What makes a great sports bar? TVs. A lot of freakin' TVs. And a great cable, satellite and/or streaming sports package. There's more to it, of course, but without sports on TV - it's just a bar.
So it's odd, as I went about compiling this list, that more "sports bars" in the Tri-Cities don't promote how many screens they have. Beer? Check. Food? Check. Karaoke night? Check. WTF?
Look, it's great to have additional entertainment to bring people in on a slow sports day, but at least include the TVs in your marketing. We need to know that you can deliver on your promise of SPORTS. And a single TV over the bar ain't gonna' do it.
What else does a good sports bar need? Beer. Good beer, bad beer, cheap beer, craft beer, imported beer. Cocktails are great, too, but nothing goes with sports quite like an ice-cold beer.
A good sports bar also offers food. Fast, greasy, comfort food. Burgers, hot wings, nachos, tacos, fries. Get fancy with the presentation if you like, but we're going to make a mess at the table - just so you know.
The final most important thing a good sports bar needs is a good vibe. A place you feel welcome. A staff that may not know your name (sorry, Sam Malone), but they know your face and your drink of choice as soon as you walk in. A place where regulars gather once a week or several nights a week to form a second, sports-obsessed family. A very loud family. That likes to drink. And watch sports on TVs.
Now that we've got my qualifiers out of the way, let's deliver on the promise of that headline. Here's to you, sports fans!
10 Great Sports Bars In The Tri-Cities
Gallery Credit: Curated by Dan Roberts
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Gallery Credit: Pete Christensen