Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spot #2 Scallywags review

Another Good morning to you! As I'm pulling a double shift for you today. I just got home watching a thrilling, and as a Man United supporter frustrating match at Scallywags between United and Chelsea. First bit of business will be a pub review, as I’m building my football bar/restaurant guide for the World Cup. The second will be a match review of the above mentioned game in another post today.

Scallywags , located at 11 St. Clair Ave W is a well known football establishment in the middle of the city. I first watched a match at Scally’s around 3 years ago and my first impression was not good to say the least. As I mentioned in my review of The Football Factory, footy supporters in my age bracket (Mid-late 20’s) are looking for an experience beyond the old pub vibe. You wouldn’t necessarily call it a club feel, but the growth of the lounge culture in the city it makes the pub vibe seem dull and outdated. This was the felling I got from Scally’s on my first visit. It also didn’t help that a small pub fight broke out between a Arsenal and a Tottenham supporter, which lead to a very on edge feeling. Another issue for me was that there wasn’t much football talk going on, and the few random conversations I heard were on a very immature and plain stupid level. So based on those issues I hadn’t been back there to watch a match.

Today however I decided to give the place another chance. I wanted to see if the venue could live up to a big match, and there are not many that are bigger than United v Chelsea with top of the table on the line. So with that I headed out at 7am to watch the game. I have to say it didn’t start well, within minutes of walking in I was berated by a random older man for wearing a United shirt. Now I understand supporting your club but there is a point where you become less of a supporter and more of a jackass! Another issue was that for a good while I was the youngest person in the place, by a mile. Generally I have no issue with age in a bar, however it at times makes it difficult to start a conversation and due to my age it is assumed that I know nothing about the game. As I was sitting and typing my post earlier this morning I was starting to rue my decision about going to Scally’s.

Shortly after kick off though something happened that I did not expect, the same older man that had berated me earlier came up to me and apologized. After that we began to talk about the game and his lifelong love of Chelsea. You could feel the passion for the game in the room as the match progressed, and with so many people there it actually became a very fun atmosphere to watch the match in. I must also mention the excellent servers at Scallywags, the place was packed and though there was no food served until around half time they made sure everyone was well taken care of in terms of tea and coffee. Now make no mistake Scallywags is mainly and English pub with many English ex pats so if you’re looking for Barca v Valencia you’re out of luck. However if you’re looking for a place to check out EPL or England matches you’re in the right place. This in my eyes limits how good a football venue it can be. I can say though by the end of the match today I slightly changed my mind about the place, though it won’t be my first choice to watch a match.

I wish I could tell you about the drinks and food options at Scallywags, but there wasn’t any food to order until halftime and frankly I’m not a bangers and mash kind of guy. In terms of drinks the bar looked well stocked and there was a good selection on the taps, but with it being 8 in the morning the pints were not flowing for good reason. Overall Scallywags is a football pub plain and simple, no flash or pomp just pints and some old boys, but if that’s what you want then Scallywags is probably the best place to be.

If you’ve been there or any of the places I’m reviewing let me know what you think.


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