Til the Sun Comes Up — October 21, 2014 at 3:40 pm

It’s Time for Drinki…I mean, It’s Time for Football!

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So, football season is in full swing (more or less) and that means one thing: it’s time to explore all of the places in the city where you can catch the game, a few drinks, good food, and hopefully, some good company. I checked out a few spots for the 49ers game and I’m not afraid to say that I had a very good time drinking beer and watching football.

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The first place I checked out was Virgil’s Real BBQ on West 44th Street. Right near Times Square, the location makes it ideal if you want a taste of the exciting hustle and bustle of the touristy part of New York City. Upon entering, there is an automatic relaxed and laid back feeling to the place. Customers can choose to get a table in either the downstairs or upstairs dining room, or sit at the bar. A really cool aspect of this place is that there are little counters and corners in the bar area with stools so there are plenty of seating options and also cozy little nooks for a nice date or conversation. It has an old western feel to it, with big whiskey barrels set up behind the railings above the bar and pictures of cowboys scattered around on the walls. The music was soft and old-fashioned and the lighting was bright and welcoming.

The televisions that were playing the football games were set above the bar, so if you are here to only watch football, your best bet is to sit right there. The sound is off on all of the televisions, so this is more of a place to go if you would like to keep an eye on the game and the score, but are more focused on enjoying your dinner, drinks, conversation, and company. The drink specials were unbeatable, though! Every day from 3pm to 7pm and also 9:30 pm to close, Virgil’s offers $4 selected bottled beers, $5 selected beer pints, mixed beer buckets for $15, and frozen drinks for $6. If you’re feeling hungry, they offer a bucket of beers with jalapeno mac ‘n’ cheese balls (amazing) for $20, popcorn chicken for $8.50, and a fried pickle basket for $5.50. Definitely stop by Virgil’s if you’re looking for a place to catch up with friends, while enjoying great deals and keeping an eye on the game in the background.

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My next stop was Leave Rochelle Out Of It, downtown on Chrystie Street. The first noticeable thing about this bar, is that one whole wall of windows is left open, giving it an almost rooftop atmosphere. The lighting is very dim, with candles along the entire bar and on every table. It’s pretty small, and very intimate. There was only one smaller television at the end of the bar playing the football game. Again, there was no sound on the game and the lovely sounds of 80s soft rock was playing in the background. This is a perfect place to take a date and have a romantic evening, while simultaneously knowing the score of the game. The specials here were great, too. The have Happy Hour every week night from 5 pm to 8 pm, but on Mondays (football days!) Happy Hour extends all day long, which is awesome. It included $2 off beer, wine, and well cocktails, as well as a beer and a shot for $5 total. They have quite a few tasty items on the menu; I tried the mini meatball hoagies and they were outstanding. They really hit the spot and went well with my bottle of beer and shot of whiskey. I also have to say that one of the most noteworthy parts of this bar was the excellent service by the bartenders. It was a fairly slow night, but they were all nothing but pleasant, chatty, and aiming to please. It made the whole experience even better.

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My last and final spot was where I would watch the majority of the game. I headed back uptown to West 40th at a bar called Shadow Boxers. When I first entered, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew this was the right place to really settle in and watch the game. It was a lot bigger, with a lot more TVs. I had made a reservation so my guests and I were able to get a table in the back right in front of the projector screen, which was HUGE. It was an absolutely perfect setup for football-watching. The only problem was that the sound was off and the loud dance music was a tiny bit distracting. That was taken care of almost immediately, though, because as soon as we asked a manager if we could put the sound on, it was done right away. I’m sure it helped that it was a Monday night and not too busy, but either way it was incredibly thoughtful and nice of them. There were $20 pitchers of beer and a really fantastic buy one, get one free cocktail special. The only thing worth complaining about here is that the kitchen closed early – it wasn’t even 10 pm yet. That doesn’t work too well with football fans because that’s barely past halftime usually, the time when everyone starts to get hungry. Other than that, though, this bar was an excellent spot.

There you have it. Three different bars for three different types of football-watching occasions. One thing they all share in common is their spectacular deals, making the football games fun and easy on your wallet, whether your team wins or not.


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