Rockit as the only Chicago alumni-affiliated bars.

Submitted by 08mms on August 31st, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Is anyone else as bummed out as I am about Rockit being the only official game-watching bars in Chicago this year?  I haven't been to the new Rockit in Wrigleyville yet, but the one in River North was terrible for game watching when I went last year (not enough TVs, overpriced booze, fairly apathetic crowd, no neat yellow cups, ect.).  The River North bar is all right for overpriced but delicious burgers and club remixes, but not really a good sports bar.  I like supporting the alumni club when possible, but I'm guessing I'll still be headed up to Duffy's on game-days.



August 31st, 2010 at 3:51 PM ^

Way more chill, has Oberon on tap, non-meathead type crowd.  I like going there occasionally, especially for smaller games.  Not a lot of room, so you have to get there early.  Besides Duffy's, none of the UM bars have the same feel as the rowdy face painting, Tressell impersonating, be-nutted OSU bars.  If anyone here wants to do a hostile takeover of an unaffiliated bar, I'm game.


August 31st, 2010 at 5:13 PM ^

is great.  I went to a fundraiser party there on Saturday.  They have a good tap selection -including Bell's, Half Acre, Two Brothers, and Metropolitan - in addition to one of the best jukeboxes in the city.....Never been on game day, but i assume it would be a decent spot.  I'll have to hit it up sometime this fall.

I think Duffy's is ok on game day compared to other weekend nights, but i'm still kinda sour on the place.....maybe its b/c i'm constantly navigating thru the annoying stupid sloppy crowds that congregate outside their front door every night, just to get home..


August 31st, 2010 at 3:24 PM ^

It's an odd place to watch football (sort of hipster-ish interior), but the one game I watched there last year (hint: he fumbles the snap, picks it up, gets outside, he's gone!) was really fun.  Decent sized crowd, but easy to get a table.  The dark-ass walls gave off too clubby of a vibe, though.

I'm planning on making Rock-It Wrigleyville a regular in my rotation (though I'm going to quite a few games, so we'll see).  Haven't been yet, but the Mad River people drive me nuts, and I got worn out on Duffy's.

03 Blue 07

August 31st, 2010 at 3:24 PM ^

Duffy's will still be jam packed. The Alumni Association is the one who makes the call, and they generally just look for who will give them the most money. I guess this year, Rockit stepped up, as they have two locations now/have for a year.

That being said, I will be at Duffy's for the opener, as it is always the most intense scene outside of Michigan Stadium. I'm sure Mad River will still show the game, but I can't confirm that. I've heard the same thing about Matilda, that it's M-friendly on gamedays, and it's 2 blocks from Mad River, so that's convenient.


August 31st, 2010 at 3:29 PM ^

a good and extensive discussion in this around this time last year.

Matilda - yes, UM friendly.  Went there for WMU and can vouch that it was all UM.

Mad River - obviously

Duffy's - obviously

Both Rock-Its - I'm planning on checking out the Wrigleyville one

Moe's - burn in hell, Moe's, you are not a Michigan bar.

Newport Grill (Newport/Southport) - not a UM bar, per se, but hangs UM/Detroit sports flags, and some posted that it was, in fact, filled with UM fans on game day.  Not surprised - this is where I watch Red Wings hockey, so I'm guessing the owners/staff are Michiganders.


Also, there's a handy Google Map chart (chart? Chart!) under MGoBoard from a commenter far more useful than I.

03 Blue 07

August 31st, 2010 at 3:33 PM ^

Oh yes, I remember that thread well. I think I posted 4 or 5 comments on it. It's all about what you're looking for on gameday. I had a buddy who is a fellow alum, and who generally I am on the same page with on things like this, go to Rockit and try to convince me that it was cool. Nope. Not buying it. Not buying the River North Rockit for an M game. I get it- you're hung over from the night before, it isn't super-loud, you can have a nice table, etc. Yeah, no. Screw that. I'd rather watch at home. When I go to a bar to watch M, I am looking for as much intensity as possible that my friends who I meet to watch the game with can stomach. This is often Duffy's, but, as we get older, it is starting to be people's condos/homes. I'll still be at Duffy's for the opener though.


