St. Louis is most definitely one of the best sports towns in the country. We are dedicated, loyal fans of all our hometown teams. In fact, we just love sports in general. That’s why, even if we don’t have a local team in the NCAA tournament, many of us will be glued to television sets watching each game as more and more teams become eliminated along the way. The excitement is palpable once the college basketball tournament is underway. From the first match-up of the 64 lucky teams making it into the tournament, to the tough competitions determining the sweet 16, then the elite eight, through final four and then down to the big championship game, we love college hoops. And finding the right spot to watch them is just as important. The tournament is intense, especially when the team you’re rooting for is playing, so you want to make sure you’re at the right spot. Here are the top bars for 2013 to watch tournament games in St. Louis.
Friendly’s Sports Bar & Grill
3503 Roger Place
St. Louis, MO 63116
Friendly’s Sports Bar and Grill, located on the South Side in Tower Grove, is always a favorite local spot for watching sports because it takes its spectating very seriously. One of the only bars in town to have three different rooms with 15 televisions in each, there is not a corner of this bar where a customer can’t see the game. And, of course, during the tournament, Friendly’s will have every single match-up on so all of patrons are assured of being able to watch whichever game interests them the most. Besides the fabulous access to viewing, Friendly’s is known for its terrific bar fare including its delicious hot wings, sandwiches, burgers, do-boy pizza and its famous fried chicken.
9906 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63124
With three convenient locations in the Central West End, Ladue and Ballwin, Lester’s has become a St. Louis staple for watching the games, and the tournament is no exception. Lester’s is a popular spot because of the dozens of HD screens surrounding every area of the restaurant and bar. This makes every seat in the house a great seat for viewing the game. Additionally, Lester’s has some of the very best food in town. People don’t just go there to catch their favorite team playing, they go there to eat the fantastic barbecued meats such as the baby back ribs, smoked beef brisket and pulled pork. Plus, Lester’s has an awesome selection of New York-style deli sandwiches that are a huge hit. For fresh, homemade food with tons of televisions every which way you look, Lester’s is one of the best places to hang.
911 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63101
Head downtown to the Over/Under Bar on Washington and check out college hoops in one of the best sports bars in town. Over/Under has 37 large LCD TVs so all of its patrons can check out any match-up throughout the entire tournament. The bar also features nightly and weekly contests during all sports seasons to heighten the excitement. Beyond just watching sports, Over/Under offers its customers a fabulous weekday happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. that includes mouth-watering appetizers such as an onion ring tower, mini sliders and crispy calamari. Stay for dinner and catch several tournament games while ordering from the varied menu of delicious salads, sandwiches, burgers and more.
The Post Sports Bar & Grill
7372 Manchester Road
St. Louis, MO 63143
The Post Sports Bar and Grill in the heart of Maplewood has a mission to ensure its sports-loving customers are enjoying the game. From the flat screens all over the bar to every seat in the house being padded for your own seat’s comfort, the phenomenal baked wings, cheese steaks and pizza are just an added bonus. The college basketball tournament is one of the most exciting athletic events of the whole year, so you want to make sure you’re in the right spot to catch your favorite teams playing. The Post boasts on its website that “you’re going to experience a cross between the comfort of sitting on the couch at home and the excitement of actually attending the game.” This is definitely the reason it has become one of the top spots to watch NCAA basketball.
Circle 7 Ranch
14412 Clayton Road
Ballwin, MO 63011
Watching the tournament at Circle 7 Ranch is a unique experience in that it offers something no other sports bar in St. Louis does: personal beer taps at the table. This concept is one-of-a-kind and adds to the already festive, sports-viewing experience. Dispensing your own beer while you watch the game is an added feature that makes for a lot of fun. Plus, Circle 7 Ranch has huge flat screens hung all around the dining area and bar so no matter where you’re sitting, you won’t miss a single play. And the food is absolutely delicious, as Circle 7 Ranch has taken classic American fare to a whole new level. Try the amazing brisket nachos, jumbo toasted raviolis and mouth-watering specialty burgers while you’re pouring your own quality draft beer. This joint has become one of the most popular places to hang and watch the games since it opened last year and no doubt it will be around for many, many NCAA tournaments to come.
Meredith Johns is a freelance writer covering all things St. Louis. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.