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What Makes A Good NFL Bar In Las Vegas?


The big game is nigh.

But where to watch it?

Las Vegas has some 80 or more “NFL bars.” The Panthers, Broncos, Bears, 49ers and just about ever one of the NFL’s 32 teams has a home in one or up to eight or more taverns throughout the valley.

The question is, what makes a good NFL bar? Is it the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink bloody marys?  Good greasy food? Prizes for touchdowns? Or just bottle of beer and a burger?

As it turns out, its pretty much all of the above.


1. TV Setup

These days a small TV with bad reception will not do. Big screen HDTVs are a must for a good sports bar. Beyond that, the staff needs to know how to change the channels, turn up the sound and adjust them for the patrons.

Adam: "You go to some places you got TVs in the corner. They’re small. They’re not set to the right game. They don’t have sound. I think you gotta have sound and I think need good TV set up and good TVs."

2. Good Beer

Enough said. Most football fans agree that you can’t watch a game without a good beer, whether it’s your favorite local craft beer or a mass produced domestic lager. Just always remember to have a designated driver, call a taxi or Uber to get you home safe.

3. The Fans

How good a bar is depends on the fans around you. It’s probably not the best idea to go to a Broncos bar if you’re a Carolina fan or vice versa this weekend. The dedication of fans during the wins and the losses is key to enjoying a bar.

Adam [a Buffalo Bills fan]: "I’ve been to a couple of Raiders bars with Raiders fans and you look around go: 'I’m going to cheer for the Raiders.'"

Sergio: "I remember when I first started working there [Big Dog’s Drafthouse a Green Bay Packers bar] this is 1990 and seeing every fan going in there and seeing their team lose and lose week after week after week and yet nobody left those seats."

Sergio: "You get involved with everybody screaming at just a single little play… everybody screams with you at the same time. And you feel that passion, that’s what makes it a really good place to watch the game. You are not alone. You can actually scream as loud as you want and everyone actually applauds you."

Robert: "You get to do things at the bar you can’t do at home. Like someone scores a touchdown and people run around the bar and do the wave and high fives everyone. I would feel pretty stupid doing that at home."

4. Good Food

The food can make or break a good bar. Fancy reimagined versions of pub favorites or just good old-fashioned food cooked well, whatever style you choose it makes the difference.

Adam: "After about four beers, it’s all the same. If you’ve got food that’s really good to go with it. I think that captures it as well."

5. The overall 'Experience'

All of those factors come together to make a great place to watch the Super Bowl.

Adam: When you walk into a place it all kind of ties together the good beer, the good food, the good setup to watch the game, good fans around you. Everything just has to tie together to give you a good experience.

Adam Hill, sports reporter, Las Vegas Review-Journal; ESPN Las Vegas talk show host;  Robert Snyder, CFO/marketing manager, Big Dogs;  Sergio Meza, corporate chef, Big Dogs

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.