With the entire city fired up over the Golden Knights’ playoff run, it’s not hard to find a bar showing their games. Some bars have a stronger connection than others, however, to hometown hockey. Here are five that have been behind the Knights from the first game of the season — in some cases even longer.
Born and Raised
7260 S. Cimarron Road, and 10050 S. Eastern Ave., bornandraisedlv.com
Created as a hangout for Las Vegas natives, Born and Raised was originally dedicated to the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. But when Bill Foley began his push to bring hockey to the desert, owner Scottie Godino was quick to throw his support behind the cause. That began with season-ticket drives before the team was a done deal and went on to include sponsorship of a Cox cable reality show about building the team.
Since the team’s arrival, both Born and Raised locations have been official Golden Knights bars. Their watch parties have included appearances by the Golden Aces dance squad, and fans kneeling before a knight in medieval armor to get knighted with a tap of his sword. Giveaways have included game-used and signed memorabilia, and a trip to see the team on the road. The bars regularly fund-raise for the Golden Knights Foundation. And once a month they raffle off a pair of their season tickets, five rows behind the bench, through the bar’s app.
When a previously scheduled barbecue competition in the parking lot of the west side location ended up falling on game day, the team scrambled to secure a massive outdoor video wall so guests could watch the Golden Knights defeat the San Jose Sharks in Game 6 of their series and advance to the Western Conference Final.
MacKenzie River Pizza
1550 S. Pavilion Center Drive, mackenzieriverpizza.com
It’s hard to imagine a bar/restaurant more attached to the Golden Knights than this one. Located inside the team’s practice facility, City National Arena, the spot is owned by one of Bill Foley’s companies. That location and association offer unique opportunities for the team’s most hardcore fans.
Lots of bars show every game — and MacKenzie River doesn’t slack on that front. But where else can you watch the team practice while you enjoy some pizza, a burger and a beer? Fans who find the bleachers a bit too chilly during the team’s always-public practice sessions can watch them through the glass walls of the restaurant. (That extends through the playoffs, by the way, with the team expected to be skating at City National at 11 a.m. Thursday.)
Other perks of this Knights bar include The Arsenal, an official team store in the same building where you can pick up a new jersey and have it customized while you’re waiting for the game to start. When you hang out during off hours, there’s always a chance you’ll see Knights stars Marc-Andre Fleury, James Neal or Jonathan Marchessault grabbing a bite at the next table. And because City National is also home to youth hockey, MacKenzie River is a family-friendly venue.
6200 S. Rainbow Blvd., scooterspubinc.com
Walking into this west valley pub, it’s obvious it’s a sports bar, but not quite as apparent that hockey is a fan favorite. In fact, it can be hard to find the Golden Knights banners scattered among the countless tributes to college and professional football and basketball, boxing and mixed martial arts, and various other athletic endeavors. The most obvious signs of loyalty to any one team are tributes to the Seattle Seahawks.
A year ago, Scooter’s was known primarily as a Seahawks bar. But the place has been 100 percent loyal to the Golden Knights since this season began. That loyalty has included some official watch parties, which have brought the Golden Aces dancers and Chance the mascot into the house. And while there may be other games on a few of the many TV screens during a Golden Knights game, hometown hockey is always front and center.
9295 W. Flamingo Road, brooksys.net
When Lewis Brooks purchased this bar eight years ago, the windows between it and the adjoining ice rink were boarded up, and there was no association to hockey at all. Since his brother owned that rink, Brooks was quick to remedy the situation when he took the reins, and the bar and restaurant soon began to draw customers who wanted to watch the league hockey play on the ice next door.
With all of those hockey fans in the house already, it was only natural that NHL games were featured attractions during hockey season. And when the Golden Knights arrived, they became the entertainment of choice on game days.
Brooksy’s has never had any official affiliation with the team. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a bar with more serious hockey fans dedicated to supporting the home team. Brooks rewards them with a wide selection of food and drink specials whenever the Knights are playing.
2601 Atlantic St., 702-684-5769
While Starboard Tack doesn’t have any official ties to the Golden Knights, it’s been a go-to spot for watching the games on the east side of the valley all season. Bryant Jane, one of the owners who presided over the comeback of the ’70s-era bar, admits he was a little surprised by the team’s draw.
“We paid a bunch of money to get the NFL ticket and we couldn’t get anybody in for football,” Jane laughs. “But the second the Golden Knights came on we got big crowds.”
Planned or not, he and his partner Lyle Cervenka reacted quickly to support the fan base. Throughout the season they’ve been offering food and drink specials and giving away jerseys on game days. They’ve also done some ticket giveaways, thanks to a landlord who has season tickets he’s willing to contribute to the cause.
Contact Al Mancini at amancini @reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter.