Great spots to watch hoops

| March 23, 2011

Bracket

Whether your favorite team is still in the NCAA tournament or not, you’ve got to love March Madness. But where should you watch the best basketball games of the season? The Voice-Tribune crew offers up a few of our favorites.

Staxx Roadhouse & BBQ

9601 Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40223
(502) 425-9641
www.staxxroadhouses.com

Why you should like it: The price is right, the bar is comfortable and friendly and after the games are over, it’s easy to switch gears and head to one of the dining areas for a steak, lobster or any of Staxx’s signature dishes.

Why we like it: Staxx’s smoked wings are a delicious change from the more common fried variety you’ll find almost everywhere else. Pair those with an order of ribs slathered in signature blackberry sauce and a beverage at the bar while watching hoops, and we’re in heaven.

Jeff Ruby’s

325 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 584-0102
www.jeffruby.com/louisville

Why you should like it: This isn’t exactly a sports haven, but the TVs at the bar are enough for the casual watcher who’d rather listen to some of the city’s finest live music and is more concerned with which delectable dishes and steaks to order than who’s going to make it to the Elite Eight (and beyond).

Why we like it: You never know who you’re going to end up next to at Jeff Ruby’s, which adds to its appeal. We also dig the sushi bar and the always entertaining, upscale atmosphere.

Pat’s Steakhouse

2437 Brownsboro Road
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 893-2062
www.patssteakhouselouisville.com

Why you should like it: Step into Pat’s Steakhouse, and you know you’re somewhere special. There are two TVs in the bar for hoops fans, but we’re pretty sure you’ll forget about the game once your order is served.

Why we like it: What’s not to like about this historic steakhouse that started out as a coach inn and travelers’ rest stop 150 years ago? Just remember: cash or check only. Keep your plastic in your pants or purse.

Al J’s Lounge

Third Floor Conservatory
Galt House Hotel & Suites
140 N. Fourth St.
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 589-5200
www.galthouse.com

Why you should like it: The glass-domed room offers a gorgeous view of the city and the waterfront, not to mention you can always catch the NCAA tournament here.

Why we like it: We had one of our most favorite mint juleps prepared at Al J’s a couple of years ago, which made it one of our favorite stops, particularly around Derbytime. We try to keep our eyes on the games, but we must admit we often find ourselves staring into the giant 30-foot aquarium tropical fish bar.

Patrick O’Shea’s

123 W. Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 708-2488
www.osheaslouisville.net

Why you should like it: Don’t want to venture downtown to Patrick O’Shea’s, there are three other locales to choose from, including Flanagan’s and O’Shea’s in the Highlands and Brendan’s in St. Matthews. They each offer something different, but the four hotspots have a common thread in that they’re fab places to watch the games.

Why we like it: We love the food, the draft beer and prime TV viewing, but what we like most is that the O’Shea’s family continuously supports different charitable causes in the community with their Monday Fund Days.

Molly Malone’s

3900 Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 882-2222
www.mollymalonesirishpub.com

Why you should like it: The St. Matthew’s locale is a great spot to watch the games and get your flirt on, and now that the weather is so lovely, you’ll appreciate the outdoor area of the Baxter Avenue location.

Why we like it: Forget watching games. We’re fans of the late-night dance parties.

Champions Sports Bar & Grill

Inside the Louisville Marriott Downtown
Corner of Third and West Jefferson streets
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 671-4246
www.louisvillechampions.com

Why you should like it: This is the ultimate sports bar for the ultimate fan, regardless of what color you bleed. Champions offers draft beer, more than 31 high-definition TVs and three big screens, as well as a great selection of pub grub.

Why we like it: We dig the always-friendly valet staff, the lively atmosphere and the half-pound, foot-long hotdog. This is also one of our favorite places to slip into after Best Dressed (Save the Date: Best Dressed 2011 is Aug. 27 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.)

Proof on Main

Inside 21c Museum Hotel
702 W. Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202
502.217.6360
www.proofonmain.com

Why you should like it: Proof offers prime viewing of the games at the bar in a sophisticated setting that isn’t too chi-chi for jerseys and jeans.

Why we like it: You mean aside from the roasted octopus and Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay, not to mention the bathrooms, “Text Rain” and the red penguins? We dig the atmosphere, the thoughtful cocktail list, the clientele, the staff and when our teams tank, we simply step into the museum portion of 21c and soon forget our bad-balling memories.

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Category: Cover Stories

About the Author (Author Profile)

Angie Fenton
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.

Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.

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