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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Deal or no deal, our editors strongly recommend these businesses based on their reputation, popularity, and quality of service.