Some Halifax bars to open early for men’s hockey at Sochi Olympics

Haley Ryan, Metro Halifax
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HALIFAX - At least two Halifax bars will be opening their doors bright and early for hockey fans who want to catch men’s Olympic hockey action as it happens in Sochi.

Canada's Sidney Crosby (87) is congratulated by Drew Doughty (8) and Scott Niedermayer (27) after Crosby scored the game-winning goal in the overtime period of a men's gold medal ice hockey game against USA at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Chris O'Meara

Both Durty Nelly’s and Bubba Ray’s Sports Bar have been approved to open early when the Canadian men’s team plays.

The change in hours required special approval from the province, because the difference in time zones means many of the games will be played before 9 a.m.

“We’re not looking to get people drunk at six in the morning or anything like that,” said Michael Carey, general manager of Durty Nelly’s.

“It’s just to be able to have the option if our guests are interested, and if we can bring people down for it.”

Although Carey said it’s unlikely the Irish bar will set any business records on those game days, they’re expecting a  “good crowd” and will set up a 120-inch projector screen to draw people in.

“We have a very loyal following, and we just like to be open so our regulars can go to their favourite pub to watch all the games they’d like to,” Carey said.

John MacDonald, executive director of Nova Scotia’s Alcohol & Gaming Division, said he expects four or five more HRM bars might apply to open earlier for the games.

While the Canadian men’s hockey trials are an important national event, MacDonald said they wouldn’t accept just any reason for a bar to open earlier.

“It’s not just a ‘Throw the doors wide open and approve everything,” MacDonald said.

There has to be some municipal, provincial or national significance for the bars to open, MacDonald said. For example, he would likely approve someone who wanted to show Nova Scotian snowboarder Alex Duckworth’s half-pipe event, but not every Slovenia game.

The men’s Olympic hockey tournament runs from Feb. 12 until Feb. 23.

Organizations: Alcohol Gaming Division

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Slovenia

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