Posted in Restaurant Adventures

Review: Hot Shots Pub and Grub

Stanton Mall, Old Airport Rd, Yellowknife – 867-669-7529 

Hot Shots 1

Date of Visit: July 31  2013

I have passed by this place several times on brief layovers  in Yellowknife. On my last visit, I decided that I would give it a try as it was near my hotel and, after a long flight, I didn’t really feel like straying too far. I really wasn’t expecting too much from the place I must admit and, in the  final analysis, the best I can say is that I wasn’t disappointed…

Ambience and Service

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Hot Shots is located in a strip mall on a busy commercial thoroughfare and, other than an apartment building nearby, there isn’t much of a residential neighborhood nearby that would make this a ‘local’ pub for many people. The interior is very plain and, though clean and spacious, it is not very cozy or inviting. The walls are plain painted drywall, decorated sparingly with some sports memorabilia, and the ceiling is black painted corrugated metal with visible heating ducts and girders. There are two pool tables and a television in one corner, as well as a small ‘DJ’ booth and what looked like Karaoke equipment. I didn’t notice at first, as they were covered by removable rattan screens, but there is also a wall of dartboards so I assume that tournaments take place from time to time.

When I arrived at about 6:30pm on a Wednesday evening, the place, which seats about 75, was filled to only a third capacity and was quite subdued and quiet with no music playing at all. Possibly, with a full crowd on a weekend night, it might be a fairly pleasant location but I can’t really say I found the ambience all that special. There was only one woman on duty that evening, working the bar as well as serving tables, but she was friendly and efficient, despite having no help.

The Food

The menu at Hot Shots isn’t very inspiring. It consists mainly of burgers and sandwiches, along with some salads, poutine and chicken fingers but, after 5pm, there are a number of small plates on offer (also available on combo platters), and these include Dry Ribs, Breaded Mushrooms and Jalapeno Poppers. I had my heart set on a steak but, sadly none were available other than on a sandwich. I was tempted to sample the fish and chips but, since the steak sandwich featured an 8oz cut ( somewhat larger than in a lot of places), I decided to give it a try…

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The steak was served on garlic French bread and came with fries, although substitutions, including onion rings, poutine, or small salads were also available. The presentation was a bit unexpected in that it was an open face sandwich so, in a sense, I got the steak I wanted, just with a bit of garlic toast underneath. Unfortunately, while I ordered it medium rare, it was cooked more towards the medium well and was a little dry ( although the seasoning was nice). The fries, while home-cut, were a bit overcooked and the gravy was clearly made from a mix. In a steakhouse, I might have sent this back but, for a pub it was, at least, not too awful. Rating: 3 out of 5.


I have frequented a number of pubs over the years that were nothing special in themselves but have left good memories as places I enjoyed good times with friends. Hot Shots may well be that sort of place for some Yellowknifers, but I can’t really recommend it all that highly. The service was fine but there was not much more about my experience that makes me want to return. Rating: 2 out of 5.

Hot Shots Pub and Grub on Urbanspoon

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