The Regina sports-bar scene has seen better days
Whether it’s before the game, during the game or a post-game party, Regina has several sports bars that claim to deliver a complete sports experience. But, not all of them are up to par.
Upon entering the Press Box, one of Regina’s premiere sports bars located at 909 Albert Street, you can’t help but notice the impressive collection of memorabilia displayed in nearly every square inch of the place. With a jersey collection that would have any sports fan drooling, combined with an oversized Mohammed Ali poster and a life-size cutout of Don Cherry, the Press Box is instantly a great atmosphere. Oh, and did I mention it has roughly 20 screens of various sizes, so fans can literally watch the game from every angle.
Besides the outcome of the event itself, there are two things that can make or break a fan’s sports-bar experience. One is food and the other, and arguably most important, is the alcohol.
The menu at the Press Box was highly impressive, with foods named after local sports celebrities such as Rod Pedersen’s “The Voice” burger and a selection of appetizers based on sports plays such as the triple play or home run. These clever names take the food to another level.
Of course, a name can be one thing and the taste can be quite another. With that said, the Press Box’s famous nachos were ‘groin-grabbingly transcendent’ as Homer Simpson would say. That delicious taste was combined with gigantic portions big enough to make even the heftiest fan, or surely any linemen, feel full. The prices weren’t half bad either. There truly isn’t a bad view of the game when you’re sitting in the Press Box.
Tumblers Pizza, located at 2108 Grant Road, was the next stop on the sports-bar train. The second location in Regina is 4129 Albert Street. Although Tumblers may not have the impressive memorabilia collection the Press Box has, nor does it have clever names for their food, it is one of the only places in the south end of town you can count on to have the UFC playing. Let’s be honest – Tumblers is sketchy, especially on nights when the fights are playing. Even though every booth has its own TV to watch the event, the action sometimes spills off of the screen.
In fact, after showing UFC 131 in June, things got even more sketchy than usual at Tumblers: two people were stabbed. Apparently, no one told these guys knives don’t belong in the octagon. One of the employees was stabbed in the chest, leading to a punctured lung and near death, while the other was stabbed in the neck. To give Tumblers credit, eight other people were also stabbed in Regina that night, so I suppose it’s not all their fault.
Although the people you may run into at Tumblers look like shady characters, I would rather go there then pay $50 to watch a mediocre fight card from the comfort of my own home. With that being said, if it’s a good fight card, I won’t be caught dead there.
If you thought Tumblers was sketchy, Sparky’s Family Restaurant gives it a run for its money. Found at 3904 Gordon Road, Sparky’s competes with Tumblers for the greasiest sports bar in Regina. I wish I was talking about the food. Upon exploring the numerous sports bars in Regina, it came time to pay a visit to Sparky’s. Unfortunately, this sports editor never made it through the door. After pulling up to good ol’ Sparky’s, my friend and I noticed four questionable characters standing in front of the door. We opted not to go past them, instead locking our car doors and immediately pulling a U-turn in the parking lot. And that was the end of Sparky’s.
One question remains: where is the best place to watch the big game? After this experience, I think, now more than ever, the best place to watch is the couch in your own home. You get the best view of the game, no one’s giant head is in your way of the action, people aren’t yelling obscenities at the TV thinking they know everything and there definitely isn’t anyone making outlandish claims involving them being able to “easily” take down Georges St-Pierre. Having said that, if, God forbid, the power goes out at home or I am too cheap to pay for an event, you can find me at the Press Box.