|Not your typical male-dominated fan base taking in the action|
|My wife and daughter enjoying Game 7 in a the |
family-friendly atmosphere at St Augustine's
The owners, Anthony, Mike and Nick, all local boys who grew up in the neighbourhood, have battled the stigma of being an establishment that shows and supports the UFC and have endured undue criticism for attracting a "UFC" crowd, whatever that means. It is true that the big UFC events are shown, but again it is an atmosphere where I feel comfortable going with my wife and in the past have done so. I have never seen any problems during these events and have noticed that there is a large percentage of couples and females watching the fights, which are take place on the televisions only and not amongst those in attendance. St. Augustine's stays loyal to their UFC-loving patrons because is is they that helped keep the place afloat in the early days by supporting the UFC events there and any reports of rowdy, stereo-typical fight crowds in Augie's are simply not true.
The restaurant has also battled for its legitimate spot in the Vancouver craft beer scene. When the restaurant first introduced its 20-tap craft beer line-up, many of the local craft beer insiders shunned the restaurant because of the televisions. When the tap list increased to 40, to become the largest craft beer collection on tap in Western Canada, some still focused on the televisions and not on the great beer line-up on offer. There seemed to be an opinion and attitude among "serious" beer drinkers in this city that televisions and craft beer could not mix. I have always disputed this point of view and wonder why those holding these ideas believe that because I love sports, I should be restricted to drinking marco-beers and eating nachos in the traditional style sports bars and neighbourhood pubs who seem reticent to put craft beer on tap. I suggested to many of those complaining that if the televisions bothered them, they should maybe find more interesting friends to converse with over a beer, so they can hold their attention, or simply go to another establishment, such as the Alibi Room, which features great beers in a television-free environment.
Now, with St Augustine's becoming an important place in the community for many locals and one of the places in the city to watch big sporting events, I think the restaurant has done much to break down barriers, combining craft beer, televisions, sports and community. I have noticed that as their popularity and business has grown, that a few other restaurants on The Drive have taken notice and made moves to try to attract similarly diverse crowds. It is great to see because, as a new father, sports fan, foodie and lover of craft beer, I can now enjoy social time out in the community with my entire family. There are many other restaurants out there who have televisions, show sports are family friendly and have good food/beers on offer but I would argue none do it better than St Augustine's and the local community is really beginning to take notice and realize what a great spot they have in their midst.
And I often smile to myself and am amazed at how many of those original detractors, the "serious" craft beer drinkers, I now see in St Augustine's watching the big games, seemingly forgetting that televisions, sports and craft beer don't mix.