Whether your jam is the Super Bowl (or the commercials), college or pro basketball, or award shows on the big screen, there’s nothing like bringing friends and family together to cheer your favorite competitors on. While some families love doing pot lucks or (weather-permitting) barbecues for the occasion, there are situations where a sports bar can be your no-fuss, communal living room. However, where to find one that will allow you to bring the kids or teens?
Here’s a lineup of sports bars around the United States delivering the goods, along with special offerings for the under 21-set, a safe environment and a few extra bells and whistles.
Banners Kitchen & Tap Topgolf Swing Suites are an interactive social experience offering guests a comfy lounge to enjoy Banners’ food and beverage service while playing a selection of games (golf, hockey, football, baseball, zombie dodgeball and carnival games) in a one-of-a-kind simulation — fun for golfers and non-golfers alike. Three bays and reservations are available via the Banners website in one-hour increments for up to eight people. A children’s menu, Topgolf Swing Suites, an epic dessert called The Kitchen Sink, comfy booths both upstairs and downstairs and a 39.5-foot TV dubbed the Dream Screen make Banners ideal for families who like to experience the big game together.
Although the Houndstooth Saloon is located in Chicago’s trendy Wrigleyville, people flock there for its down-home flourishes, including Alabama football, live country music and tasty Southern-inspired cuisine. When owner and family man TJ Callanta took over Houndstooth at the end of 2018, his goal was to create a fun atmosphere for the neighborhood families while still appealing to the young late-night country crowd the bar is known for. TJ not only updated the menu with a special kids’ section and non-alcoholic beverages list with milk and juice mocktails, but also revamped the outdoor patio by adding a stroller dock and family-oriented section on the residential side of the building with a new “family” patio. Houndstooth is family-friendly daily until 10 p.m., and fans under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.
The Wolcott Tap is the quintessential North Side neighborhood pub, with televisions, creative comfort food (including smaller kids’ menu sizes) and large communal spaces. Kids are allowed to join the fun by day when accompanied by an adult.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
American Social Bar Las Olas takes the standard football barbecue to the next level with a Super Bowl Block Party to celebrate Super Bowl LIV. During the rest of the year, family fans can enjoy their favorite games in a patriotic setting indoors, or on the patio, with a side of all-American favorite foods. The Plunge Beach Resort, a contemporary destination designed for “chic bohemians, families, and beach lovers alike,” hosts a weekly Beach BBQ Bash every Saturday afternoon at its Backflip Beach Bar, the town’s only toes-in-the-sand sports bar, which specializes in grilled and barbequed fare. In addition to watching games on its televisions, patrons can participate in classic beach games in the sand, like cornhole and sand volleyball.
The Groovy Goat’s Alabama outpost offers a television at every booth and big-screen televisions showcasing all the teams at once, as well as more than 40 top arcade games and regional Southern-American fare specific to this location, from chicken wings soaked in house-made sauce to customized tableside nachos. For after-the-game fun, Groovy Goat guests can pop over to OWA, the area’s newest entertainment destination, featuring more than 21 amusement park rides for kids and adults of all ages. Anybody visiting Orlando, meanwhile, can check out the Groovy Goat there to experience the bar’s G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) features, Florida-style.
Chicken N Pickle is a restaurant, sports haven, entertainment complex appealing to sports fans and foodies of all ages. While it is a local favorite for the Super Bowl and other championship viewing parties, the sports bar-come-complex is packed with many fun activities for the whole family to enjoy beyond the action projected on its many television screens. There’s an ice rink open throughout February with ice skating, curling and hockey, that in the warmer months is a courtyard with yard games and concerts. There are also several old-school games (10 pickleball courts, plus cornhole, darts, Jenga, ping-pong and shuffleboard) that never lose their appeal.
My visit to the TWA Hotel at New York JFK reminded me of how many times I have chosen to stay at an airport hotel. While the awesome architectural appeal of Eero Saarnen’s Mid-Century TWA terminal-to-hotel transformation is unique, it has become common sense to stay at a multitude of lovely airport lodgings.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
Fans of country music can explore Tennessee’s rich musical legacy across all 95 counties with hundreds of landmarks and attractions on the new Tennessee Music Pathways route, inspired by the latest documentary from Ken Burns.
In a small corner of southern Italy, nestled between Pozzuoli and Torre del Greco, Naples sits along the Gulf that feeds out into the Tyrrhenian Sea and boasts some of the best of Italy — think authentic pizza and incredible Italian cuisine culture, cityscapes and historic sites, stunning coastlines and natural beauty.
There is something to be said for hitting a city’s most iconic neighborhoods, even if there is a steady stream of tourists milling about. On the other hand, there’s something delicious about discovering neighborhoods not yet on the tourist track.