What Makes A Great Sports Bar

We often talk about the best sports bars from a fans perspective and the attributes that make them great.  Great food, tons of TV’s, having the sound on of the big game, and a personable and attractive staff, to name a few.  We’re also very high on bar expert Jon Taffer (from Bar Rescue), who knows a thing or two about getting butts in seats when it comes to bars.  Here’s a little insight from Jon on why some sports bars float and some sink:

Where to Watch the Mayweather versus Guerrero Fight

Floyd Mayweather takes on Robert Guerrero Saturday May 4, 2013 (which also happens to be national Star Wars day–May the 4th be with you,” get it?).  Mayweather is trying to stay undefeated (43-0), while Guerrero (31-1-1) is looking to make a name for himself by being the only to beat the greatest fighter of our generation.

You can locate where to watch the fight in any city by going to the home page of WhereToWatch.com and searching “boxing” and “all major boxing events” then entering your zip code.  The event gets underway at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas at 9 PM ET on Showtime PPV, although they won’t likely step into the ring until 11:30 PM.

Some interesting facts about the fight:

  • Age: Mayweather 36, Guerrero 30
  • Weight: Mayweather 146, Guerrero 146
  • Height: Mayweather 5-8, Guerrero 5-9
  • Reach: Mayweather 72″, Guerrero 71 1/2″
  • Mayweather will earn a base purse of $32 million, equaling his own all-time record, set in his 2012 win over Miguel Cotto.
  • Guerrero will earn a career-high base purse of $3 million.

Top Ten Sports Bars in Detroit

With the Detroit Tigers capturing the American League Penant and the Lions recent football success fresh behind them, the Motor City is rockin’ and is the place to be before, during, and after football and baseball games.  We all know that we can watch Detroit teams at pretty much any sports bar in the city, but where are the absolute best sports bars to watch the games?  In honor of the Tiger’s latest championship, here are our top ten best sports bars in the greater Detroit Area.
10. The Old Shillelagh 
Some of my best memories before heading to Comerica Park to watch the Detroit Tigers have come at the Old Shilleaugh.  With twenty beers on tap including Detroit’s hometown brewed specials and pre-game pitcher specials of Bud/Bud Light at $7.50, great times only await at the Old Shillelagh.  My pre-game favorite is the half pound cheeseburger with fries for only $7.00.  With over twenty-five TVs for any Detroit fans viewing pleasure, I can promise you, that you’ll enjoy your time at the Old Shillelagh.
Price: $
Location:  Downtown
9. Coaches Corner Bar & Grill

