a summer special that features tropical fruit with tequila and mezcal. It’ll pack a punch that’s about as heavy as an open-ice bodycheck. El Beso also has private dining rooms upstairs, so if it’s too hot outside, or you’d like to be in a more intimate atmosphere with friends, book ahead and enjoy the game in your own space — for a few hours, at least.
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