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Best Bars Nationwide on IU Game Days
From Portland to New York City and L.A. to Naples, here’s our rundown of the greatest big-city spots to perch with a great drink, tasty grub, and a riotous band of fellow fans.
Want to take part in the Hoosier Hysteria this year but can’t make the trip to Bloomington? Check out these bars across the country that proudly help Hoosiers cheer on IUBB this season.
Kirkwood Bar and Grill
2934 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago; 773-770-0700; www.kirkwoodbar.com
Named after the main drag in Bloomington, Kirkwood serves as the prime destination for Chicagoland alumni and fans. Offering a lengthy list of game-day specials, Hoosiers can relive their undergrad experiencing while enjoying Hoosier bombs and burgers. Coming with a group? Check out the Crimson fish bowl.
New York City
986 2nd Ave.; 212-813-1595; www.trafficbarnyc.com
Owner and IU grad Joey Morgan hosts Hoosier fans in perfect Bloomington style, offering Sink the Biz in the official Nick’s English Hut buckets. In addition, Morgan serves up Hairy Bears and Long Islands so similar to those at Bear’s and Kilroy’s that any IU fan will feel at home.
Blake Street Tavern
2301 Blake St.; 303-675-0505; www.blakestreettavern.com
The Denver chapter of the IU Alumni Association gathers the largest group of IU supporters at this spot for each game, cheering on the Hoosiers in the Mile High City’s Ballpark neighborhood. Blake Street’s award-winning menu goes beyond burgers too. Try the ahi tuna slider while you watch the game from one (or a few) of the bar’s abundant flatscreens.
7250 Melrose Ave.; 323-930-2100; www.theparlorca.com
The Parlor in Los Angeles offers pitcher specials to fans who flock to this popular bar off Melrose. However, be sure to arrive early: The keepers of this place had to turn away IU fans during the Michigan game due to a full house of Hoosiers.
The Galleria Mall, 1147 Saint Louis Galleria; 314-726-5300; stlouis.blackfinnamericangrille.com
Some folks may not expect to find the biggest group of St. Louis-based IU fans in the local mall. But in truth, alumni descend in droves on the Galleria Mall to hoot for the Hoosiers. The game-day menu including soft pretzels and famous Finn fries complements the large selection of drink specials.
Tavern on the Broad
200 S. Broad St.; 215-546-2290; www.tavernonbroad.com
Boasting a crowd of more than 50 fans during big-ticket games and at tournament time, Tavern on the Broad serves as Philly’s place to be on Hoosier game nights. The owner’s father, an IU alum, turned his daughter onto the Hoosier Hysteria. Now the bar offers half-priced appetizers and domestic beers during games.
501 Washington Ave. South; 612-877-6900; www.crookedpint.com
IU fans gather at the Crooked Pint on historic Washington Avenue to cheer on the Hoosiers and enjoy the house’s “crooked” cocktails—all made with a combination of its craft beers and liquor complements. Although the majority of Minneapolis’s IU fans gather here on game day, the bar is also known to attract Notre Dame alumni—so beware of the Irish!
4046 Peachtree Road, NE; 404-233-0313; www.hudsongrille.com
Atlanta’s Hoosiers don’t miss a game. The local alumni group gathers at the Hudson Grille for every tipoff. Hudson Grille boasts five locations in the city; it’s the Midtown spot that serves as the prime destination for IU fans.
Bokamper’s Sports Bar
8990 Fontana del Sol Way; 239-431-7611; www.bokampersnaples.com
Legendary Dolphins player and sports broadcaster Kim “Bo” Bokamper may have a soft spot for Florida athletics, but that doesn’t keep IU fans out of his southwest Florida bar. With more than 70 plasma TVs, the area alumni association calls Bokamper’s home. So although the bar itself may don Dolphin’s colors, on IU game night, there’s no dearth of cream and crimson.
Cock and Bull Public House
Hyde Park Square, 2645 Erie Ave.; 513-533-4253; www.candbpublichouse.com
With a list of 60 craft beers on tap including Bloomington’s own Upland Dragonfly, Cock and Bull knows how to attract Cincy-area fans. You can expect to find 20 to 30 Hoosiers at the Hyde Park location on game night.
Jed’s Sports Bar and Grille
114 28th Ave. N.; 615-320-4399; www.jedsnashville.com
One of the newest sports bars in Nashville, Jed’s caters to the game crowds with its 1/4-pound hot dogs and two-for-one beer on Tuesdays. With deals like these, it’s no wonder that the Nashville alumni association has adopted Jed’s as its game-day hangout.
Fire on the Mountain
1708 E. Burnside St.; 503-230-9464; www.portlandwings.com
Looking for a twist to your usual wings and “IUBB”? Portland fans have found this and more at their local hangout—Fire on the Mountain, which claims the title of Stumptown’s “Original Buffalo Wing Joint.” Hoosiers swing in to try one of 12 wing sauces with fellow fans in the city’s alumni group. And to go with those wings? FOTM also brews its own beers—including Hoosier Amber.
So, what spot(s) do you think we missed? Where do you go to have a spirited time on IU game days and nights?