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2022-01-26 19:14:16

KHL Sports Bar

DINING -> Bars
By Howard Jarvis. 15.03.2012

Elizabetes 55
(entrance from Brīvības) , Riga Phone: 6777 2270
Web: www.khlsportsbar.com
Working hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 - 00:00

The most impressive sports bar in the Baltics is awaiting your attention. The most impressive sports bar in the Baltics has just been opened beneath the towering Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija. The management team behind Push, Riga’s most successful nightclub, and Europe’s biggest ice hockey league, the KHL, have joined forces to create the KHL Sports Bar. And the food is definitely worthy of any decent casual dining restaurant.

 

Descend the stairs from a door at the side of the hotel on busy Brīvības Street and you’ll see the first of many exclusive hockey-esque features – a “wall of fame” display of pucks signed by the KHL’s most famous players. Swing left and you’ll wander down a corridor lined with the jerseys, helmets and team photos of each of the league’s 24 teams – including Latvia’s own treasured Dinamo Riga.

As you enter the sports bar a number of design features catch your eye – goal nets dividing the tables on the left; ahead the well-stocked bar made from 320 hockey sticks and a backlit wall of 2000 stacked-up pucks; angular walls made from white shower-room tiles; and on the right the “coach zone”.

The coach zone is so called because it’s dedicated to the “intellectual” side of ice hockey. Around the soft sofas and low tables equipped for chess, backgammon or just resting your glass, the floor, walls and ceiling are covered in quotes in Latvian, Russian and English by two masterminds who heavily influenced the game during the 20th century.

“A hockey player has to deeply understand music in order to feel the rhythm of the game and adapt it to each moment of the game.” “In hockey, as in chess, the players have to think several moves ahead.” “Hockey is a battle of wisdom and a competition between thinkers.”

These and other ideas by Anatoli Tarasov, the father of Russian hockey, and chief Soviet coach Arkady Chernyshov influenced the game in the United States as well as in the Soviet Union. They fill the design together with elegant leather “coach armchairs”, portraits of other great thinkers, and symbols from the worlds of philosophy and physics.

But you don’t have to be a devout hockey fan to visit the KHL Sports Bar. More than 30 LCD monitors screen any of 500 channels in an array of languages. Watch the Handball World Cup Final in Norwegian, the Ryder Cup in Swedish, or Aston Villa vs. Manchester City in English. Or simply the news.

This will be the ideal location to watch the Euro 2012 matches in June. Why bother jostling with the crowds in Poland or Ukraine?

The KHL Sports Bar sports bar isn’t just for the lads. Couples and families are welcome too. Within a month or two, a games room for kids will open up, complete with table hockey, pool table and Wii video game console – all free of charge. There will also be a live betting corner – for adults only.

What will really attracting a diverse range of clients here is the food. An initial menu will be broadened very soon to include not only classier versions of steak, grill and hamburger dishes but also plenty of healthy dining. For now, a smattering a soups, salads and desserts is available. The spicy chicken coconut soup with coriander and lemongrass (€5.50) is fantastic. Local draft beers are priced at around €2.50, and a chilled shot of vodka is a little over €3.

Riga’s KHL Sports Bar is the first to be dedicated to the KHL in the world. Designed by Stylt, a Swedish design group known for thinking outside the box, the idea is to open others with a similar look as a franchise concept in cities across Russia and Europe. Drop into one on your next trip to the Urals.

[Images courtesy Erik Nissen Johansen / Stylt Trampoli]