HELP WANTED! I'm moving to Chicago for school and I need good haunts to watch football/basketball games. Recommendations?

Submitted by Willstud99 on April 19th, 2018 at 11:31 AM

Hey guys! I'm a long time lurker who needs some help. I'm moving to downtown Chicago for school in the fall, and i need somewhere to watch UM football/basketball/hockey. Looking for a known MgoBlogger haunt, or maybe just a michigan bar. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!



April 19th, 2018 at 2:03 PM ^

It certainly has a very cool lobby, but I’m here with my wife and 1 year old. Our room is about 11 ft long by 7 ft wide, and I can barely fit in the bathroom (I’m 6ft and 215 lbs). Just super cramped quarters. Might be ok if you were solo, but had to pay an additional $40 a piece for a crappy little fridge and microwave in my room. I’d prob look elsewhere, there are other hotels in the loop.

Arb lover

April 20th, 2018 at 8:35 AM ^

This sounds like the Alumni association mafia, which is not my experience.

I'm all for donating to the university and athletic funds, and have been an active alumni association member since graduation, but if a bar goes full Michigan, why is that not enough?


April 19th, 2018 at 11:39 AM ^

I live in Evanston, but I have been to The Diag (Lakeview) a few times for games. Fun atmosphere and they have a courtyard with TV's to watch if the weather is nice. Otherwise I know the Chicago Alumni Association announce in emails what bars they are having watch parties at for football/basketball. 


April 19th, 2018 at 11:48 AM ^

Check out the Chicago Alumni Club’s Facebook page and their official site. They will have watch parties and list the current official bars.


April 19th, 2018 at 11:49 AM ^

All the typical places have been mentioned, and they’re all good spots to watch a game. However, for football games, they get very crowded so get there early. On more than one occasion and more than one bar, I have been shut out because I got there too late.

mad magician

April 19th, 2018 at 11:52 AM ^

Watch important contests in the quiet, private, and appropriately serious confines of their own homes, with no more than a few select, similarly serious intimates


April 19th, 2018 at 11:54 AM ^

In the West Loop if you want a Michigan bar that's not packed. 

Diag was great but too many people go there lately and they have a single men's bathroom. I skipped last season for that reason so maybe it's changed. 

Duffy's if you want to pretend you're still in undergrad. 

As mentioned above there are a ton of us. We should probably MGoBlog tailgate for NW in that goofy high school sized parking lot, huh? 


SF Wolverine

April 19th, 2018 at 12:00 PM ^

and, if you are headed toward the MGrowOld side of things (as I am), it's a bit loud.  And I'm only a block and a half away.  That said, the crowd/noise is awesome for atmospherics on big game days.

Flying Dutchman

April 19th, 2018 at 12:40 PM ^

The North Side on Damen is a favorite of mine and is real good for general sports watching.  

Nearby, Lottie's is another good one, but shades toward fan bases of Wisconsin and Kansas. 

double blue

April 19th, 2018 at 4:13 PM ^

There are a number of official Michigan bars that not only have great events but support the local scholarship fund.

Off the top of my head. The diag named after the dish w the brass M in the patio. Rockit bar and grill both river north and wrigley Arturo, an owner, is a Michigan grad. There are others see the website and try and go to an official bar. It's for a good cause.


April 19th, 2018 at 5:35 PM ^

Always a pleasure to have more M fans in town.

You say you're moving to Chicago for school. Thus, I assume you're in your 20s. Duffy's is the ultimate place to go if that's the case. It's a youthful and boisterous atmosphere. It's where I went when I was new to the city. Kind of like a rite of passage.

These days, for me, I prefer The Diag. It's an "older" crowd in that it isn't newly graduated 22-year olds. Not as shoulder-to-shoulder as Duffy's but plenty of TVs for viewing.

There are plenty of other places throughout the city that could make sense based on where you're living. If you're in the West Loop, head to West End (but avoid at all costs if the Blackhawks are playing. You'll never get sound and might be relegated to a few TVs only).

If you're in River North or Wrigleyville, try the Rockit restaurants. But if you're going to the River North location, get there early. It fills up fast.

If you want a more chilled out location, there's Matilda's in Lakeview. But the TVs are as good.

That's a good primer for your introduction. Of course, once you're here long enough, you'll find your neighborhood bar (there are plenty), buddy up with the bartender/owner, and get the M games on whenever you want. But you'll probably be fighting over sound for the Bears/Cubs/Hawks games.