It was the best lunch special in town: free Ottawa Senators tickets.

All you had to do was show up at Smoke’s Poutinerie on Dalhousie.

50 pairs of tickets were given away, and they went quickly. There was a lineup around the block.

Twitter was buzzing about the promotion this morning.

Hockey fans got to the restaurant as fast as they could.

“We were here at 10am and it wasn’t even open yet, so we came back at 11. We were one of the first ones here,” said Sens fan Ryan Smith, who was with his friends.

“We’re just excited hockey is back, and the lockout is done with. We just want to watch hockey again,” said Sens fan Matthew Berard.

Talk of the free tickets resulted in a long line at the restaurant, but the question is: Will everyone go and see the Sens if they have to pay?

Anthony Moussignac laughed as he said yes.

“Most likely yeah, I’m a diehard fan so I don’t think ticket prices are going to hold me back from going to see my team play,” said Moussignac.

In the end, only a small group scored free tickets.

Many fans are frustrated about how the giveaway played out.

“They should have given out more tickets, they said they would start at 12pm and they were gone at 11:30am. A lot of people were misled,” said Thomas Cho.

Staff at Smoke’s Poutinerie said the store was getting too crowded, so they started handing the tickets out early.

“We weren’t anticipating it to be that busy. I saw this morning we were going to give away the tickets, I wasn’t ready for it,” said Troy Comeau.

Here is the Ottawa Senators’ message to fans:

“Dear Sens Fans, Smoke’s Poutinerie and the Ottawa Senators would like to apologize for any miscommunication about the ticket giveaway today. Their staff were very eager to serve our Sens fans and tickets were handed out earlier than advertised. If you missed out on tickets today, we’re doing a random giveaway for 20 pairs to an upcoming Sens game plus a Smoke’s Poutinerie gift card per winner. Enter for your chance to win below. Deadline to enter is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday January 17, 2013.”

To enter visit:

With a report from CTV's Vanessa Lee