Scoring Sports Bars

finding the best place to watch the big game

Thom Fountain, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Milwaukee Burger Company (2620 E. Clairemont Ave.) has plenty of seating, plenty of TVs and plenty of scrumptious burgers and drinks for the next big game.
Milwaukee Burger Company (2620 E. Clairemont Ave.) has plenty of seating, plenty of TVs and plenty of scrumptious burgers and drinks for the next big game.

Not every place with a TV is a real sports bar. Where you end up on Super Bowl Sunday or for the rubber game of the World Series has to have the perfect, comfortable game day vibe. Here’s a quick guide to help you find that perfect establishment.

TV Placement
A bar doesn’t have to have walls full of TVs to be a great place to watch the game, but whatever TV firepower they have has to be positioned in a very precise way for the optimal viewing experience. If there’s a long bar, there should be a TV on each end so everyone has a clear sightline to the screen. If there are tables or benches, get used to cozying up with friends on one side so none of them have to strain their necks.

Sound Levels
Now, we’re not stupid. We know that the sound from a bar in Fall Creek isn’t going to affect anything at Lambeau Field or Miller Park. However, we are incredibly superstitious, so you bet we’re going to pretend it does. For example, when the Packers are on offense a sudden hush should fall over everyone. When they’re defending a fourth and goal, however, the place should be exploding. And while whether the announcers are audible on the TV’s is a matter of personal preference, we think everyone’s in agreement that an ideal situation has the hometown guys piping in on the radio.

Camaraderie
It’s not a lot of fun being singled out in a bar, especially during a big game. Being the only Cubs fan or the only Vikings fan can’t be easy. Luckily, if you’re a fan of Wisconsin sports you’ll be at home at most establishments in the Chippewa Valley. More than just sharing fandom, though, patrons should share a passion for the game they’re watching. Some of the best parts of going to a bar for the big game are meeting other fans, sharing high fives, and complaining about why the heck that guy can’t hit a free throw.

The Drinks
Obviously one of the reasons you end up at a bar for the game (besides the cable TV package) is to drink. Sports bars usually have specials for game day, so ask and save yourself a few bucks. Hold off on the shots too – you might get those free with a touchdown or home run. As for normal fare, pitchers are a must. It’s much easier to send up one person during a timeout than for your whole group to run up and order 10 different drinks. 

According to you:

Winners of Best Sports Bar in 2012’s Best Of The Chippewa Valley Reader Poll:

Buffalo Wild Wings • 4612 Keystone Crossing, Eau Claire • (715) 858-9453

Milwaukee Burger Co. • 2620 E Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 834-6503

The Mousetrap • 311 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire • (715) 832-8418

Press and hold the up/down arrows to scroll.