Of all the things a bar could be well known for, eggs might be low on the list. At Baddeley's Pourhouse, however, pickled eggs become unlikely stars, especially when washed down with iconic crimson, blue, and silver cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon. As patrons cluster in choruses of clinking cans and glasses, games flicker to life on seven high-definition televisions, which helped earn the tavern the No. 3 spot on CityVoter's list of Best Sports Bars in 2011. In a neon halo, a computerized jukebox spills out tunes and secret aspirations of becoming a food replicator on a starship missions. The cinnamon-hued felt of the pool table washes into the colors of red-topped bar stools, where customers perch as they order from the daily specials or discuss forming a synchronized swimming team for sponsorship by the alehouse.
Pints Sports Bar and Grill's libations and classic American eats go perfectly with its squad of LED televisions, which air current sporting events, including football games and the local squirrels' logrolling competitions. Bartenders manage a seasonal cocktail list and rotating selection of draft beers from craft breweries as Stone Brewing Co., Avery Brewing Company, and Oskar Blues Brewery. These drinks complement chef Craig Orell?s creations, which include made-from-scratch pretzels, ahi poke, and braised short ribs.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
Though a sports bar at heart—the walls are lined with flat-screen TVs tuned to football and basketball games—Sammy’s Bar & Grill’s dark wood tables and a natural stone accent wall give the dining room an upscale feel. There’s even a heated outdoor patio with a stone fountain and a sculpture of a lion drinking beer with his pinkie out. In addition to traditional burgers, sliders, and wings, diners can also feast on Southwestern and Italian specialties including sizzling fajitas and flatbread pizzas. Behind the bar, mixologists serve up a full selection of spirits, California wines, and bottled beers, plus a dozen brews on tap including local finds.
8Eightyeight Cigar Merchants serves delectable libations and cultivates cigar-chomping camaraderie within a private facility that fuses elements of a cigar lounge, pool hall, and sports bar. The club's massive walk-in humidor houses brand-name cigars for members to puff away on while monitoring news and sports such as pay-per-view UFC fights on a cluster of flat-screen TVs arranged in front of comfy leather chairs or while shooting pool within the white-brick billiards room. In addition to members-only cigar and alcohol tastings, 8Eightyeight Cigar Merchants hosts a plentitude of private fundraisers, corporate events, and parties for Groucho Marx enthusiasts.
Pouring beer is an art form: glasses need to be titled just so or they’ll fill with foam. Fortunately, it’s a skill that’s easy to learn, especially at Tap House, where brews gush forth from 94 taps. Bartenders decant 60 beers in the main room and pour from 12 taps in the downstairs area. Alternatively, patrons who wish to take a hands-on approach can fill their own glasses at a beer wall with 12 self-pouring taps and at a self-serve 10-tap system on the outdoor patio.
Served at a frosty 29 degrees, beers—from light ales to double IPAs—can complement Tap House’s upscale bar food. As tap masters fill pints, cooks in the kitchen top locally farmed Angus burgers with ingredients such as shredded pork and A1 sauce. They also coat swordfish steaks in garlic lemon butter and flavor ribs with house dry rub and BBQ sauce marinated in citrus wheat beer.
These meals unfold in Tap House's elevated dining room, where more than 50 televisions always stay tuned to the night's biggest sports games, never to the night’s biggest mathematical lectures. Bands and DJs take to the main floor's stage on weekends, when the restaurant also hosts Sunday brunches with bottomless champagne and Budweiser.