Hat Tricks Sports Bar and Grill * * * *

The “HOJO” is a beer vendor located five minutes from my house. In layman’s terms that means the Howard Johnson Hotel, but anyone who lives in the Westwood/Crestview has never called it that. The HOJO has always been a one-stop- shop for all your beer drinking needs.

Attached to this vendor is a newly renovated bar that I frequently visited when I was employed at a car dealership right next to it. As a bar blogger, I feel obligated to shine some light on this diamond in the rough.

The bar is called Hat Tricks and it is in all ways a sports lover’s paradise. The bar is not overwhelmingly large in any way, but for every square inch it has there is a 60-inch flat screen playing your favourite sport.

There had always been a bar attached to the HOJO vendor, but it never really got recognition until the renovation. The bar now has an open concept with comfy booths and long tables. Hat Tricks gets incredibly LOUD during local sporting events, you have been warned. Above all else Hat Tricks is local and friendly. My view may be biased, seeing as I was raised in the neighbourhood it is located, but every time I walk in I feel welcome.

My favourite thing about this bar is the pitchers. Hat Tricks has the Budweiser Red Light Pitchers, which light up when the Jets score. I’m sure other bars have them too, but so far I have only seen them there. I don’t know why but when anything flashes lights at me I enjoy it much more. Except for police lights of course.

Beer selection and food are nothing special. The typical mix of import and domestic, mixed with a little local. Food choices are your usual sandwiches, wings, and burgers.

I love this place so I’m giving it a 4 out of 5.

I feel as though if you aren’t form the St. James area the likeliness of you visiting is small. However, all of you St. Jamesians (Jamesers? I don’t know) who have not visited Hat Tricks, you should. It’s always a great time.

PS. They have a lot of VLT’s

CHEERS

Hangover-Free-Beer

Hey Readers,

That is not a typo.

“That seems to good to be true Ryan.”

I agree but a bunch of guys in white coats and glasses can’t be wrong.

Australian scientists have created an electrolyte packed beer that eradicates hangovers. The only downfall is the alcohol content must be relatively low.

As I wait for this magical elixir to make its way to Canada I will continue to spend my hungover mornings in bed watching Cops.

Here’s the link to the article!

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/scientists-invent-hangover-free-beer-article-1.1433797

CHEERS

Fox & Hounds Tavern * * * * *

Hey Readers,

I have driven past Fox & Hounds Tavern more times then I can count. I had never had the urge to enter until my friends, Justine Allard and Dave Walker, told me that they have the best wings in the city. I thought that was a ballsy statement so I decided to join them.

Located next to Polo Park, Fox & Hounds has been open since 1928 and has been offering a genuine English pub experience. I had always thought that the Kings Head was the most genuine English pub in the city, until I visited Fox & Hounds. The brick walls, wooden tables, decorative glass, and tacky patterned carpet matched with the dim lighting and a high roof makes for a warm, inviting feel. The bar itself is long, narrow, and full of big tables for large groups of people. Great bar for drinking with friends!

The menu offers exactly what you would expect from a pub: Burgers, sandwiches, wings, and fries. What else could a guy ask for? They also have drink and food specials everyday of the week. Last night was a Jets game day, which means that Budweiser and Bud light are on special. I had a couple of Buds and then moved on to my personal favourite, Coors Banquet. The tap beer selection is nothing special. I would supply a list, but they do not have one on their website. To find out you have to ask your server when you visit (which you should).

A bar doesn’t stay open for almost 90 years because of food and beer alone. The friendly staff and welcoming environment is what keeps people coming back. I can honestly say I have no complaints about this bar. With that said, Fox & Hound Tavern gets a perfect score from me. To check out more about the bar here’s the link to their website.

CHEERS

Rudy’s Eat and Drink * * * *

Hello Readers,

Rudy’s Eat and Drink is a Winnipeg staple, and has been for some time. They aim to provide an old school experience and atmosphere. Mission accomplished.

Believe it or not this was my first time at Rudy’s. Most of the people that I tell that to seem offended. “Seriously?” or “Are you kidding?” are the usual responses I received. However now that I have visited I will be saying the same thing to the poor souls that have yet to visit.

Walking into the bar it is like going back in time. The tan coloured leather seating, the old school wooden bar, and the overall beige look of the décor reminds of a bar you would see on Mad Men. Of course they have added some modern day musts, like flat screens and a projector, but at the same time remained loyal to their old fashioned vibe.

I went to Rudy’s during a Jets game and it was basically empty. I asked the server why it was so dead and she said, “You should have come before the game!” Located right behind the MTS Centre, Rudy’s gets a huge pre, and post, game rush.

She also told me that the best time to visit Rudy’s is during the summer. Rudy’s patio parties are legendary according to my many sources (friends who like to drink). They often have DJs take over the patio and we all know what happened next.

When it comes to beer Rudy’s is nothing special. They have the usual mix of local and domestic beer with some imports mixed in. Instead of ordering one of those I tried Rudy’s Blonde, which is of course a beer you can only get at Rudy’s. It was incredibly smooth with barely any carbonation to it. I pictured myself on a hot Winnipeg day sitting on the patio and slamming back a few of these bad boys. It was a wonderful vision. Check out their website for a full beer listing.

Overall Rudy’s Eat and Drink more than met the expectations I had. Good service (granted there was only my group and one other), Great food (I had a Rudy Burger and it changed my life), and good décor. The one thing that it lacked was affordability. I don’t think there target audience is broke students, but if it is they need to cut some of their prices in half. 4 out of 5 is a fair grade for this iconic bar, and I look forward to sucking back some brew-pies at one of their patio parties this summer.

http://www.rudyseatanddrink.com/home

CHEERS