College Football: An Updated List of the Best Postgame Bars on Top 50 Campuses
What better thing to do in the offseason than plan for the on-season?
Yes, instead of bemoaning the lack of football in your life, why not make some grand plans to get football back into your life in a big way?
With the 2012 college football season a mere 200 days away, it’s time to get your affairs in order, firm up your budget and select some live, in-person college football action to attend during the upcoming campaign.
And that means buying tickets, booking a hotel room and doing some investigative work on where to go after the game is over.
You’ve won…or perhaps, you’ve lost but now you're going to need a place to either celebrate or lubricate your open wounds…yes friend, you need a postgame bar in a college town.
In the spirit of all this big talk, the following slideshow offers up 50 campuses and 50 bars to visit after the big game this fall.
And don’t forget…the after party and/or postgame celebrations are just as important as the tailgating and pregame festivities.
Careful preparation always adds a dose of success to one’s plans to frolic and make merry.
The Dixie Chicken: Texas A&M
College Station is home to Texas A&M University, and regardless of the Aggies' move to the SEC, it will remain home of the legendary Dixie Chicken.
The Chicken is an A&M institution, and the establishment claims to serve the “most beer per capita of any bar in the U.S.”
Texas A&M students flock to the Dixie Chicken to dunk their Aggie ring in a pitcher of frothy beer, and the bar also serves an excellent array of food to collegiate celebrants from all over the South.
The Tap is also an excellent College Station destination as is the Corner though neither is as celebrated as the Chicken. If I had my druthers, I’d gladly visit the Wings and More Restaurant on University where my own personal relationship with the chicken wing flowered into maturity.
307 University Avenue * College Station, TX 77840 * http://dixiechicken.com/
Sam Hughes Place Championship Dining: Arizona
One of the nicest sports bars on this list, Sam Hughes has 29 plasma screen TVs and high quality food…I have inside information from an esteemed Arizona colleague that the stuffed sandwiches “are where it’s at.”
The bar at Sam Hughes is 72 feet long and is constructed of Argentinean Honey Onyx that glows when under lit…yes friend, this place is visually pleasing without losing that essential tangible “college” feel.
An alternative to Sam Hughes is Dirtbag’s which is more of a traditional college establishment, meaning it’s smaller and louder but is an Arizona institution none the less.
446 North Campbell Avenue #150 * Tucson, AZ 85719 * http://www.championshipdining.com/
The Saltine Warrior Sports Pub: Syracuse
The Saltine Warrior not only has a phenomenal name, it also features the only offer of “draft tables” among any prestigious venue on our provoking listing.
“What is a draft table?” you ask. Well, it’s a self dispensing unit where beer can be meted out (and then paid for) by the hand of the casual table goers.
The Saltine Warrior offers a wide array of nourishment, a “deep-and-wide” type beer list and is truly a remarkable place in which to end a Syracuse game-day experience.
214 West Water Street * Syracuse, NY 13202
The Library Bar & Grill: Ole Miss
The Library has got it all and that’s a lot to say when you’re talking about a place that is as serious about its college football as Ole Miss is.
The Library has great food, drink specials and at night local bands entertain the Rebel faithful.
Game day and therefore the postgame is a special experience in Oxford (the parts of it you can remember) and The Library ought to be high on the list when selecting a suitable place to blow off some steam after watching some SEC football action.
120 11th Street * Oxford, MS 38655
Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36: Pittsburgh
Located near Pitt’s gridiron home arena, Heinz Field, Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36 is one classy joint.
With 36 beers on tap, a 36-ounce T-bone steak, 36 bottled beers, 36 fine wines and 36 different varieties of martini’s, you would be hard-pressed not to find a selection that tickles your fancy at Jerome’s.
Bettis’ Grille offers stunning views of the city of Pittsburgh, and along with the dazzling atmosphere, it doesn’t forget the fan and features 50 high def televisions and the mother lode of autographed sports memorabilia.
It’s a must see for every discerning sports enthusiast and has been voted the best sports restaurant in Pittsburgh every single year since it opened.
An alternate to Bettis’ is the Clark Bar.
375 North Shore Drive * Pittsburgh, PA 15222 * http://www.jeromebettisgrille36.com/
Varsity Club Restaurant & Bar: Ohio State
Located less than five football fields from the actual one at the Horseshoe, the Varsity Club is on one hand restaurant and bar and on the other the (on game day) site of the biggest tailgate party in the Midwest.
