Building The Perfect Sports Bar

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My travels have taken me to cities all over this country. One troubling trend I’ve noticed is a dearth of sports bars I’d even consider adequate. I know there are some good ones out there, but as far as I can tell they are few and far between. I know Festivus is months away, but in the spirit of Festivus, I will Air Grievances with sports bars, and then explain how the LOCG perfect sports bar would avoid these problems.

Grievance 1: An establishment doesn’t have the game I want. The worst offenders advertise as a sports bar, but when you get there you find out it is just a place with cable that has the local game on and drink specials that revolve around the local team. THIS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. You should just call yourself a bar. Keep the drink specials. Don’t try to trick us.

“Perfect Sports Bar” Solution: Get DirectTv and every possible sports package. We’re going to need every NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL, NCAA football, NCAA basketball, and heck every Premier League game as well. If I walk in and want to watch New Mexico State vs. San Jose State, I’d better be able to watch it. While we’re at it, lets get every Rugby, Tennis, Golf, and Cricket match, we’ll have an International Room. And why not Boxing and MMA too?

Grievance 2: Not enough and/or poorly positioned TVs. I don’t want to have to crane my neck because the game I want to see is only on the smallest TV in the joint, located in the corner.

“Perfect Sports Bar” Solution: A personal favorite of mine is the wall of TVs. You look up and there are 10-15 games on huge flat screens. It’s almost pleasure overload, but I’ll take it. Our bar will have multiple walls of TVs. Another thing I like is lining the area above the bar with flat screens as well. Which of course means we’ll have to have a long-ass bar. We’ll also have booths in the sports bar, each that have their own TV for those who want to go that route. Another great feature for our wall of TVs area will be personal sound systems for each table so you can listen to your game (something I’ve seen work quite nicely in other sports bars). Not to mention TVs in the crappers, but that will be addressed below.

Grievance 3:
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Not enough seating/space. I absolutely hate finding a good sports bar that has most of the necessities only to find it is a sardine can inside. Places like that are dead to me. You can lump in a bunch of grievances with this one; it’s hard to see the game, hard to get a drink, nearly impossible to get food, long line for bathrooms, and it just sucks in general.

“Perfect Sports Bar” Solution: Place is going to be huge. I’m thinking four stories, each with a similar set-up. Long bars on every floor, well staffed. Getting drinks is no problem. Plenty of seats everywhere. Couches, booths, bar stools, tables, a few recliners in front of the TV walls. All floors have walls of TVs, booths with TVs, TVs everywhere. Maybe even some separate wings on some floors. Like a room to throw annoying Steelers fans. Or rooms for kind of wacky sports, like the previously mentioned International room. If the place still gets too crowed, let’s open another one right next door.

Grievance 4: Crappy “Buffalo” wings: Listen, having spent a considerable amount of time in Western NY, I know I’m a bit of a wing snob. But good wings aren’t that fricking hard to make. Take chicken wings, throw them in fryer, slather wings with a mix of Frank’s Red Hot, butter, and maybe some extra spices. Don’t give me those breaded, soggy imitations. Don’t give me that crap Hooters serves either. This isn’t rocket science.

“Perfect Sports Bar” Solution: Um, serve good wings.

General Necessities:
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She’s talented, but doesn’t have the look we need for the Perfect Sports Bar

Okay, I’ve aired my main grievances, now a section that just has some things the “perfect sports bar” will need. 1) Hot waitresses/bartenders, no real explanation needed. They don’t even have to dress like strippers or Hooters girls, but they can if they want to. 2) Lots of beer on tap. The place isn’t going to be the international house of beers, but I’m thinking we need a selection of 20-25 different beers on tap. Plus, obviously a full liquor selection, some games require a celebratory shot or shots to drink off the loss. 3) Clean bathrooms with enough stalls, plus amenities. It’s a sports bar so the bathrooms don’t have to be spotless, but general cleanliness is appreciated (I must be getting old). Also, we’ll have some TVs in there. I also like when they have the local paper’s sports pages above the urinals. We’ll do that too. 4) Keno. If we had a full sports book you’d be in Vegas and finding the perfect sports bar would be the least of your concerns, but Keno adds a little gambling action. I like to play the numbers of favorite players. Good times. And on the gambling theme, we’ll need a constantly updating tracker listing lines, so people can throw down online bets. 5) Good bar food. Already mentioned wings earlier, and having good bar food isn’t too tough to achieve, most places pull it off. 6) Good/creative drink specials. If Team X scores over Y points, people wearing Team X gear get free shots of Prairie Fire. Ring a bell for a grand slam and when the bell rings something cool happens. If a player hits for the cycle and you’re wearing his team’s gear you get half off on “The Cycle,” a series of drinks (what “The Cycle consists of TBD). You could go on forever here.

