10 must-stop spots for diehard Oilers fans

By Gene Kosowan

For more than a decade among the city’s sports-obsessed, Edmonton only had two seasons: one for regular season NHL matches followed by six months of depressive brooding. This year, an Oilers winning record spurred by phenom Connor McDavid sparked a jovial mood that will last at least a week with bonus playoff action. If you’re a fan, here are 10 suggestions on how to make full use of that time, before players trade in hockey sticks for golf clubs. [Photo credit: istockphoto.com/ronniechua]

10 must-stop spots for diehard Oilers fans

Rogers Place

If you’re lucky enough to score a playoff ducat or two, this is Ground Zero for everything orange and blue. The manufactured heart of the city’s Ice District (even during the otherwise iceless summers), Rogers Place has quickly become the destination point for superstar whistle stops by the likes of Garth Brooks and Kanye West and also boasts an 80-menu concession stand of gourmet fare from bison burgers to brisket sandwiches.

Mercer Tavern

Just across 104th Avenue from Rogers Place via a convenient pedestrian overpass, the Mercer Tavern has been doing gonzo business ever since the Oilers occupied the recently-built arena in 2016. The Mercer is always jammed to the rafters on post-game night, offering a wide array of beer, wine and spirits as well as unique menu items like its house-brined fried chicken and its Yellowhead beer-battered fish n’ chips.

The Oilers Store

You call yourself an Oilers fan? Prove it if you plan to leave the humble abode for a night on the town on game night. The Oilers Store will help you put your team loyalties on your sleeve with an extensive line of jerseys with the name of your favourite player emblazoned on the back. Besides jerseys, there’s also t-shirts, hoodies, ball caps, toques and other sporting swag.

Lux Steakhouse & Bar

For years, this downtown restaurant has been a steady draw for bovine consumers, who savour the AAA cuts and heritage Angus – not to mention the prime rib offerings, which undergo a rigid, 28-day dry-aging process before hitting the kitchen. These days, there’s an added incentive courtesy of much-beloved Oilers alum Ryan Smyth, who offers a menu item based on his team number. It’s a 94-ounce steak that goes for $194 or is free to any diner who consumes it all in one sitting.

La Favourite Pastry Shoppe

So what if there’s someone in your life who doesn’t care about the Oilers’ good fortunes of late and would prefer to watch a soap opera rather than a playoff match? The ultimate compromise might be a visit to La Favourite Pastry Shoppe, an establishment renowned for its delectable desserts. It’s also where the famed wedding cake that crowned the nuptials of Wayne Gretzky and Janet Jones back in 1988 was created. And the best part of all of this? You can share a legendary hockey experience while satisfying a sweet tooth at the same time.
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Discover more fun things to do in Edmonton:

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Hudson's Canadian Tap House

With four locations in town, including West Edmonton Mall, Hudsons has long been a favourite spot to watch Oilers games on the tube with a glass of suds within easy reach. You’ll find lots on tap and the menu, which includes pizza-pan nachos, pork riblets and AAA beef sliders, but the big draw on game nights are the half-price wings and $5 pints.

Sam Abouhassan

Here’s a little secret from the upper crust. You don’t need to adorn yourself with Oilers finery from the jerseys to the ball caps to show support for the team. If you've got a bit of coin, get fitted in the same type of suits donned by everyone from Wayne Gretzky to members of the Oil's current roster. Abouhassan is the first name in Edmonton custom tailoring and a spot that athletes with more robust physiques than the average guy flock to. Imagine how good he can make the average guy look after the first fitting!

On the Rocks

Jasper Avenue goes into a full-tilt boogie on game night, with brewskies galore and grub ranging from bacon-rolled jalopenos to an assortment of burgers and steaks, many of which come with boar bacon. Coronas are available at On the Rocks for $4 a bottle, with appetizers available for half-price until the first puck drops. After the game, check out the live entertainment to cap the night off.

Von's Steakhouse and Oyster Bar

Even more upscale folks in Edmonton like a bit of ice shinny now and then – and for them, Von’s doesn’t disappoint. Renowned for its filet mignon, rib eye and New York striploin, the restaurant also offers half-price appetizers on weeknights and buck-a-shuck oysters on nights when the Oilers hit the ice.

Kelly's Pub

It seems silly to suggest that a pub – a drinking establishment with Irish and English roots – would have more to do with hockey than soccer, but no one’s going to give that notion much thought on game night at Kelly's Pub, where pints go for $5 and appetizers are half-price. Also helping folks to cheer on the Oilers – or at least loosen them up – are the happy hour specials including $5 domestic pints and $6 house wine.

While the Oilers have broken a jinx lasting longer than a decade, some fans are wary that the team's chances of getting to sip the bubbly from Lord Stanley’s oversized goblet are pretty slim. But while McDavid and company are still in the dance, Edmontonians can celebrate NHL playoff action at any number of local hotspots. It sure beats the humiliation of seeing their favourite shinny stars on the links in early April.

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