Located only a few blocks from Comerica Park and Ford Field, Coaches Corner is a great place to stop before hitting up a Tigers or Lions game.  Full of big screen TVs and great domestic beers on tap, I recommend the “Coaches Reuben” with an ice cold draft beer.  With different specials happening everyday of the week, Coaches Corner is any sports fan’s destination for happiness.
Price:  $$
Location:  Downtown
8. Gator Jake’s
Located just north of Detroit in Sterling heights, Gator Jake’s has the right mix of cajun and traditional bar food.  With twenty-four different beers to choose from and countless TVs, the party at Gator Jake’s is endless.  Sticking to a deep south favorite, I recommend the Jambalaya, which includes andouille sausage, jumbo shrimp, ham and chicken in a Creole sauce over rice. 
Price:  $$
Location:  Sterling Heights
7. Lefty’s Lounge
Located on the campus of Wayne State University, Lefty’s Lounge is a great college atmosphere and sports bar that will suit all ages.  Any sports bar with a happy hour from 11am-7pm is all about pleasing the customer.  Looking for where to watch Michigan and Michigan State?  Lefty’s supports all the Detroit sports teams especially the Tigers, along with in-state rivals Michigan and Michigan State, and has plenty of TVs to make any sports fan happy.  With NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB package, and up to fifteen prime college games shown every week, this is a great destination for fall football.  My food pick at Lefty’s goes to Tuesday X-Large two-topping award winning pizza for $10.50 along with one of their all-day, everyday $2.50 pints.
Price:  $$
Location:  Wayne State
6. Nemo’s Bar
Considered Detroit’s “Original Sports Bar,” Nemo’s has been a staple of excellence since 1965.  Across the street from where the old Tiger Stadium stood, Nemo’s is still a favorite pre-game stop before Tigers, Red Wings, and Lions games. Nemo’s shuttle service to and from Tigers, Red Wings & Lions games is probably better than any bar in Detroit.  
Price:  $
Location:  Corktown
5. Doc’s Sports Retreat
With over one hundred TVs to watch all the sports packages that they subscribe to, any sports fanatic would be in heaven at Doc’s Sports Retreat.  All Tigers, Lions, Pistons and Red Wings games can be viewed at Doc’s.  With thirty beers on tap, and my personal favorite, “The Big Johnson” twenty ounce burger to choose from, you’ll definitely leave feeling satisfied. Pun intended.
Price:  $$
Location:  Livonia
4. Cheli’s Chili Bar
Located across the street from Comerica Park, Cheli’s (owned by former Red Wing Defensemen Chris Chelios) is a prime destination before Tigers, Red Wings and Lions games.  With a rooftop party deck, patrons can take in the activity from Comerica park.  On Tiger or Lion game day’s Cheli’s is very busy but service is still excellent.  From experience, I once ordered a burger and fries and told the waitress we were in a hurry, and received my food within ten minutes without a screw-up on it.  With thirty-six TVs throughout, Cheli’s always has something good to watch!
Price:  $$
Location:  Downtown
3. Norm’s Field of Dreams
Named after its owner and also by coincidence Tiger great Norm Cash, Norm’s Field of Dreams is a must stop for any Detroit sports fan.  Monday’s are my favorite day at Norm’s because of Michigan Monday’s with fifty cent wings and one dollar Coney dogs.  Located just north of Detroit in Troy, Norm’s Field of Dreams is a great pre or post game stop before heading to a Tigers, Lions or Red Wings game. Plenty of TVs throughout with a jamming jukebox make Norm’s a great destination and definitely one of the top sports bars in Detroit.
Price:  $
Location:  Troy
2.  24 Seconds Bar & Grill
With two 10 foot big screens along with twenty other high definition TVs to watch the Tigers, Lions, Pistons & Red Wings on along with NFL Sunday Ticket and all the football you could ask for on a Satuerday, 24 Seconds Bar & Grill is the place for any sport fan.  Fans can take a shuttle (which you are allowed to drink on) to and from Lions games.  During summer months, 24 Seconds has a rooftop lounge where sports fans can relax at as well.
Price:  $$
Location:  Berkley
1. Hockeytown Café
Considered by many polls to be one of the best sports bars in the U.S., Hockeytown café needs to be on any sports fan’s bucketlist.   With 63 inch plasma TVs stationed throughout the bar, there’s not a seat in Hockeytown that doesn’t have a great TV view.  With forty beers on tap, and great gametime specials including $5.00 pitchers of Miller High Life and my personal favorite, the Michigan Cherry Burger topped with Michigan cherries from Traverse City.  Located across the street from Comerica Park, Ford Field and just blocks from Joe Louis Arena, Hockeytown Café gets the number one spot on our list of the best sports bars in the Detroit area.
Location:  $$
Location:  Downtown

By: Craig Emmert

Top 5 Sports Bar Chains for Chowing Down on Hot Wings

Is there anything better on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon than grabbing a frosty cold beer and some wings at your favorite sports bar?  We all know a few sports bars that you can always count on for great buffalo wings and a good time no matter where you happen to be that weekend.  This week, we’re going to rank the best franchised sports bars based on the deliciousness, consistency, and quality of the wings, as well as the overall sports bar atmosphere. With a number of regional and nationwide wing joints to choose from, here are our top five: 

#5- Fricker’s (19 Locations)
With the majority of locations coming in the Buckeye State, Fricker’s is always a great place to catch an Ohio State game.  Known for their jumbo wings, Fricker’s breaded, boneless, or bite-sized “Frickin’ Chicken Chunks” are the wing choices to choose from.  With thirteen different sauces their Frickin’ X-Scream sauce trumps them all.  My personal favorite is the Fricker’s located in north Dayton, Ohio on Miller Lane just off I-75.  With forty-seven TV’s and sixteen beers on tap, the experience I had there watching the Cincinnati Reds was well worth my time.    
#4- Tilted Kilt (73 Locations)
With locations all over the continental U.S. and a few in Canada, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery is a must-stop for any wing-eating fanatic.  The Tilted Kilt Girls (the servers) may quite possibly have the best serving outfits out of any sports bar in the U.S., with their “mini-kilts.”  My personal favorite location in Hendersonville, Tennessee is a great place to stop if you’re headed towards the Nashville area.  With twenty-four beers on tap and twenty-eight TV’s, it’s hands down Hendersonville’s place to watch a game at.  I recommend the TK’s Irish Nachos as a pre-wing appetizer.   
#3- Wild Wing Café (34 Locations)
With the majority of Wild Wing Café’s locations in the southeastern part of the U.S, it’s a great place to stop on the way to the beach.  With countless HD TV’s in each location, the wings are downright delicious and, if you’re picky, they offer thirty-six differnt flavors.  Having the option to choose the hottest flavor, “Braveheart,” or the least hottest, “Virgin” (which has the description: “The perfect choice for wimpy wing eaters”), all wing- eaters will feel right at home.  My personal favorite location in West Knoxville, Tennessee has one of the best University of Tennessee watch parties.  Before and after UT games, the party is always going on at Knoxville’s Wild Wing Café location.  I watched Kentucky beat Baylor in the NCAA Tournament here, and I personally recommend the Holy Jalapeño Burger.
#2- Buffalo Wild Wings (833 Locations & counting)
With the most locations out of any sports bar franchise nationwide, Buffalo Wild Wings is more than likely in a city near you.  With sixteen flavors to put on your wings, “B-Dubs” is a must stop when a big game is on!  My personal favorite location just having opened in Johnson City, Tennessee is the hands-down best place to watch a game in the Tri-Cities area of East Tennessee.  With the most TV’s out of any East Tennessee sports bar along with music jamming out of the speakers, it’s a great atmosphere to watch a game or just hangout at.  An order of twelve mango habanero boneless wings is my personal favorite dish.
#1- Hooters (455 Locations & counting)

