Sports bars are like assholes—New York City's got a ton of 'em. But like the Lakers and, say, the Knicks, not all sports bars are created equal. Multiple TVs and league packages are mandatory, but if the Yankees can take NY luxury to another level, we owe it to ourselves to follow suit. Get a little more out of your game-viewing experience than just pitchers and wings with our guide to the Best Sports Bars in NYC. Now hush, cause the service is about to begin...
By Frederick McKindra
DOWN THE HATCH
179 W. 4th St.
Home to bespectacled college boys trading up on plastic cups for whisky tumblers, this West Village mainstay does not short on available HD TVs nor Atomic Wings. The latter are served by the basket for change leftover from your lunch money.
312 Grand St. (Brooklyn)
A clean, well-lighted place to dispense your best trash-talking, this bar's rowdy crowd takes your best taunts and fires them right back. An oasis of athletic worship amidst the skin-and-bones set, this wood-meets-brick-meets-leather sports sanctuary broadcasts games all the way out to its comfy back patio.
20 W. 38th St.
Rugby is just Australian for football, especially after a few cans of Foster's. The brutal tackles and side tosses are a worthy salve to lonely NFL fans during the summer months, when baseball just won't do. Serving a full-on Aussie menu (including grilled cuts of meat and seafood) the rules may have changed, but the food and drink have not.
219 Second Avenue
Named for a 19th century pint dispenser who apparently suffered from bipolar disorder, this dual level pub balances its Red Sox raucous-ness downstairs with a more sedate and seated crowd up top. Owned by four former bartenders who bleed Boston red, the drinks come appropriately strong, and lobster is served on Mondays.
54 Spring St.
Any bar boasting 16 HD screens would have us smitten, but Firefly's neon blue signage puts out a beacon call. Don't let the bottle service fool you, this watering hole attracts a co-ed sporting body of foul-mouths with its precocious food menu and heavy-handed bartenders.
122 W. 26th St.
No better way to up the ante on a wood-paneled sports venue than to invite your jock friends. Courtesy of the Danny Clark Foundation, bar revelers have shared arm space and maple syrup fondue with Giants legends during football season, a happening this bar hopes to mimic with the boys of summer.
123 BURGER SHOT BEER
738 Tenth Avenue
The place where NY sophistication went to die —with shot monikers like the Screaming Orgasm, DoMeAgain, and the Redheaded Slut—this kitschy fan haven serves up enough concession stand favorites to make you wanna skip the game for the tailgate. $1 sliders, $2 shots, and $3 beers is all the 'rithmetic they know.
180 Grand St. (Brooklyn)
With a grill out back advertising itself as BYOM (Bring Your Own Meat), this Irish pub more than compensates for skimping on screen space with a roster of international beers and its backyard patio. Substituting exposed brick for dingy tile, you're also likely to find soccer or rugby instead of football or basketball.
212 W. 79th St.
Like pulling a bar stool into the electronics department at Best Buy, Blondies' packs in the Big 10 NYC transplants like cattle, with a mother lode of shiny screens. But it's the wings that keep 'em coming back, enough to make tabletops look like a baby chick genocide.
43 E. 7th St.
Two things are holy on this sacred ground in the East Village—sports and beer. The crowd communes on 25 (count 'em) different kinds of beer, a roster the owners rotate regularly to keep services bright and lively. Now back to the eight plasma screens, where the message is about to be delivered.
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