Even for sports fans, sports bars can be a nightmare, especially during March Madness: the maddened bros, high fiving each other and shreiking on every dropped pass, chicken wing grease everywhere, and worse. But there are some cool places to watch March Madness. Here are nine of them.
Jimmie's Corner has developed a not-undeserved reputation as the consummate New York dive bar, and while it's probably a little too friendly / well-lit for that, the true dank stupor and ennui of a dive bar hover unmistakably in the air like cigarette smoke. This is a bar you go to sit down, have a few drinks, and run away from your thoughts as best you can. It's a refuge of desperate men, cuckolds, and the bankrupt. An occasional beam of oblivious tourist sunshine comes in from time to time but rarely stays for long.
Yes, it's a sports bar, but 200 Fifth is bigger and better than the usual bro-hole, and is even tolerable during football games. In fact, I have sometimes watched them there, despite my misanthropy.
The legendary blues man lent his name, as well as his musical spirit, to this great music venue, where so many of the greatest musicians of the 20th century have performed.
Owned by Jay-Z and packed with Jay-Z wannabes, this club is full of action, drama, and bling, and there's no denying it.
It's been called the ideal sports bar, and once you walk inside, you can see why: small, atmospheric, and relaxed, this is the perfect place to watch a game with other sports fans who are not raging dicks.
A bowling alley in name only, Brooklyn Bowl is really a restaurant, a concert venue, and one of the social centers of Williamsburg. But you can bowl there if you want to.
An indie hangout that also doubles as a bar (it even has TVs), Rock Shop livens up a barren stretch of Gowanus with its torpid cool.
If you are looking for intimacy or atmosphere, go elsewhere. But if you want an immense, roof-high wall of TVs and the slick food stylings of David Burke, all in a Times Square location -- and who doesn't, sometimes? -- this is for you.