The ten best bars for watching the Final Four
Whether you're in it for the baskets or the balls, we've got the places you'll want to plant that ass on Saturday. Go team!
Thu Apr 3 2014
Best for fans who want to pregame: The Irish Rover
37-18 28th Ave at 38th St, Astoria, Queens
Make that pre-pre-pre-game. The Irish Rover opens at 8am every day (God bless them), so you have to be in it to win it at this Queens pub. An awesome jukebox, friendly bartenders and darts give you plenty to do during time-outs. If you're hitting the bar early, though, please be careful with those darts. (Worse comes to worse, Mount Sinai Hospital is just a few minutes away.)
Best for fancypantses: The Windsor at Gansevoort Park
420 Park Ave South at 29th St
Standing at a crowded bar or fighting for a good view can be a drag for New Yorkers used to getting what they want, when they want it. Enter the Windsor at Gansevoort Park, where each booth has its own personal big-screen high-def TV. Relax in style while you and your friends sip expertly made cocktails and decadent treats like truffle grilled cheese to watch the games like the dignified peeps that you are.
Best for the ADD-addled: 200 Fifth
200 Fifth Ave between Sackett and Union Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn
This Park Slope watering hole has a formidable beer selection and even offers a sampler of six different 4.5-ounce beers for just $12. With more than 100 televisions, you can move around the bar without missing a beat—or distract yourself with a different sport if the end of March Madness is leaving you with April Sadness.
Best for Gators fans: The Gin Mill
442 Amsterdam Ave between 81st and 82nd Sts
During football season, droves of University of Florida fans and alumni stand their ground at this Upper West Side Gators bar. With their basketball team advancing from its fourth consecutive Elite Eight to the Final Four, they’ll likely be showing their support in full force. You've been warned.
Best for Wisconsin fans: Kettle of Fish
59 Christopher St between Seventh Ave South and Waverly Pl
This West Village sports bar has been heralded as the best place to watch a Packers game outside of America’s Dairyland, and these Cheeseheads love their Badgers, too. While the clientele is known for being friendly, expect to feel left out if you’re not wearing red and white. Go, Kaminsky! (We think he looks like a New Yorker.)
Best for in-denial grown-ups: Standings
43 E 7th St between Second and Third Aves
Completely covered in flags, banners, and other pro- and college-ball paraphernalia, this small East Village spot is a favorite among sports fans—and people who wish they were still undergrads. Come ready to wet your whistle, because you can choose from eight different American craft-beer selections for a 72-ounce “MEGA" pitcher. Pace yourselves, people!
Best for hungry fans: Daddy-O’s BBQ and Sports Bar
35 Androvette St at Manley St, Staten Island
Chow down on smoked brisket, fried chicken and ribs while you cheer on the Final Four at the only smokehouse in Staten Island. Daddy-O’s offers an extensive menu, including plenty of options that are good for sharing, and desserts almost as big as their 32-ounce rib-eye steaks. It's the perfect place to eat your feelings if your favorite team doesn't pull it off this weekend—just remember to check the ferry schedule.
Best gay bar showing the game: Boxers HK
742 Ninth Ave at 50th St
Boxers is the spot for gay boys and girls to cheer on their favorite players. Both locations of the NYC staple will be airing the Final Four, but we suggest the Hell's Kitchen locale for their awesome roof deck. It's supposedly going to be nice this weekend, kiddos, so break out the short shorts.
Best for fans who want to go clubbing afterward: The Ainsworth
122 W 26th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves
Go big or go home is what we always say—and this 6,000-square-foot sports bar delivers. The Chelsea hot spot boasts more than 40 TVs in addition to a full food-and-drink menu. Throw your Loubs and cologne in a bag, and you can hit the town after. (And just think how much better your dancing will be after hours and hours of drinking.)
Best for fans who like their beer with a side of ball: Pacific Standard
82 Fourth Ave between Bergen St and St. Marks Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn
If your No. 1 goal is chillaxing in a low-key bar with a cool crowd and great bartenders—and your secondary goal is catching the games—this is the spot for you. You'll have room to spread out in the back room, which comes complete with comfy couches, in case you need a little nap. (We won't judge.) Conveniently located near the Atlantic Ave–Barclays Ctr station, you should have no trouble getting home, no matter where you live or how drunk you are. Bonus!
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)