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Hockey Faces Off with Beer, Food and Fun at Houston's Maple Leaf Pub

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

The Maple Leaf Pub is called "Houston's Home for Hockey". Since it's opening in 2006 by owners Sean and Olivia Blair, the pub has become the city's only place dedicated to hockey where you can watch every NHL game on large-screen televisions all season through the playoffs. It's a place where Sean Blair can watch his beloved Calgary Flames with others who love the icy sport of hockey, but live in the warmer climate of Texas.

Blair describes The Leaf experience, "The best part of the pub is most certainly the bond and lifelong friendships you make here." Patrons are mostly transplants from elsewhere and often come to Houston knowing no one. "They have to leave their beer league team, their friends, their family," continues Blair. "Somehow they find us; and without exception come in to a brand new set of friends and fellow fans of hockey."

Moving away from hockey during the off season, the pub has free bingo on Monday nights, poker on Tuesday and karaoke on Friday. Thursday nights are busy with Geek's Who Drink Pub Quiz and Steak Night, rated best Steak Night in Houston by Yelp. Sean himself makes the hand-cut rib eyes and promises, "Once you taste it, you'll never go back to wasting money at a steak house again."

The cold draft beer selection, including Molson Canadian, faces off with the pub snacks. Aside from the pub pizza, chicken, sausage and jalapeno poppers, The Leaf also offers a not-so-standard-pub-fare meatball and Cuban sub and spicy hummus. The baked pretzel reminds me of the Northeast.

Although the pub serves food now, it wasn't originally a goal. Today, the pub is expanding and building a kitchen. "People want a full experience with regional foods from their area," Blair explains. "Canadians will love our Poutine and our northern friends can relive their favorite sausages, burgers and wings and famously fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches," he adds.

The Leaf is a comfy and clean neighborhood bar that is open to all. "It's like if your best friend had a really awesome basement," brags Blair. Enough said- we're sold!

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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