The legendary Varsity opened in 1959 and serves simple fare in sight of the striped awnings that call Buckeyes home from all over the world.
It’s the Varsity where “Saturday’s are Special” and that rings true both before and after the game.
An alternate location for the fulfillment of celebratory needs whilst in Columbus is the Tilted Kilt in the Polaris area.
278 W. Lane Avenue * Columbus, OH 43201 * http://www.myvarsityclub.com/index.html
The Cooler: Oregon
Situated in the shadows of Autzen Stadium, The Cooler is the self-proclaimed, “Oregon Duck Headquarters since 1967.”
From an aesthetic approach, The Cooler is hands down one of the most unique places on our list in terms of shape, size and construction materials.
The Cooler does for bar architecture what Idaho’s iconic Kibbie Dome does for stadium design.
Other favorable destinations after the game in Eugene include Taylor’s on East 13th, Rennie’s, Max’s and Steelhead.
20 Centennial Loop * Eugene, OR 97401 * http://thecoolerbar.com/
Fraser’s Pub: Michigan
Ann Arbor is one of the best college towns in our great gridiron nation so narrowing down one great place to flee to after the final whistle sounds in the Big House is an arduous task at best.
Fraser’s Pub won’t wow you with curbside appeal or bells and whistles, but it’s a great local hangout to either celebrate victory or mourn defeat with the Michigan faithful.
Other favorable after-glow destinations in Ann Arbor are Good Time Charlie’s, Scorekeeper’s, the Touchdown Café and the Arena.
2045 Packard Street * Ann Arbor, MI 48104 * http://fraserspubaa.com/
Walk-Ons Bistreux & Bar: LSU
Walk-Ons drew both on the history of LSU football (when in 1893 walk-on Edwin Gayle starred in the Tigers first-ever game against rival Tulane) and that of its founders and owners (Jack Warner and Brandon Landry) who both were walk-ons in LSU’s storied basketball program to find a name for their string of three Baton Rouge area sports bars.
The Burbank location of Walk-Ons is within throwing distance of the LSU campus and is the perfect venue for LSU after-game merriment (which may include but is certainly not limited to cross dressing, bead wearing, tiger striping, etc).
3838 Burbank Drive * Baton Rouge, LA 70808 * http://walk-ons.com/
Located just off the main quad of the University of Illinois, Kam’s is an Illinois institution that proudly claims itself to be the “Home of the Drinking Illini.”
Kam’s is old school, and while you shouldn’t expect to be wowed by the sights, sounds and smells of this gem, you should anticipate getting a bunch of bang for your buck and being afforded the opportunity to finish game day in a historically stimulating but not even close to pretentious atmosphere.
The bottom line with Kam’s is simple…it is a landmark-type place that could be classified as a “hole” (insert inappropriate words before the given word), and though that’s true, it’s still worth visiting after the game.
Alternative locations are Legends and Murphy’s.
618 East Daniel Street * Champaign, IL 61820 * http://home.kamsillini.com/
The Houndstooth: Alabama
Offering views of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, The Houndstooth Sports Bar opened in 1988 and offers the discriminating sports enthusiast over 40 high def televisions that are also conveniently located in the restrooms.
Per the establishment’s own website, the Houndstooth has been named the No. 1 and No. 14 College Sports Bar by Sports Illustrated and SI on Campus respectively.
The Houndstooth is situated on the action-packed Strip, and if you get hungry, order something up from Big Bad Barbeque menu which is now linked to the best bar in Tuscaloosa.
1300 University Blvd * Tuscaloosa AL 35401 * http://www.houndstoothsportsbar.com/
Stuff Yer Face: Rutgers
Serving the greater Rutgers' community, “Stuff Yer Face” has been in business since 1977 and wisely advises its patrons to “Get Stuffed!” and “Stay Thirsty!”
Getting properly stuffed at Stuff Yer Face means a generous menu anchored by Stromboli which is a pizza crust stuffed with a wide array of tempting treats.
On hand to suitably quench the thirst of the mighty postgame warrior (who has “Stayed Thirsty”) is a beer selection so massive it’s referred to as the “Beer Library.”
And this little library’s card catalog is stuffed with well over 100 bottled varieties and 14 drafts broken down into a dizzying (but informative) number of sub categories.
