The All Star weekend is way more than just a game. In fact, the game is practically the least improtant thing of the whole event when you think about it. One of the main things many are interested in are the NHL All Star parties taking place this Thursday-Sunday in Ottawa. Rest assured alcoholics, fan boys, puck bunnies, out of towners, bar stars and groupies. I've got you covered for all your weekend debauchery needs.
Thursday January 26th:
Things get underway Thursday with a pair of competing welcome parties. One is at Tila Tequila and one is at Studio/Sky Bar. First off, let's all agree that all three have horrible names. I mean really bad. Ok, now that that's out of the way let's compare the 2 opening night bashes.
Both are in the market so that's no advantage. The Tila one has a generic hockey player on its flyer, while Studio/Skybar has former Gatineau Olympiques Claude Giroux, who is likely to be a finalist for league MVP. On the surface it's massive advantage to Studio/Skybar, but it doesn't mention anything about him actually being there, though I'd find it hard to believe they'd use his face and not have him show.
Tila mentions players coming by as well but no mention of whom. I talked to a girl who works at Tila and she said they are execting at least 10 NHLers there so if you want quantity Tila is your spot. Either one you pick will be fun if you're into that kind of clubbing scene. Think Ottawa's Jersey Shore type. If that's ok with you you'll be fine and rub elbows with some NHLers.
Friday January 27th:
Friday night seems to be the big party night with 5 big one's all on at once. Here's the first 2: one is a concert from someone I had never heard about until a few days ago and one is a party that's trying too hard but will fall flat on its face. The Sheepdogs will play a show at The Great Canadian Cabin in the market for charity. Tickets were only $10 in advance but I guess this person didn't get the memo.
The 2nd party is at Lobby and says it will feature celebrities and UMM models (gloirified club girls). How fabulous. The celebs will be D-list (at best) and the UMM girls will have fake D's, but if you're into that I highly recommend it. Be wary of any party that advertises celebrity guests but doesn't say who. Be ready to be disappointed and be prepared to pop overpriced bottles and deal with pretentious clientele. Sort of like dealing with Leaf fans. Victory in this round goes to the Sheepdogs and I don't even know one song they play.
Here are parties #3 and #4 on Friday night and there's no question which one I'm in favor of for obvious reasons. The Sens own and NHL leading vote getter Erik Karlsson hosts at party at Junxion Public House in the market. The 2 things I noticed on the flyer right away were that they didn't want to pay to use the logo so they made it blank and added a cheesy shoulder patch and that it said Karlsson and friends. Friends, really? What friends are we talking about? Hey man did you get to chill with Karlsson at that party or what? No man, was too busy around him but his video game buddy and me had a nice chat. I even got his autograph. His name was Kumar.
I realize that Marc Methot is from Ottawa and does play in the NHL and all, but let's be real. He lacks at certain star power. 90% of hockey fans wouldn't know him and neither does your average person, so plastering him on a flyer is hardly convincing. Also Union Station is out of the way of all the other parties since it's on Elgin and they used the same flyer for Fri and Sat. What's worse than thinking Marc Methot will draw patrons to your party? Thinking he will do it on back to back nights. I'd pass on that one unless you're trapped on Elgin.
Saturday January 28th:
This one is for 2 bars and is good for 2 nights. For both the 27th and 28th there will be a combined party going on at Industry and Liqour Store in the market as well. It seems that Eric Condra will be there for one night at least according to his twitter. I will tell you one thing that made me crack up though. Joey "Vendetta" Scoleri. Really!!! Really? He looks truly like a man to be reckoned with smh. By the way check this guys timeline out. Could he be a bigger star fucker?
After seeing that and the lamely named Hollywood North I just couldn't possibly give this party a chance, especially when the 2 bars are for 16-just turned 19 year olds but hey that's just me. If you're from out of town or just don't get care, hit it up. Sometimes you just need a place that serves drinks and is easy to get into. I won't judge you. We've all been there. Just joking, I've never been there. Yes I have.
For all you Frenchies or underagers, there's a "party" on the Hull side as well at Le Volt. Love the gangsta "Rep your city" with the unathorized Karlsson draft picture, coupled with the $2 beers WITH a jersey on. Because you know, everyone knows wearing a jersey is proper clubbing wear. Just kidding, I know no one you will go over to that side unless you're 16 or going to a strip club. Le Volt is neither. Please don't go.
Also don't forget that international superstar Marc Method is hosting night 2 at the Union Station on Elgin. If you're lucky you might be able to bride your way in and get a glimpse at him in person.
Sunday January 29th:
80's Sunday nights at Barrymore's is practically an Ottawa institution at this point. If you want to hit up an old style theatre for some synthesizer's bumping and have a good old school time, this might be for you. As it says at the top of the flyer, some NHL players are scheduled to attend but it doesn't say who. Considering you can catch Sens players here fairly regularly I would expect to see some of your home town boys there. It's a bit out of the way on Bank but it's definitely a solid choice. I can vouch. If you're from ot of town come check out the legendary spot on your trip.
And the last party is the big winner of All Star weekend. While many are claiming to have celebs and girls or god knows what else, Studio/Skybar came through with the real deal landing one of the biggest music stars in the world with Drake. He has millions of followers on twitter, a Grammy, 2 platinum albums and a worldwide fanbase, so getting him to host an All Star party is pretty major. The only draw back is the price ($50) and the fact that it will be a complete zoo to get in and have a good time. If that doesn't bother you, come check out the A-list star on Sunday night to wrap on the All Star weekend, if you can make it to Sunday night alive that is.
If none of these catch your fancy then just do your own thing. There's about a million Irish pubs in Ottawa and several Starbucks (1 even stays up til 10pm I hear, does this city ever sleep?), tons of restaurants, martini lounges and a bunch of late night eateries to cater to everyone's taste. In the end, it's who you're with that will determine how much fun you have, not where you're at. If you're somewhere that sucks, it's on you to make it the place to be people. Enjoy the weekend and be safe everyone.
Send in your pictures from the weekend of all the crazyness to email@example.com and follow me on twitter @SensTown