With exams finished and the playoffs well under way, it’s the time of year to kick back and watch the hockey game.
Many of our friends have gone home and most of us have had our cable turned off for the summer, so there’s a decent chance the usual La-Z-Boy just isn’t cutting it.
That’s why we at The Gazette have put together a list of our favourite places in London to relax with a few friends and down a couple of pitchers.
One of the first places people mentioned when we asked around was Joe Kool’s, best known as the local hangout for old men on Jim Bob’s Wednesdays.
Believe it or not, Joe Kool’s is far more than that bar you end up at when your underage friends can’t get into JBR’s. With an extensive beer list, an excellent appetizer menu and an abundance of big-screens, it can’t be beat.
“It’s very loud and fun,” said Western hockey player Amanda Sommerville.
Joe Kool’s General manager Scott Crawford agreed, saying that Joe Kool’s gets “a great crowd out for the games.”
The Wits End Pub is another good joint for relaxing during the game, but unfortunately its staffers couldn’t comment.
While we suggest you reward their silence by tipping as poorly as possible, we still think it’s a great idea to head up near Masonville Mall and grab a couple of brews the next time you’re in the mood to watch a game.
Another personal favourite of ours is a timeless classic and a Western symbol; one of the best places to catch the big game is in our very own Spoke.
This is the place that you spend countless hours in between classes with nothing to do, and the one place on campus where you can find a leather couch instead of a hard seat with a desk in front of it. To top it all off, this is the best spot on campus to run into a few friends, a necessity during the playoffs when you need people to split pitchers with and don’t want to mourn alone should your team make an early exit.
Ceeps general manager Garth Brophy stressed the impact Canadian teams being eliminated can have on business during the playoffs.
“We always do better when the Leafs are in the playoffs,” he said. “But we usually get 20 or 30 people in to watch playoff games. When the Leafs are in the playoffs you can multiply that by 10.”
While the Ceeps isn’t generally known as a sports bar, it draws a crowd during the playoffs with its big-screen TVs and prize giveaways.
“Having cheap wings and beer, that’s another draw to get people in,” Brophy said.
“[My favorite bar to watch the playoffs] used to be the Ceeps, especially on Mondays, because you can get cheap wings,” said Western volleyballer Eric Simon. “But I’d usually say wings at the Oar House.”
This true sports bar is the pride of the Wonderland area, and also our personal favorite with its 27” TVs and 39˘ wings on Mondays and Thursdays.
“We’ve got a great atmosphere for [the playoffs]: very comfortable and laid-back, peanuts on the floor, casual,” said manager Andy Gates. “You see guys in suits, students and retired guys sitting side by side.”
As well, the servers are attractive and a buzzer sounds whenever somebody scores, so the Oar House definitely tops our list of the best London spots to watch the playoffs.