By Megan Horst-Hatch
Whether you’re a casual fan, cheering on a Cinderella team or rooting for your school to win it all, the college basketball tournament in March is a great time to watch games at a sports bar. The problem is finding out just the place for you and your friends to go. Do you go for a casual neighborhood bar, or do you head to a brewery for a pint or two? Come March 19, when the tournament begins, you’ll want to stake out a spot and head to a place with great food and drinks. To find out where to go in Chicago to watch the games, check out the following sports bars.
Sluggers World Class Sports Bar and Grill
3540 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
For those who want more than just a typical sports bar, keep Sluggers in mind. The bar, located in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, features more than 30 television sets, including six 12-foot screens, making it easy to catch a game during the tournament. It also has dueling pianos and a full game room that includes batting cages, electronic basketball, air hockey and video games. Sluggers’ full menu includes specialties like buffalo wings, chicken tenders, salads, pizza, burgers and sandwiches, and its drink selection includes favorites like Old Style, PBR, Miller Lite and Budweiser. The bar, which is owned by alumni of Indiana University, will appeal to Hoosiers.
Lion Head Pub
2251 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60614
If you’re looking for a place in Lincoln Park to catch a game, keep the Lion Head Pub in mind. The bar features standard pub fare, including chicken tenders, sliders, tacos, burgers, pizza and daily specials for beer and food. Lion Head also features table tappers, which can hold 90 ounces of beer that the bar has on tap, and are meant to be shared with friends. The pub can also help you plan a party, so you and your fellow fans can catch a game together.
Moretti’s Ristorante & Pizzeria
6727 N. Olmsted Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631
If you’re looking for a sports bar in Chicago’s northwest side, look no further than Moretti’s. Located in Edison Park, Moretti’s has something for everyone, making it the perfect spot for a group to meet and catch a game during the Big Dance. Tuck into Moretti’s for pizza, salads, burgers, pizza and daily specials on food and beer. But let’s talk sports. The restaurant offers 40 large plasma HD TVs, including one 12-foot HD projection screen. Moretti’s has additional locations throughout the northwest suburbs.
Kroll’s South Loop
1736 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
Looking for a sports bar in the South Loop? Consider Kroll’s, which has more than 20 flat screens and four large projector screens. From chicken strips to cheese curds, Kroll’s offers appetizers to start your game watching off right. Salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers and pizza are also on the menu, and complete dinners are offered for those with bigger appetites. And what’s a bar without beer? Kroll’s beer list boasts a variety of specialty beers, including New Holland Dragon’s Milk and Stone Pale Ale. If you’re watching a game on Sunday, head to Kroll’s for its breakfast specialties. Served between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., the bar’s breakfast menu includes pancakes, breakfast burgers and breakfast pizza. The bar is also family friendly and has a children’s menu for kids under 12 and seniors.
810 W. Diversey Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614
Believed to be Chicago’s oldest establishment in the North Side, Durkin’s Tavern is anything but old fashioned. The bar features more than 40 HD TVs and subscribes to numerous cable packages, ensuring you can watch any game. Gear up for the game by loading up on the bar’s appetizers, burgers and sandwiches. Durkin’s beer list includes domestic favorites and classic imports, as well as a selection of craft beer. Are you rooting for U of I? Then make Durkin’s your meeting spot, as the bar is an established Illini bar.
Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.