Perks:

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I wouldn’t consider these necessities for the “Perfect Sports Bar,” but I think they’d be pretty cool. 1) Mechanical Bull. What’s better than getting liquored up and riding a mechanical bull? Actually, what’s better than watching liquored up fans try to ride a mechanical bull? Outside deck, not sure how to get TVs out there, but we’ll figure something out. 3) Room where you pay $75 to go in with a baseball bat and wreck sh**. Need to get some aggression out sometimes. 4) Golden Tee. 5) Game machines with photo hunt, not the non-nude lady kind.

Perhaps? A drunk tank to sleep it off for a bit. I’m not sure about this one yet.

Have I missed anything?

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About the Author: I am a Cleveland sports and Buffalo Sabres fanatic. I'm currently living in Erie, but even when I'm not there, Erie runs deep in me. I'm an ex multi-sport goalie, and we goalies tend to see things a bit differently. I went to college with Cecilio's Scribe and I am also a Big Red afficiando. Otherwise my college sports loyalties are all over the place. I try to keep my posts light, but I'm a Cleveland fan so the occassional rant is possible (inevitable?).

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  1. Erie's Scribe says:

    Crap, I can already think of something I missed. Lots of cool sports paraphernalia. Ken Dryden's Cornell hockey stick?

  2. Rustalope says:

    Shuffleboard is a nice touch.

  3. Erie's Scribe says:

    I thought Rustalopes were banned in the lower 48. Gotta agree that shuffleboard would be a nice touch.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Keno sucks. Put on the horse racing channels instead. It's legal sports betting and there's just as much action as Keno.

  5. Erie's Scribe says:

    I hear you about Keno sucking, that was my opinion until I started playing exclusively numbers of my favorite players. I like to go five spot with 33, 19, 4, 57, 12. Any guess whose numbers those are? 4 of them are current or former Browns. Anyway, that spices it up enough for me. And its in the background so you don't have to pay attention. BUT, I'm sure we have room in the bar for horse racing channels. We can have a side room devoted to it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Closest thing I've found to this dream is Real Sports in Toronto next to the Air Canada Centre. Indivisual TV's above each urinal and pleanty of very good hostesses.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shoeless Joe's on King in Toronto is better than Real Sports. A wall of big screens, TVs every few feet at the bars, and most tables in the place have their own TV.

    And fantastic looking servers, all without the pretentiousness of that suit-fest by the ACC.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wifi

  9. kmrmsu says:

    Sound is huge. So many places that claim to be sports bars never have the sound for the games. Others, and this is even worse, have it on, but the acoustics are so terrible that you cannot hear anything.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely a great article. I think you got everyting. The only thing i can think to add would be hot tub(s) but with certain usage guidles

  11. Luigi says:

    How about a cable-box jockey that knows how to find a game? I go into a Buffalo Wild Wings here in the hockey wasteland of MD, ask for a non-Caps game, and they look at me like I want to watch Chinese Parliament.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I was in a sports bar in Australia that had an in door driving range. It automatically put the ball on the tee which worked out after a few beers. It was genius.

  13. Erie's Scribe says:

    Hey, thanks for the comments. Sounds like they have some sports bars worth checking out in Toronto. Shoeless Joe's on the top of the list.

    As for WiFi, noted. Not sure I even needed to mention it. Don't all buildings have free WiFi now?

    Hot tub(s), definitely we'd need the blue, urine sensing dye.

    Cable box jockey must be under 5 feet tall.

    Driving range idea sounds great! Machine that automatically puts the ball on the tee? Even better!

  14. Anonymous says:

    "Sports" Bars that play music and won't turn the volume up on the TV during the game would be at the top of my list

  15. Anonymous says:

    A big plus is individual speakers at each table that can be tuned to get the audio of the game you're interested in. Nikki Lee's in Henderson NV, had them, sadly they only worked about half the time.

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