Good Bar to Watch the Games in AA?

Submitted by tomer on April 5th, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Couldn't find tickets to the game in my budget so I am planning on heading up to Ann Arbor to watch the games tomorrow. Unfortunately out of state tuition kept me from attending the greatest university in the world and so I am not super familiar with the Campus and its bars. Looking for any advice on good places to view and root for our beloved Wolverines.




April 5th, 2013 at 12:37 PM ^

"This is a shameful thing but the best place in town to watch sports at a bar is Buffalo Wild Wings. The TV situations at the local sports bars (the Arena and Cubs AC, most prominently) are totally unacceptable for watching multiple games. I'm talking wavy, dim, 20-year-old projection TVs.

Bar Louie is another solid option; that's another chain but they have a much better beer selection and better food than BWW. Also, they have not made you want to put your fist through a TV with their ads. Actually, forget I said anything about BWW. Go to Bar Louie. If it's full, BWW is your second option. If that's full, the bar area at the Arena is workable. They're all within a couple blocks of each other."


Also, Charlie's has a good number of TVs and would be a fun place to be when we win. Ashley's has lots of craft beers and has several TVs but there are some blind spots in the bar.


April 5th, 2013 at 12:55 PM ^

Pizza House.  Plenty of TVs, calmer atmosphere, not that far from South U if you want to get crazy at some point.  Get a booth, some appetizers, and some beer.  If you want more of a direct sports bar atmosphere for old folk I think The Arena is the classic one but I've never been there.  Pizza House is also a good intersection of being sports friendly and having a passable wine list if happen to be drinking with folks who can't stand beer.  

I'll also occasionally hit up The Blue Tractor since they have excellent beers and BBQ appetizers, but their TV placement is not the best.  

As the absolute fallback, Buffalo Wild Wings normally has open tables.  They're Hooters with worse wings and worse beer selection, but they'll have a place to park your ass.  Our general rule is if we strike out at three places in a row due to the wait times, we make for Wild Wings.  


April 5th, 2013 at 1:22 PM ^

Jug has good TVs and beer prices, but is really loud due to the acoustics.  Many old people hate the noise generated by all the patrons.  Plus the Jug remodeled and got rid of the trough so you can no longer prove your manhood by showing how you can melt more ice than anyone else.  

My personal two cents would be that if you plan on watching both games, the Jug isn't optimal due to the noise and how bad (even by bar standards) their food is.  It's not a great bar to set up camp at IMHO.  


April 5th, 2013 at 12:32 PM ^

This is exactly the post I needed two years ago. I spent the UTL game in the parking lot at Happy's pizza.

Side Note: I did have immediate access to pizza and beer whenever I desired.

oriental andrew

April 5th, 2013 at 12:41 PM ^

So I guess they're not doing the Crisler thing, huh?  Too bad.

Assuming we win Saturday, I'll be looking for a bar in Manhattan to watch the game.  I'm staying downtown, but looks like Union Square is the place to be.  Any comment on which bar is better - Brother Jimmy's or Professor Thom's?  Foodwise, I think I'd go Brother Jimmy's.


April 5th, 2013 at 12:46 PM ^

Going down to A2 with a buddy early on Saturday to find a place to camp out for the entire day.  It's gonna be a shitshow, especially if Michigan wins.

Can't wait!


April 5th, 2013 at 12:52 PM ^

South University Avenue Area

Charleys: Undergrad bar that still attracts the grad students and recent graduates who are willing to act like undergrads. Cheap. Great atmosphere for a big game. Get there by 6pm to guarantee a table. 

Brown Jug: Similar to above. Smaller, so similar "get there early" applies.

Blue Leprechaun: Bigger than either of the above. More of a grad school/young professional vibe, but still a popular undergrad bar.  Can probably sneak in there and grab a table later than either of the other two.  More standing room as well. A tad bit pricier than the above two.

Any of the above three will be a blast during the game.

Pizza House: Underrated on South U.  If you want pizza and beer and want to watch the game with your parents, this is your place. Not cheap.

BTB Cantina: No.

