raptors playoff games

Raptors playoff games a boon to Toronto bars

Toronto sports fans are a loyal bunch and now we finally have a few teams to actually be proud of! Last October, we faithfully watched the Blue Jays and now we get to follow the Raptors as they make their way through the NBA playoffs.

And while the Raptors are currently down two games against the Cleveland Cavaliers, many of us are still flocking to local sports bars and watering holes to cheer them on.

"It's great for business, it's fantastic," says Harrison Mazis who own Duffy's Tavern in Bloordale Village. If you head there, you can expect to see the Raptor on all of Duffy's 15 screens.

Hurricanes in Bloorcourt is also filled to the brim on game nights. "It has been controlled chaos for the last three," says Denisha, who's worked at Hurricanes for the past 11 years. Although she does admit it's been a bit quieter during this series.

For an alternative to the typical sports bar scene, you can always head to the Drake Underground to catch a game. Music programmer Iain MacNeil can't show each match at the West Queen West hotel - the subterranean space is primarily a music venue - but he's screening as many as he can.

He lives in the area and knows it's nearly impossible to get a seat at a place like the Dog & Bear, unless you show up more than an hour before tip off, of course. So, he's created another space for fans to hang out.

"I wouldn't say that we've been as busy as we were during the Blue Jays," says Jason Oosthuizen from The Grover, a pub in the Upper Beaches. But it's still super packed, nonetheless, he notes. Although he doesn't see his bar getting too packed this weekend, likely because the Raptors are down two games in the series and The Grover's a bit far removed from the lake.

Regardless of where you choose to watch game three, let's hope #WeTheOther pulls through to turn this series around.

Photo by Ronny Yip via the blogTO Flickr pool.


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