Breaking Down Your Sports Bar Options

(Can’t get a ticket to either of this weekend’s ALCS games? Not making the trip to Dallas? No worries. We had special Boston Daily correspondent Brittany Jasnoff break it down for you).

It’s where the beer flows like liquid gold, and where no one can tell you it’s time to change the channel. If you’re HD-less at home, the glorious watering hole—the holy land of sports spectatorship—is most likely where you’ll hang your hat these coming nights. Let’s get to it.

Tavern in the Square

The Tubes: Eight plasma screens and an overhead projector perfect for the four-eyed stud who conveniently left his glasses at home.

The Suds: Popular favorites such as the crisp Abita Purple Haze (made with real raspberry puree!) and the Chimay Grand Reserve from Belgium make choosing a unique beer as easy as scoring a touchdown—if you’re playing Madden.

The Grub: The Central Square hotspot offers up more than just wings and dogs. Traditional pub fare shares space with more exotic dishes such as pistachio encrusted tuna and Asian lettuce wraps, so you’re sure to score major points with the sports-loving epicurean type in your crew.

The Extras: Watching the Sox kick some Indian ass might not be the only action you get Friday night—a DJ spinning a variety of hits right after the game promises to keep you on your feet until last call (or beyond).

The Scene: Yuppies, jocks and girls sporting designer bags (and guys too). Not the usual crowd for hipster Central. It can be more of a pick-up scene than a sports bar, but where else are you gonna go on the Cambridge side of the river?

Overall Rating: ** ½ beer cans

Game On

The Tubes: 90 high-def masterpieces—offered in every size under the sun—are just about everywhere you look at this bi-level mega bar, so you won’t have to slip the hostess an extra $20 for the perfect view on top of your tab.

The Suds: 10 beers on tap and around 12 bottled varieties round out the TV wonderland.

The Grub: The juicy burgers hit it out of the park, but buyer beware: emotions can run high when the Angry Burger—topped with pickled jalapeños and spicy mayo—goes up to bat.

The Extras: Make the ones who stayed behind to watch their own dumpy boob tube jealous—shoot ‘em an IM using Game On’s free WiFi internet access. Or check your fantasy stats. Just don’t, uh, check on your fantasy’s stats.

The Scene: Games, games, and more games. Not for the uninterested, and definitely NOT for a first a date.

Overall Rating: **** beer cans

Sports Depot

The Tubes: Finally, no more beer-fueled brawls over an unfortunately placed head. With 80 screens (including one in both the men and women’s restrooms) and room for 300, there’s a TV for every group of four.

The Suds: Celebrate the spirit of the harvest with a tall glass of Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale, or choose one (or two, or three) of the 20 beers on tap and 20 bottled brews available.

The Grub: There is certainly nothing gourmet about the food here—but the deliciously cheesy, greasy, and otherwise off-limits fare is just what the doctor (wouldn’t) order for a gluttonous beer binge.

The Extras: It’s brunch before booze Sunday: Hearty breakfast favorites such as omelettes and banana pancakes help pad your stomach while you wait for the kickoff.

The Scene: Like Game On, but without the Lansdowne craziness. Much bigger than Coolidge Corner, and less of a scene than Tavern.

Overall Rating: *** beer cans

Coolidge Corner Clubhouse

The Tubes: 20 LCD screen TVs keep this cozy but oft-crowded Brookline gathering place from getting as rowdy as some of the other hotspots in town. On the other hand, who said rowdy was necessarily a bad thing?


The Suds: 36 icy cold brews on tap—including five rotating selections—give sports (and beer) fans the chance cover all the bases, from Narragansett Ale to Jack’s Pumpkin Spice.


The Grub: Sandwiches, salads, and burgers are named after sports legends. Think the Bob Kraft chicken and portabella on a bulkie roll had a hand in “Videogate?”


The Extras: Gone is that pesky 90-minute table rule, so you can linger after the game Sunday night and take in some live acoustic tunes starting at 10 p.m.

The Scene: More comfortable and less chaotic than the others, the key is snagging a prime seat. If you get one, there’s no reason to go anywhere else, from the food to the brews.


Overall Rating: *** ½ beer cans, but get there early.




Scoring System


**** The beer/sports gods send their blessings from the heavens.

*** Almost a spectator’s Mecca.

** Solid, if not average.

* You’d have better luck watching the game your grandmother’s sofa.