State Street Area

Ashleys: Always great, but not the best place to watch a game. If you are solo and get there early, it's a fun place to watch if you are sitting at the bar. Otherwise, I'd find another place. TV's are there, but not optimal. Great beer, not cheap, but you get what you pay for. Best multi-tap in town.

Red Hawk: No.

Bufflo Wild Wings: Like any other bdubs. Get there early, though, since underage undergrads will almost assuredly fill the place up.

Bar Louie: Chain, so despised by Ann Arbor locals, but a very fun place to catch a game. Excellent beer selection. Will probably see a 30+ crowd with some young professionals and grad students mixed in.  Not cheap, but not terrible.

Washington Street

The Arena: "Ann Arbor's Sports Bar."  Get there early (I'm probably going there at 6pm). Massive tv's abound. Cheap beer.  Good to very good selection.  You'll get some grad students, some young professionals but a bit more of an older crowd. Maybe 50/50 between the two groups mentioned and 30+ crowd.

Grizzly Peak: Good microbrew, fun atmosphere for big game. Grad student/young professional crowd. Expensive-ish, though, if you are not a member. If you are a member, you know all about the place.

Blue Tractor: Haven't been there for a big game yet, but it's one of my fall backs. Another microbrew, good TVs, great bar, plenty of seating around TVs and lots of standing area. Probably a slightly older crowd than Peak. Bonus: Afterwards you can celebrate downstains at MASH which is a fun whisky/bourbar bar, formerly downstairs of Cafe Habana.

Arbor Brewing Company: No.

Main Street

Conor O'Neills: Only Main St. option I'd consider. Big time soccer bar, but obviously a great place to catch a game. Crowd can be rowdy, though older. Plenty of TVs. All their pints are $5 though, so can be expensive and not the greatest selection.


April 5th, 2013 at 1:19 PM ^

I've noticed a metallic after taste in just about every beer I've ever had from ABC.  I assume the survive simply because Grizzly Peak and Blue Tractor fill up and the overflow doesn't feel like walking all the way to South U.


April 5th, 2013 at 1:20 PM ^

It's not just you.

I wonder how long ABC would last if they didn't have darts and that shuffleboard table right next to the street.  They must survive on location alone because their beer is not great and their food is ridiculously overpriced.

Doc Brown

April 5th, 2013 at 4:52 PM ^

ABC survives from support of the local craft brewing community. In the past when the economy was better, I would regularly attend their monthly beer tasting events. ABC is actually their secondary location, with their main location being Corner Brewery in Ypsi. 

However, I agree with you. ABC's beer is overrated. I would rather drive down to Wolverine State Brewery. 


April 5th, 2013 at 1:51 PM ^

You forgot--or ommitted-- Scorekeepers near State st.

Dingy bar, good beer selection, lots of tv's and a big projection screen. Same crowd as S University bars-- bros, hos, and old timers in denial

They also play our fight songs at appropriate moments for football games... not sure about bball tho. That helps overcome the dinginess


April 5th, 2013 at 1:52 PM ^

I did forget and then opted not to amend.

Though that isn't entirely fair.  I watch the 2011 demolition of Tennessee at Skeeps and it was fun. Though, this was during the day and we were getting some free drinks for knowing the bartender.

I think Skeeps will ask for a cover after a certain time.  If you're going to camp out at a place, Skeeps would fall near the bottom of my list.  If you're going to just go for the game, do not need a table and are willing to stand and cheer and be beligerant, then Skeeps isn't bad.


April 5th, 2013 at 1:03 PM ^

Real Urban BBQ, its fairly new but would seem to be a good place to watch the game. Lots of TV's, beers. It's one downside is parking in the area blows.

Perkis-Size Me

April 5th, 2013 at 1:24 PM ^

Any bar on South U. Blue Lep, Brown Jug, Charley's. There's also a certain American Cafe you could hit up that I hear has a pretty good night crowd.

Those are more student bars, though. But really, you could go to just about any bar in AA and you'll have a good time that night. If you're looking for a more "adult" setting, go to any bar on Main St.


April 5th, 2013 at 1:41 PM ^

If you don't want to deal with downtown ( though that's gotta be a big draw for this) i recommend Fraser's or Wolverine State Brewing