Chicago Sports Bars
10 Top Spots to Watch the Game

On April 26, 2011, Chicago sports fans hunkered down in area sports bars and geared up for a perfect storm of spectatorship. The lights were on at Wrigley Field, and the Sox were in New York hoping to outscore the love-to-hate Yankees. Even more pressing were the Bulls and Hawks games—each team was preparing for a first-round postseason match-up. It was a night that gave fans, whether because of out-of-town games or impossible-to-get tickets, a reason to be thankful for their favorite sports bars.
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Wicker Park: a Tale of Two Projection Screens

As far as televisions, what Anthem lacks in number it makes up for in size. The mid-size bar makes room for four 60-inch TVs and two projection screens that measure 150 and 190 inches. Patrons can check the online schedule to see what’ll be airing, and upon arriving can order retro-inspired menu items such as Schlitz and a Velveeta-stuffed burger.

Wrigleyville: Not Just a Cubs Bar

Given its name and location kitty-corner to Wrigley Field, it’s no secret that the Cubby Bear bleeds red and blue. But when Cubs fans aren’t swarming the labyrinthine 30,000 square-foot bar equipped with 75 plasma screens, patrons may be surprised to realize the Wrigleyville institution is also a proud supporter of Arizona State and Cleveland Browns football.

Bridgeport: For the Ticketless Sox Fan

Sox fans without tickets can come to Cork & Kerry at the Park and get a game-day-inspired experience: large windows frame views of the Cell as patrons peruse a menu designed to look like a lineup card. The menu pits regular fare such as burgers and sandwiches against meals inspired by that day’s opponents, such as crab cakes when Baltimore’s in town.

Wrigleyville: Rooftop Patio

In keeping with the spirit of the Wrigley Field rooftops, Sports Corner’s expansive two-floor space (outfitted with 27 huge flat-screens for the many Cubs fans that flood it during summers) is capped by a rooftop patio. The patio was part of a full renovation in 2010, after which two superfans found the bar elegant enough to be their wedding venue.

North Center: International Sports

As its name suggests, the Globe is a home for fans of international sports; televisions play everything from soccer to rugby to Australian-rules football. Because the owners make an effort to include FIFA, MLS, CONCACAF, CL, and MCFC games, they keep fans in the know by sharing a schedule of their upcoming broadcasts.

Near West Side: Free Shuttles to United Center

Practically within slapshot-range of the Madhouse on Madison, WestEnd touts itself as an official partner of the Blackhawks. Patrons can perch around the U-shaped bar or a high-top table until it’s time to board the free shuttle to the United Center, or hunker down in a leather booth to watch the game on one of 33 plasma-screen televisions.

Ukrainian Village: European Cup, European Pints

SmallBar’s love for soccer is serious: in the summer of 2012, they devoted nearly a month to showing all 31 games of the Euro Cup. In that spirit, their deep roster of international beers includes fan favorites such as Carlsberg and Krombacher.

Goose Island: 110 TVs and High-Def Projection Screens

Joe’s loyalties are extensive: they welcome alumni for Illini, Bruins, Hoosiers, and Bulldogs games, as well as Steelers fans. They easily entertain everybody at once with a 20,000 square-foot space that boasts 110 plasma TVs, 14 satellites, and a few high-definition projection screens. Beat the crowds by requesting a table reservation for specific games.

River North: After-Work Watch Parties

With a name that pays double homage to its proximity to the financial district and two iconic Chicago sports franchises, Bull & Bear is an ideal place for the downtown set to jet to after work and catch tip-off or a Monday-night kick-off. To save even more time, patrons can grab one of five booths equipped with tabletop beer taps.

Wrigleyville: Home for Cubs Fans

For more than 70 years, Murphy’s has sat in the shadow of Wrigley Field, making it a perennial home base for Cubs fans. The open-air interior and outdoor patios keep things breezy even when the place is mobbed, and during the off-season, the crowd thins out enough that patrons will notice an impressive collection of memorabilia that includes vintage photos and autographed jerseys.