Staggering Through Fog
Your weekly breath mint and fresh pair of pants to help you out of your 'bar rut'. Reviewed as always by barrespondent, Drew.
'Tis most certainly the season for sports bars. With the NCAA Tournament continuing on and basketball season starting to get interesting (especially when a certain Bay Area team has a [gasp] winning streak going), it's as good a time as any to find the bar with the most televisions in it to test your ability to pay attention to 10 things at once.
Now, San Francisco may not be nationally known for its sports bars the same way Boston or Chicago is, but those who live here know that we've got plenty of places to suck back a few and catch a game or two or twenty. But these places, like any other kind of bars, vary wildly throughout the city, and just because a place puts 'sports' in their name doesn't mean they can dial up that South African rugby game you wanted to catch. So how do you find the best place for you? First, you must become aware of the subtle differences that exist in the sports bar scene. There are, in our opinion, three types of bars to be found in the city and we'll cite an example of each after the jump.
The first, Jillian's at the Metreon, is the collossal, mega-corporate sports bar. Its huge-screened pomposity is only matched by its marked up drink prices. Don't expect any local fans, as the entire crowd is only in town for a convention at the Moscone and is just looking for a place to kill time before they can go to the Hustler Club.
Next is Steff's Sports Bar on 2nd Street. This is a good example of a half-assed attempt to drag people in off the street with the promise of 3 or 4 TVs of basic cable sports on them. Usually the result of a buy-out of a dive bar, owners of places like Steff's usually think they can buy an extra TV or two, jack up the beer prices a little, slap the word 'sports' outside and people will just file in. This is by far the most common and unfortunate example of sports bar throughout the city, and indeed, the country.
Finally, we've saved the best for last. Greens in Russian Hill on Polk is a neighborhood sports bar with cross-country appeal. It seems like no matter who is playing on any one of their 20 or so TVs, you'll find several diehards parked in front displaying passion for their home squad. It does get incredibly packed during big events, but it's a lot more fulfilling to watch a sporting event with a crowd that's too big than it is in an empty place that keeps trying to switch your game over to Wheel of Fortune.
So in these glory days where steroids have been completely cleaned out of baseball and the Warriors are battling for that elusive 10th place finish, find a decent local sports bar. As an added tip, try and find the drunkest guy there and pretend to root for whoever he's rooting for. Free drinks are almost guaranteed if they do well. But also have an escape route planned if you're found out or if they lose.