You might have heard that Real Sports is opening up a restaurant in Ottawa this week.
The brand-new sports bar will be located in the heart of the market, built along the same lines as the flagship restaurant in downtown Toronto. That establishment was named as the best sports bar in North America by ESPN a couple of years ago, thanks in large part to a two-storey HD television screen.
The Real Sports chain is owned by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, which makes this latest development akin to the New York Yankees opening up a bar and grill outside of Fenway Park.
The Senators and Maple Leafs rivalry may have cooled over the last few years, but this move might actually re-ignite the Battle of Ontario in a way that Bobby Butler and Joey Crabb never could. Toronto fans have always boasted about owning Scotiabank Place on nights when the Leafs are paying a visit. Now they get to own a bar and grill right in the heart of our city.
This has the potential to be an explosive situation, but I’ve been assured that the restaurant is willing to embrace fans from both teams. So in an effort to help calm the waters before the restaurant opens, I ‘ve offered up this handy guide of suggestions so everybody can get along:
Ideas For Parking:
• To replicate the game-day experience, Leafs fans will be allowed to park their cars in a downtown parking lot that charges $40 for the night. On the flip side, Senators fans will replicate their game-day experience by having to park 750 metres away and then walking through a wind-tunnel to get to the restaurant.
Suggested Menu Items:
• Chicken Fingers – $22.50 – While it might seem outlandish to pay $22.50 for this dish, just remember that Leafs fans are very used to overpaying for a Finger.
• Fish Sticks – $9.50 – The best part about this meal is that the restaurant will allow Leafs fans to irresponsibly throw their sticks into the crowded restaurant. Sens fans – especially those ones wearing Alfredsson jerseys – can then just pretend to throw their sticks.
• Gary Roberts 100% Lean Ostrich Burger – $10.95 – This burger comes recommended by former Leafs star Gary Roberts, who is a well-known health guru. Unfortunately this meal does cause Sens fans to soil their pants.
Tips for the Ottawa serving staff:
• If Darcy Tucker comes in to visit the restaurant, he will likely accuse the Ottawa-based serving staff of spitting into his food. Just ignore the accusation, as he has a history of false allegations in this department.
• If John Ferguson Jr. happens to be a guest, don’t hand him a bill at the end of the night. Instead, he will give you a blank cheque and tell you to fill in whatever amount you would like.
• Make sure you are fully stocked on Molson Canadian ’67 – because Sens fans who aren’t creative will think it’s hilarious to keep ordering those all night when surrounded by Leafs fans.
Tips for Leafs fans:
• If the bar is crowded on a Friday night and someone in an Alfredsson jersey accidentally bumps you from behind, just let it go. I mean seriously, has that ever been an issue before?
• When the server is taking too long to bring your drinks, just casually say to her, "I totally understand. I know you guys don’t have any real cups here in Ottawa."
Tips for Sens fans:
• When the server is taking too long to bring your drinks, just casually say to her, "I didn’t realize Jason Allison was handling my order tonight."
• When you’re at the bar with a Leafs fan, try and steer the conversation clear of anything that brings up the years 2000 through 2004 inclusively.
Tips for Habs fans:
• Just stay away from this place altogether.