I have stated, on many occasions, how much I hate Toronto and their associated sports franchises. Just being in Toronto makes my skin crawl. Put me on a sidewalk and surround me with Torontonians and I am having an all out anxiety attack. But my buddy Ash was having his bachelor party in Toronto and I couldn't miss out. So I sucked it up and compartmentalized all my neuroses and headed into the belly of the beast.
The bachelor party was a weekend long affair but I was only going to be able to take part in the Friday night events. I'd missed out on the Steamwhistle brewery tour but caught up with everybody at the Real Sports Bar & Grill just beside the Air Canada Centre. And this place is something else. The main projection screen is immense, covering most of the wall behind the bar. Hard to give it real dimensions but if I had to guess I'd say 15 feet high by 30 feet long? It's big. And then countless flat screens all around the place covering every other sporting event being broadcast at that time. Freaking impressive.
So, entertainment wise, this place beats all comers outside of a Vegas sports book. But it gets better. The beer selection is plentiful and interesting and available in 32 ounce mugs. There was even a Munich lager that came in a 40 ounce mug. Awesome. The scotch selection was overpriced, not surprisingly, but they did have an Aberlour 12 so I was happy. The food was interesting and very tasty. Ash's brother took some ribbing for his lettuce burger (bun replaced with 1/4 of a head of lettuce) but where else could you order such a thing? The waitresses were all runway model hot (or so I'm told, I didn't really notice, honest) and super attentive and super tolerant of our drunken assholish ways. The atmosphere was alive and jumping. The bathrooms had the requisite flat panels at each urinal AND they had those Dyson air blade hand dryers.
All that must add up to best sports bar ever, right? Sadly, no. One thing was wrong with the whole set-up. One thing that soured me on the Real Sports experience. And that was the frigging music. The person that thought The Police's Roxanne needed to be re-mixed to a dance beat should be severely beaten. But the guy who thought that was the perfect song to play in a testosterone focused sports bar? He should be fed to rabid boars from the toes up.
I can't recall what the music was like before that song came up. And that's fine. It is what it should be in a sports bar. Just background noise. But after Roxanne-Remix, all I heard was sacrilegious dance beats tearing apart once great songs. It was fucking horrible.
And there is Toronto encapsulated in a sports bar. All the money in the world but no fucking soul. The people there aren't there for the sports atmosphere, they are there because it's a different take on their standard meat-market night club. These are the douchebag equivalents of those suits behind the glass at a Toronto Maple Leafs game. They don't give a shit about hockey, they only bought the seats because they were expensive and in demand and they wanted to impress some clients. Bah.
All the best to Ash and his upcoming marriage. I had a good time, I really did. But holy fuck do I still hate Toronto.