I’ve always liked reading…yes, let’s start a book club and meet at the Beer Library to check out our next selection…
49 Easton Avenue * New Brunswick, NJ 08901 * http://www.stuffyerface.com/
The Gaslamp Tavern: San Diego State
Located in the historical Gaslamp district of downtown San Diego, the Gaslamp Tavern is a great place to hit after an SDSU Aztecs game and is also a suitable place to spend an entire weekend watching every team in the nation via live feed.
The Gaslamp opened its doors in 2005 and offers 12 flat screen televisions, two patios, live music, a decidedly upscale menu and no less than 12 frothy beers on tap.
The Gaslamp is also a “home away from home” for Nebraska fans who have found their way to the west coast which means game day will be well attended and lively.
868 5th Avenue * San Diego, CA 92101 * http://www.gaslamptavern.com/
Rusty’s Last Chance Saloon: Kansas State
Located in the “Aggieville” section of Manhattan (six square blocks of collegiate bars, eateries and retail shops that have nothing to do with the Wildcats former opponent from College Station, TX), Rusty’s Last Chance Saloon is legendary among Kansas State students.
Rusty’s has super patio facilities, and like Harpo’s in Columbia, Missouri, it is THE destination for a celebratory goalpost-yanking parade after a huge Wildcat win in nearby Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
I personally would go to a place that had fried goalposts on the actual menu.
1213 Moro Street * Manhattan, KS 66502
Upper Deck Sports Bar & Grill: East Carolina
And now, it’s time for a great college bar located in what is an underrated college party town.
Yes friends, it's Greenville, NC, home of East Carolina University and the purple-hazed Pirates who compete for prizes in the C-USA.
Greenville is as celebratory and spirited as many a larger, better-known college town and similarly the Upper Deck Sports Bar and Grill is as welcoming and explosively fun as many a big-name college bar.
If it’s TVs, food, drink specials and a co-ed atmosphere you desire…go purple, go Greenville, and go ECU.
703 Greenville Blvd. Southeast * Greenville, NC 27858
State Street Brats: Wisconsin
State Street Brats is the “Home of the Red Brat,” and if you find yourself wondering what the difference is between colors of brats, the establishment’s website offers the following guidance:
“If you've ever had a delicious brat before, you've probably had a white brat. The WHITE BRAT is a traditional pork brat soaked in beer and onions before being grilled to perfection. The RED BRAT is our specialty that you can only get here. It is a mixture of pork and beef that is smoked and then butterfly cut. It is particularly tasty with cheddar cheese melted on top!”
Offering up 25 high-quality TVs, State Street Brats is a legendary Madison sports destination located on legendary State Street…don’t miss it!
Another Wisconsin postgame destination is the Stadium Bar which is conveniently located just across from Camp Randall and is highly recommended as a first stop hop on a provocative night of bar hopping.
603 State Street * Madison, WI 53703 * http://www.statestreetbrats.com/
Bent Willey’s: West Virginia
You have to believe that Morgantown’s own Bent Willey’s should win some sort of award for the best-named joint in our college football nation.
Featuring a Main Bar, 80’s Lounge, Dance Club, Pizzeria, High Energy Bar, Mini Bar, Patio Bar and Cool Zone, Bent Willey’s might offer the most variety of any establishment listed here.
Bent Willey’s is massive, and though it certainly does not resemble a traditional sports bar in any way shape or form, it is probably the most-popular destination in Morgantown, and therefore, a place to see Mountaineer fans gather en mass after a proper couch burning...um...I mean a football game.
471 Chestnut Street * Morgantown, WV 26505 * http://www.bentwilleys.com/
901 Bar and Grill: USC
The “Nine O” has been around since 1947 and is within walking distance of the Coliseum which makes it a shoo-in for your post-Trojan game partying needs.
Nine 50” plasma TVs grace the walls while generations of dynamic USC enthusiasts trod the well-worn floors at the Nine O, and if you’re a current Trojan student, you will be rewarded with a 25 percent discount off your entire bill.
2902 Figueroa Street * Los Angeles, CA 90007 * http://www.901bar.com/index.html
Self proclaimed as the “Fayetteville’s Best Sports Bar,” Foghorn’s has “the best TV setup in town” with TVs both inside and out.
Voted Fayetteville’s “hottest wings” for seven years straight, Foghorn’s offers a full menu of 50 sauces that range from “Acid Rain” to “x1000 Beyond Insanity” which requires the signing of a waiver with each order.
A similar waiver is required in Lubbock, TX, before watching Texas Tech’s special teams play…
Among the more unique selections in the flav-o-rama are “Death by Bacon,” “Jalapeno Cheddar” and “Barbequed Blueberry” which personally seems a little questionable to me.
