Pigskin at the Pubs
If you can't get to your favorite team's opening NFL game then watch it at one of Bradenton's bars.
Anyone ready for football?
Well, the local bars are ready. With the conclusion of the NFL preseason - finally - the games matter starting this weekend. If you aren't attending a game in person, below are some close by locations where, short of a major power outage, I guarantee there will be plenty of football on TV.
And recapping what I learned last season: Fan-Atics Sports Bar & Grill, 4669 Cortez Rd., is home of all things Pittsburgh. So, Steelers fans, that's where you should be. Mannatees Sports Bar & Grill, 7423 Manatee Ave. W., the former Tequila Beach, remains loyal to the Cleveland Browns. Baltimore Ravens fans gather at the Braden River Plaza Gecko's Grill & Pub, 4310 S.R. 64 East, and Tampa Bay Bucs fans are, well, everywhere.
(Washington Redskins fans used to gather at Firkin & Fox Restaurant and Pub but it's closed. (So where are the local 'Skins fans watching football this year? I'd love to know!)
- Joe’s Bar, 5254 S.R. 64 E., is “cooking” off the football season with a chili cook-off starting at 1 p.m. Sunday. Enter your own famous chili for a $5 fee, watch football and have a few beers. All proceeds from the cook-off will benefit the Wounded Warrior Foundation. Best chili wins $100!
- The Lost Kangaroo Pub, 406 Old Main St., is hosting the ‘Roo NFL Kickoff Party on Sunday. Free food, games with prizes (like free drinks) and plenty of football on the pub’s numerous flat-screen televisions. The ‘Roo has the NFL Sunday Ticket and enough TVs so everyone can watch whatever game they want. The bar opens at noon and Sunday's football games start at 1 p.m.
- Football, food, prizes and fun – that’s the name of the game at both of Manatee County’s Gecko’s Grill & Pub locations at 4310 S.R. 64 East in the Braden River Plaza and 7228 55th Avenue East in Twelve Oak’s Plaza during the college and pro football seasons. Both Gecko’s have a special football menu on game days, prizes – including a chance to win two tickets for deck seats at a Bucs game – College Game Day and NFL Sunday Ticket and both locations, a Football Toss Giveaway at the S.R. 64 site, plenty of flat-screen televisions, drinks and more.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Denver Broncos at 8:20 p.m. Sunday, and local Steelers fans know where to watch the game: Fan-Atics Sports Bar & Grill, 4669 Cortez Rd., the local Steelers headquarters. The Steelers game is always broadcast on the bar’s giant projection screen and many of the surrounding television sets. The bar serves wine, liquor and more than 20 domestic and import beers, in addition to Iron City Beer, Pittsburgh’s signature brew since 1861.
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play their first game of the season at 4:25 p.m. Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. Catch the action at Bleachers Sports Bar & Grill, 5606 14th St. W., on its 42-square-foot projection screen or one of its many televisions. Drink specials on select beers include $5 buckets and $6 pitchers along with $3 shots.