Even when it isn’t hockey season, it is. If you play hockey, are a hockey parent, a hockey coach, or if you write about hockey, it becomes a year-round focus, if not a fascination.
I talk and write about hockey year-round. In fact, traffic to the Hockey News North site is nearly as busy from June through August as it is from September to May.
Not to say that hockey consumes me. But not to say that being a hockey writer is a tough job, either.
For sure, it has its moments, being a hockey writer. But for the most part, I am looking forward to the actual 2018-2019 season when games are played and I get to attend a selection of matches that involve the Ontario Hockey League, Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League and Great North Midget Hockey League.
In the meantime, there has been ongoing hockey talk, mixed with visits to the family cottage and chilling at outdoor patio bars.
After all, what’s a nice summer without an outdoor patio bar (or two) to frequent?
A patio bar really goes well with a nice summer, such as the one that we are having in Sault Ste. Marie.
My wife and I have two favourite outdoor patio bars that we frequent in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.
One is the Mane Street Cafe, which is part of the Mane Street Salon on Queen St.
In its first year of operation, the Mane Street Cafe features nightly drink specials and a healthy food menu courtesy long-time industry worker Michael Zaharuk.
Our other favourite outdoor patio bar is OutSpoken Brewing, which is also located on Queen St.
Serving its on-site brewed craft beer, OutSpoken features a nice light lager that it calls Split Shot, which is our favourite.
As a sidebar, OutSpoken also has its own resident, nice guy patron, a rather cute Scottish chap who answers to the name Murray Radford and who is a non-stop, talking billboard for his favourite outdoor haunt.
Hockey talk and outdoor patio bars. Not much stress there.