Foghorn’s is chock full of variety, Razorback spirit and everything you could possibly need for a first-rate postgame experience.
2175 North College * Fayetteville, AR * http://www.foghornswings.com/
The Union Bar: Iowa
The self-proclaimed “biggest bar in the Big Ten” was founded in 1993 and throws special events as varied as “80s Night,” “Trailer Trash Party” and “Studio 54.”
Yes, Studio 54 in Iowa City is worth the price of admission all on its own.
The Union is massive and is definitely the party destination in Iowa City and is suitably amped up on Hawkeye game day and then afterwards.
An alternate destination in Iowa City is Brothers Bar on South Dubuque Street. Brothers is a chain but has plenty of TVs and offers more of a sports bar atmosphere than does The Union.
Also check-out The Airliner and The Sports Column.
121 E. College Street * Iowa City, IA 52240 * http://www.theunionbar.com/
Eskimo Joe’s: Oklahoma State
Located just one block from the campus of Oklahoma State University and literally in the shadows of T. Boone Pickens stadium, Eskimo Joe’s is Stillwater’s self-proclaimed “jumpin’ little juke joint.”
Joe’s has been dishing up cheese fries and selling its famous t-shirts since 1977, and its recent accolades include being named the Sporting News’s “Best College Post-Game Hangout,” Sports Illustrated “Perfect 10 Sports Bar” and Joe’s was also named one of Playboy’s “Top 10 College Sports Bars.”
This one is a “must-see” among a list of truly amazing establishments and is more than likely the only place in the country with a retractable roof.
Seriously, that’s awesome!
501 West Elm * Stillwater, OK 74074 * http://www.eskimojoes.com/
Big Al’s Grille & Sports Bar: Virginia Tech
Located among a strip of bars on Main Street in Blacksburg, Big Al’s is a full-service sports bar that offers an impressive food menu to complement a drink menu that is as extensive as any on this list.
From peel-and-eat shrimp to a prime rib dinner and teriyaki steak salad, Big Al can cook up some good stuff while over at the bar, PBR is by the bottle, 18 beers are on tap and the “shooter” menu has more choices than does your local Baskin Robbins.
Also located on the strip is Sharkey’s and a favorable destination further afield is The Bull and Bones.
All three venues pair well with a chafing dish aptly labeled “aftermath of Hokie football.”
201 Main Street * Blacksburg, VA * http://www.bigalssportsbar.com/
Game Day Pub: Georgia
In the illustrious words of my Athens' connection “Well, out of the 70 or so choices I would say ….”
Georgia is probably the most difficult town on this list to select just one bar to serve your postgame needs.
For the sake of pleasing more than just one group, we’re going with the Game Day Pub which offers the necessary television count, a mind-boggling array of bottled beer (try 70), a respectable number of drafts (six or so) and it is visually pleasing to the traditionalist (think wood paneling) yet still affordable to the budget-minded student (think drink specials).
Other venues worth visiting after a game in America’s best college town are The Nowhere Bar, Magnolia’s, Allgood Lounge and General Beauregard’s on East Clayton.
251 W. Clayton Street * Athens, GA
Murphy’s Bar and Grill: Hawaii
Placing an Irish Pub located on a tropical island on our distinguished list is not a sign of desperation, but instead, it is a symbol of our dedication to you the reader, you the future traveler, and yes you, the college football enthusiast.
Murphy’s has had several names over its long life as a business enterprise, and it is one of only two surviving recipients of the five original “retail Spirit” licenses issued on the Island of Oahu in the 1870s.
Originally called “The Royal Hotel,” “Murphy’s” became “Murphy’s” in 1987 and is no doubt the only bar on this list that has survived being a part of a monarchy, a republic and then lasted through Hawaii’s annexation and territorial status, and finally, its adoption as the 50th United State in 1959.
Murphy’s has a menu that is as varied as you might think, and its main athletic association is with the University of Hawaii.
And just in case you thought this was a watered down version of an Irish Pub, Murphy’s features 14 beers on tap including a saucy little number called “Kona Longboard” which comes highly recommended after viewing Warriors football.
2 Merchant Street * Honolulu, HI 96816 * http://murphyshawaii.com/
The Four’s Restaurant and Sports Bar: Boston College
Yet another frequent member of top bar lists in America, the Four’s opened in 1976 and features the most-attractive façade of any member of our esteemed list.
