March Madness: Where to Watch and Drink
Big sporting events and drinking go hand in hand. Thursday through Sunday, sports fans (die-hard and casual, alumni), boosters and bandwagoners alike will flock to watering holes en masse across the Bay Area to participate in the madness that is March. All of this excitement begs a very important question: Where to watch your alma mater, your favorite underdog, your office bracket pool picks, or where to go to join in on the fun even if you don’t know what The Bubble is or if you think The Committee is a political term?
We all have our reasons for loving March Madness–especially the first four days where games are constant, and chaos ensues after brackets are busted and unknown schools become overnight sensations and Cinderella stories. Whether you're taking the day off on Thursday, going all out for Saturday's double whammy of Round 2 games plus St. Patrick’s Day, or choosing Sunday Funday action, here are a few options catered to your viewing, drinking, and even eating pleasures:
Monaghan’s – A Marina staple with plenty of TVs, free popcorn, and fair prices ($3 Budweiser tall cans). Perfect for the casual fan and doable for the die-hard as long as you can handle music in between games and occasional distractions due to the large crowd of singles attentive on the mingling and not so much on the 5/12 seed upset alert. 3243 Pierce Street, 415-567-4466
King of Thai (North Beach) – Nestled in a prime bar- and restaurant-hopping area of North Beach, The King of Thai is a hidden gem for sports bar fans. With two stories of sitting areas with TVs galore, there is room for larger groups to enjoy hours of games, affordable drinks, and, of course, Thai food. Two dollar beers (domestic/bottle) and a $5 food menu make this a very attractive place to spend a full day of March Madness. If you see The King himself, be sure to shake his hand and say hello. 1268 Grant Ave., 415-391-8219
Zeke’s Diamond Bar – SoMA can get a bad rap for having a lack of sports bars on King Street. And even those are only happening 81 days a year during Giants’ home games. Zeke’s is your classic neighborhood sports/dive bar in an area not known for being ‘neighborhoody’. That makes it unique before you even set foot in the joint. A true drinker’s bar for diehard fans and boozers looking to turn the heat up with a selection of shot specials and bartenders who will mock you if you don’t order to their liking. Stick to beer and liquor – straight, neat, on the rocks, or in a shot glass. There's no room for umbrella cocktails. 600 3rd St., 415-392-5311