Hooters in Downtown Atlanta, Georgia is my favorite place for a hooterific time.

Since 1983 at its original location in Clearwater, Florida, Hooters has been the staple of all other wing locations to match up to.  With attractive servers, fried-pickles, breaded wings, & cold beer, what more can the average American guy ask for?  With some locations offering all-you-can-eat wings on Wednesdays, Hooters is a great place to feast mid-week.  My personal favorite Hooters, located in downtown Atlanta, has the best big-game atmosphere I have seen at any Hooters.  And for a wing-eating fanatic like myself, trust me, that’s saying a lot.  When the Miami Heat beat the Celtics during last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, my ten hot wings, order of fries, and the atmosphere at this particular location made the experience perfect.

What’s your favorite wing joint?

By: Craig Emmert

American Social: A New York Giants Bar in Fort Lauderdale

It’s football season again and we’ve had numerous Giants fans contact us about getting them a great place to watch the Super Bowl champs in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this year.  We’ve got just the place.  American Social is an upscale sports bar that recently opened downtown on Las Olas Boulevard and is a perfect place for Giants fans to meet up on Sundays. 

The tastefully decorated bar is about as close to an upscale New York sports bar that you’ll find in South Florida.

The bar is managed and partially owned by Paul Greenberg, a New York native who was snowbirding in Florida and never went back. Greenberg is about as big a Giants fan as you’ll meet and has rolled out the red carpet for the many yankees who reside in South Florida.  For all Giants game, the bar has numerous drink specials.  When the G-Men are on the big screen the sound of the game will be on, even during primetime football on Sunday afternoon, and even when the Dolphins are playing! Don’t get me wrong, the Dolphins will still be on the tube for you homers, but at this bar, when Eli’s poppin’, everything’s stoppin’. 

Not to be outdone on Saturdays, “AmSo” also goes all out for Florida State football games.  Owners Rick Mijares and Greenberg both attended FSU and are as serious about Seminole football as they are about running a classy sports bar.  With all of the FSU alumni in South Florida, American Social is about the next best thing to hanging out at Doak Campbell Stadium as you’ll find on the east coast.  When the game is over, it’s not a bad place to hang out either, just check out the good looking crowd that frequents the place. 

“Taps at the friggin’ table? Forgetaboutit!” – The NY accent sounds a lot better in person, I promise.

In addition to great drink specials, American Social also brings it in terms of food.  I stopped by and ordered the aptly named “American Social New Yorker,” a twist on the sandwich made famous in the Big Apple.  I’ve never had one in New York so I can’t compare, but believe me, it didn’t disappoint.  The bar has 14 Hi-def flat-screen TV’s, perfectly positioned to catch the game (or numerous games) from wherever you’re sitting.  The bar also has a unique twist that is a beer lover’s dream.  In addition to the 46 craft beers on tap, they have a rotating beer tap at their booths.  With the taps, you can serve yourself up to four different beers at a time, and you simply pay by the amount you drink (measured in ounces).  To be safe, you better call ahead and reserve the booths because they fill up quickly–the same as your icey cold glass will on game day.

If you’re looking for where to watch the Giants or other teams with fans at sports bars in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or anywhere else in the country, check out the search option on WhereToWatch.com.

American Social
721 East Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

By: Todd Davis
If you have a large group of displaced sports fans in your city like the Giants fans discussed here, shoot us an email to info@WhereToWatch.com and we’ll get a watch party set up for your team.