The Four’s has several locations and its Canal Street site has 42 TVs to keep up with all the action of the day, and if it’s all about the food, the Four’s fare rates way above your normal sports bars' offerings.
Boston is home to Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and MIT and the Four’s is THE Boston destination for the sports enthusiast looking for some primo postgame action.
166 Canal Street * Boston, MA 02114 * http://www.thefours.com/
Devils’ Advocate Bar & Grill: Arizona State
Though most national listings of “best sports bars” in Tempe will point you to McGuffy’s we are going to go with an esteemed B/R colleague’s recommendation of the Devils’ Advocate.
Yes, this list is all about utilizing actual local preferences over prevailing media notions and this is exactly why you should put the Devils’ Advocate at the top of your “things to do” list in beautiful Tempe.
The Advocate features 39 high def TVs for viewing pleasure and a full food and drink menu that is sure to please any palate.
Will you need silverware?
Hmmm…FEAR THE FORK friend, you are in Tempe…home of Arizona State University.
Another tasty option for postgame revelry is the festive Cantina.
955 E. University Drive * Tempe, Arizona 85281 * http://www.devilstempe.com/index.php
The Sink: Colorado
The Sink has provided a haven for University of Colorado students since 1923 when a restaurant called The Sunken Gardens first opened its doors for business.
The Sunken Gardens was home to a large fountain called “The Sink” and hence the legend was born.
The Gardens officially succumbed to “The Sink” name in 1949 and the now infamous “Sinkburger” was first served up in 1955.
Unique to The Sink (other than being the greenest establishment on our list) is a customer-created art gallery (that originated in 1950) that has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
The Sink has a full bar, and if you are wondering how good the food is, well, it was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives program which is hard to beat among collegiate eateries.
1165 13th Street * Boulder, CO 80302 * http://www.thesink.com
AJ’s Sports Bar: Florida State
AJ’s Sports Bar has been serving up Seminole sports, drinks and 15 different flavors of wings since it opened in 1993.
Consistently named the Best Sports Bar in Tallahassee, AJ’s features 50 high def televisions, two dance floors, Karaoke, live music and is home to the 32 oz frothy Big Daddy beer.
If you need more convincing, AJ’s self proclaims to “hand patty” every burger.
It’s all about the hand patty.
An alternate Tallahassee postgame destination is Bull Winkle’s Saloon which is also on West Tennessee.
1800 West Tennessee Street * Tallahassee, FL 32304 * http://www.ajsportsbar.net/
Ricky’s Sports Theatre & Grill: Stanford/Cal
Not necessarily nestled in a college town, Ricky’s Sports Theatre & Grill is an exceptional sports bar that is located in San Leandro which is pleasantly located between Stanford and Cal (well, sort of).
Ricky’s is ranked No. 2 in sports bars nationwide by Sports Illustrated and is yet another institution on our list that garners national recognition on a regular basis.
Ricky’s originated back in 1946, and if you are wondering if the “Sports Theatre” label is just for show, these guys put their money where their mouth is and Ricky’s tops the charts with more than 90 televisions.
90 Televisions ….
The food is excellent, and of course, there is a bar stocked with pretty bottles and magic levers that flow with cold, delicious golden beer.
So, why not drive a little further after the game and celebrate or commiserate in style?
15028 Hesperian Blvd * San Leandro, California 94578 * http://www.rickys.com/
Bash Riprock’s: Texas Tech University
Located in the heart of Lubbock and just a can’s throw from the stunning campus of Texas Tech University the original Bash Riprock’s opened for business in 1986 and has been dishing up good times ever since.
Bash’s offers an extensive menu, 23 high definition TV’s, live music and though Quad Night is now but a memory the best bar in Lubbock now offers two cent pints on Monday nights.
Be sure and check out the old framed prints of the original Southwest Conference mascots on your way to the restrooms (a word I use loosely) which have hung there proudly since the joint first opened in the era of big hair, triangle earrings and leggings.
Ah yes … Bash’s … the venue I frequented when my Tech roommate dated one of the manager’s ….
2419 Main Street * Lubbock, Texas * http://www.bashriprocks.com/
The War Eagle Supper Club: Auburn
A member of the Playboy Top 100 College Bars, listing the War Eagle Supper Club lives by the honorable, time-tested motto of, “Cold Beer, Hot Rock, No Mercy.”
The Supper Club was originally established in 1937 (as an actual supper club) and offers four bars, a shot bus, a slush bus (for a safe though difficult to recall passage home) and though the “supper” experience is superseded by that involving adult beverages, the War Eagle offers a lively music scene.
2061 South College Street * Auburn, AL 36832 * http://www.wareaglesupperclub.com/
Kramer’s Tavern: University of Dayton
Located near the campus of the University of Dayton Kramer’s is the home of the 40.
Yes, you can order a wide array of foundational domestic lagers at Kramer’s (think PBR, Miller High Life, Coors Banquet, etc), but they all come in the 40 oz bottle variety.
It’s economical, it’s got merit from an eco-friendly approach, and it comes served ice cold with plastic cups to share with friends, to fill and gulp individually, or to toss out and chug from the bottle which is recommended.
But this place is far more than a bastion of old school beer in big bottles, it’s also a great place to order high quality, thin crust pizza.
Indeed, for 73 years and three generations, Kramer’s has meant pizza and extra large beers served in a friendly yet unpretentious atmosphere that is THE place to visit after watching the Dayton Flyers do their thing.
1018 Irving Avenue * Dayton, OH 45419 * http://kramerstavern.wordpress.com/
The Corner Club: Idaho
The Corner Club in Moscow, Idaho, once again proves the adage that real-life is better than fiction.
The Corner tavern was converted from what was actually a small chapel back in the 1940s and the best tale from the watering hole dates back to 1963 when Idaho Vandal’s basketball star Gus Johnson touched a nail.
Touched a nail?
Yes, Johnson, from a standing start, via the request of the Club’s owner, touched a spot on the original chapel beams that was measured 11 feet and six inches above the floor, and subsequently, the owner honored his feat by pounding a nail onto the spot he touched and proclaimed anyone who repeated the exploit would drink for free.
Well, it took 23 years before anyone drank without paying at the Corner Club, and it was Joey Johnson (brother of Dennis Johnson) of the College of Southern Idaho who finally equaled Gus Johnson’s deed.
On his third attempt at the prize, Johnson infamously grasped and then bent the nail after which the same owner re-applied the nail to the beam, this time half an inch higher.
The Corner Club of today is deliciously sited near the equally unique Kibbie Dome. It features 32 oz “tubs” of beer, has a historic high-hanging nail and it serves biscuits and gravy to those on hand for the NFL’s kick off at 10 a.m. PT.
How could you possibly say no to that?
202 North Main Street * Moscow, ID 83840
George’s Restaurant: Baylor
You may be surprised to see Baylor’s hometown of Waco on this prestigious list, but George’s Restaurant is as good a destination of any of the fine establishments mentioned here (and now it celebrates the 2011 Heisman Trophy).
George’s dates back to the 1930s and remains a friendly enterprise that features a mouth-watering chicken fried steak which should be enjoyed with a monster beverage known as “the Big O.”
It’s a frothy schooner and a down-home meal that’s not to be missed.
George’s is so legendary that singer/songwriter Pat Green even wrote a song about it…
1925 Speight Avenue * Waco, TX 76706 * http://georgesrestaurant.com/
The ESSO Club: Clemson
Nestled advantageously in the shadows of Death Valley, the ESSO Club began its life as a gas station back in 1933, and after serving numerous purposes throughout the years, it slowly emerged as what is today one of the most famous college bars in the nation.
The gas service wasn’t suspended until 1985, but Clemson athletics, beer (and the consumption thereof) and the gathering of friends has always been a part of the spirit of the ESSO.
One of the coolest aspects of the ESSO is that one of the bars is crafted from stadium seats discarded from Death Valley during a renovation that occurred in the 1970s.
The ESSO has to be one of the most history-rich destinations on this distinguished list.
An alternate destination in Clemson, and one touted by locals as an equal to the ESSO, is Tiger Town Tavern on College Avenue.
129 Old Greenville Highway * Clemson, SC 29631 * http://theessoclub.com/Home.htm
Schloz Garten: Texas
Austin is another city where it is difficult to pick just one venue for postgame frolicking, but we will boldly do so for the better of this great sports nation.
Within walking distance of most Longhorn athletic events Scholz Garten’s history is unsurpassed in the great state of Texas, and perhaps, among the 49 other members of this inspired list.
August Schloz originally opened his “Hall” in 1866, and the establishment has been serving up beer since that early date, making it the oldest operating business in Austin.
Think of it, Schloz has been serving frothy goodness since just after the Civil War ended.
Schloz is on the National Register of Historic Places and has expanded gracefully over the years but still retains the Biergarten and Hall.
This has to be considered a top-20 destination, but if you want to take a different postgame approach in affable Austin, check out Stubbs or the Crown and Anchor.
1607 San Jacinto Blvd * Austin, TX 78701 * http://www.scholzgarten.net/
The Bear’s Lair Pub: California
Home of the “Big Bear Quarts” and the worthy challenge of “Beat The Clock,” the Bear’s Lair Pub is located at Bancroft and Telegraph and is a historic venue that has previously featured performers as storied as Robin Williams, the Talking Heads, Green Day and No Doubt.
If you want to experience this specific destination, you will need to book your travel plans hastily as the Bear’s Lair opened under new management in late August and is slated for a final one-year run before the area the pub is located in will be closed for renovations.
Recent reviews of the Bear’s Lair reaffirm that this is a college joint that may have taken a step down since reopening with new leadership.
2475 Bancroft Way * Berkeley, CA 94720 * http://bearslairpub.com/
The Swamp Restaurant: Florida
Recently named the No. 1 College Sports Bar by Playboy, The Swamp Restaurant is located just across from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.
The Swamp, who’s tag line is “Feeding a Nation since 1994” was indeed established in 1994 and features a front lawn, decks and both outdoor and indoor facilities.
It’s no surprise therefore that The Swamp is saturated with several thousand tailgaters both before and after Gator games and is literally part of the Florida Gator experience.
Gainesville is another excellent college town and other postgame celebratory destinations are Gator City (formerly the Purple Porpoise), Gator’s Dockside, and if you’re looking for something a little different, check out Satchel’s Pizza on Northeast 23rd Avenue.
1642 West University Avenue * Gainesville, FL * http://swamprestaurant.com/
Trippers Sports Bar: Michigan State
Billed as mid-Michigan’s “biggest sports bar,” Trippers has served Sparty and friends since 1989 (its birth year actually makes the name kind of make sense…dude, you’re tripping out ….).
More than 50 televisions grace the walls of Trippers (giving it one of the highest TV counts on our list), and in terms of game day fare, the tavern offers an amazingly thorough food menu and the free-flowing lager fountains you would expect of such an establishment.
Trippers is “where good sports meet since 1989” and other Spartan approved venues include Lou and Harry’s Sports Bar, Jimmy’s Pub and the historic Harrison Roadhouse on Michigan Avenue.
Regardless, “it’s a beautiful day for football” in East Lansing, and afterwards, “it’s a beautiful evening for frolicking.”
350 Frandor Avenue * Lansing, MI 48912 * http://www.tripperslansing.com/index.php
Three Dollar Café: Georgia Tech
Serving the Atlanta area since 1982, the Three Dollar Café’ is a full-service sports bar that has consistently been honored with having the city’s best chicken wings.
Offering two locations, the Three Dollar Café’ is teeming on Saturdays with Georgia Tech and Georgia fans but is also called home by displaced college football enthusiasts from all over the country who transiently reside in Atlanta.
The patio is welcoming, the beer is cold and the wings are “FRESH, NEVER FROZEN.”
Yes, the Yellow Jacket game is done, let us go my friend, let us go!
4475 Roswell Road NE * Atlanta, GA 30342 * http://www.threedollarcafeatlanta.com/
Sandbar Sports Grill: Miami, FL
Perhaps, the most tropically pleasing destination on our illustrious list, the Sandbar is located in the heart of Coconut Grove which is just southeast of Coral Gables and just minutes from Sun Life Stadium.
Serving fans who loyally support Miami Hurricanes (along with the Dolphins, Marlins, Heat and Panthers), the Sand Bar is the self-proclaimed “home of the fish taco” and touts a Baja Southern Cal infused menu.
But, fear not friend, it’s not all about the food, and this Sandbar has two “huge” screen televisions, 24 plasmas and a list of drink specials that causes the college student in all of us to stare in wonder (um, Penny Beer Night is Wednesday’s).
3064 Grand Avenue * Coconut Grove, FL 33133 * http://sandbargrove.com/
Red 9: Nebraska
As old school as the Cornhuskers might be on the football field, when the action is over, Lincoln serves up one of the coolest celebratory experiences on our list.
Sited in a building with historic significance, Red 9 offers a night club atmosphere with a three-in-one approach.
It’s part outside party, part chic martini bar and part live music scene, and regardless of which tickles your fancy, you’re sure to have a great time either celebrating a Big Red win or getting lubricated bewailing a rare Husker loss.
322 South 9th Street * Lincoln, NE 68508 * http://www.red9live.com/
The Linebacker Lounge: South Bend, Indiana
The destination for postgame revelry in South Bend since 1962, the Linebacker Lounge or as it is known locally, “The Backer,” is a classic in every sense of the word.
The Backer features an iconic sign, low ceilings and the kind of dumpy feel that makes the weary college football fan feel right at home.
Alternative places for postgame visitation in South Bend include Between the Buns, CJ’s and Coaches.
1631 South Bend Ave * South Bend, IN 46617 * http://www.backer-nd.com/
O’Connell’s Irish Pub & Grille: Norman, Oklahoma
O’Connell’s opened its doors back in 1968 and has served as a refuge to Sooners fans ever since.
Big screen televisions, a well-appointed menu, a full bar and live music all a stone’s throw from the University of Oklahoma make O’Connell’s a landmark in Norman and a perfect venue for after-game merrymaking.
120 East Lindsey Street * Norman, Oklahoma 73072 * http://oconnellsnorman.com/oindex.html
The Rathskeller: Penn State
Also known simply as “The Skeller,” the Rathskeller has been serving the Penn State community since 1933.
And 79 years later, the folks at Skeller are still dishing it up in the basement-like, history-rich, unique bar that is still a great place to go after the game.
So what about the name, what’s that all about?
Well, Ratskeller (without the “h”) is a German word for a bar found in the lower ground or “basement” area of a city, and the word was morphed into “Rathskeller” (with the “h”) upon naming a New York city drinking establishment in the mid 1800s.
108 South Pugh Street * State College, PA 16801 * http://site.theskeller.com/
Dr. Rocco’s: South Carolina
Sited in the festive Five Points area, Dr. Rocco’s is famous for its potent frozen-drink concoctions and its dance floor (or what happens on it).
Yes, Cock fans and others will be equally entertained in the postgame hours by the place that proudly claims to be “open daily for those with an inner-dancer bursting to get out.”
Seriously…that’s amazing…and a little scary.
801 Harden Street * Columbia, SC 29205
Schultzy’s Sausage: Washington
Well, here’s a humdinger hailing from the Northwest corridor…Schultzy’s is a German-infused bar with eight flat screen TV’s, brats, German beers, burgers and has an excellent location near the University of Washington.
Its sausage, its heritage, its football and it’s the self proclaimed “Wurst Restaurant” in Seattle that’s been dishing up the good stuff since 1989.
4114 University Way NE * Seattle, Washington * http://www.shultzys.com/
Nick’s English Hut: Indiana
Nick’s is a frequent member of the top sports bar listings and with good reason.
Founded in 1924 by Greek immigrant Nick Hrisomalos, what started as a small eatery located about a block and a half from campus, has blossomed into a full-tilt sports bar that offers as much flavor and color as any establishment in this registry.
The modern version of this Indiana legend features 40 flat screens and a menu that honors the original roots in its pizza and Stromboli offerings but also tenders updated items involving fish and greenery.
One of the gems in the long history of Nick’s is the fact that the original owner (and namesake) passed away on the exact day that Indiana captured its second NCAA basketball title (March 17, 1953).
I think it’s safe to say that nobody can touch that.
Alternate selections for those traversing to Bloomington are Yogi’s Grill and Bar and Kilroy’s.
423 East Kirkwood Avenue * Bloomington, Indiana 47408 * http://www.nicksenglishhut.com/
The Grille at Four Corners: North Carolina
Named for UNC’s legendary basketball coach, Dean Smith’s “Four Corners” offense ( which he used to stall opponents at the end of games where in the Tar Heels had the lead ), The Grille at Four Corners is the second coming of a great sports bar in a tremendous college town.
Four Corners features 20 high def televisions, a southern menu and a whopping 12 beers are available on tap, and you can bet it will be a great place to make merry after a Carolina game.
175 East Franklin Street * Chapel Hill, NC 27514 * http://fourcornersbar.com/
So, where would you go if you had just ripped the goal posts down at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri, and needed a place to take your prize and have a refreshing beverage?
Harpo’s is tagged as “The Missouri Bar” and has been serving it up in Columbia for almost 40 years; it features 13,000 square feet of Tiger fun that is anchored by an impressive bar area.
This is where you go after the game…and get the smoked chicken wings (but don’t actually smoke them)!
20 South 10th Street * Columbia, Missouri 65201 *http://www.harposcomo.com/