August 31st, 2010 at 6:21 PM ^

I did not try to convince you that it was "cool."  My exact words were that it was "chill" in the, "God, I can't believe I'm back at a bar after the night I just had, at least I'm not doing 2 for 1 O-Bombs at Duffy's, I like sitting at a table; wow we are getting crushed by PSU, somebody get me some more bud lites" kind of way.

In fact, I explicitly said I would not go back there for a game this year, but would be willing to check out the Wrigley version of Rockit since that was not a Michigan bar last year.

Don't misquote me to the mgoboard!

Todd Plate's n…

August 31st, 2010 at 3:34 PM ^

2 seasons ago, Newport bar & grill (on Newport, just east of Southport) was a great venue to watch the game.  Never had to arrive too early, but normally full of Michigan fans by game time, rowdy when warranted and fight song played after scores.  food was pretty good and service was great.



August 31st, 2010 at 3:35 PM ^

I thought it was great.  I sat in the upstairs area which was very wide-open so it promoted a good atmosphere.  Almost everyone had a seat as well, but I don't know if it's because it was relatively new when I went there last year.

This will be my first choice for game days when I'm not in Ann Arbor.


August 31st, 2010 at 3:43 PM ^

I am going to spend my Saturday game viewing at Joe's Bar up by North and Clybourn.  It is massive, tons of viewing tables, many different fan groups each in their own table areas, good food, and beer specials.  The atmosphere is a ton of fun.  I go there with some friends of mine who are Georga Bulldog fans. There is always a table or two of Michigan fans there.


August 31st, 2010 at 3:54 PM ^

Duffy's will still be the same it always is.  A complete sweatbox with 2 for 1 jager bombs.  I swear I can't emerge out of that place without losing my soul...

In other spartan slappy boss just took UCONN and GAVE me 10 points for this weekends game.  I take this bet 10 out of 10 times right?  Should I put the mortgage on it?


August 31st, 2010 at 4:25 PM ^

Don't talk shit about Duffy's.  I moved from Chicago since last season and in my new city - nothing close to Duffy's exists.  That place is great.  If you are socially awkward, though, I could see how you would not like it.


August 31st, 2010 at 4:02 PM ^

I still haven't decided if I want to head to one of the M bars or freak out in the safety and security of my own apartment on Saturdaty. Decisions, decisions...


August 31st, 2010 at 4:25 PM ^

 The Hubbard St. location is always full of nice scenery but not a good sports bar..  

I am a fan of Mad River because its not a crowded as Duffy’s and I don’t feel like I am in a dark basement.  Newport is a good surprise as I just move a few blocks away and didn’t know it was Det/Mich friendly.  It is a unique place and reminds me of a Rotary Club hangout where the guys with the horned hats play poker.... 

MGoBru - Bet a 10% salary raise and a title promotion on the game.  Leave work on Friday and tell your girlfriend the good news.. Walk proudly into the office on Monday and order new business cards to reflect your new title..  

Yinka Double Dare

August 31st, 2010 at 4:57 PM ^

Used to be a Nebraska bar, they were ousted from there a few years ago in favor of I believe Kansas and Wisconsin.  A friend of mine always went there for Nebraska games. 

Anyone know if Cortland's Garage has any affiliations?  I watched a weeknight Bears game there and it was a good place to watch.  Two Hearted on tap when I was there.

Yinka Double Dare

August 31st, 2010 at 5:32 PM ^

Maybe Kansas becoming relevant in football was what led him to stop having Nebraska there then - the newer Nebraska bar has a team that similarly is irrelevant in football (it's also an Indiana bar).  Lottie's had t-shirts for the Nebraska games, so they were fully into being a Nebraska football bar.

It figures that the bar showing Michigan games in Wicker Park/Bucktown is one that I don't really like, although I do always find the bookings for the Cans Music Festival to be pretty amusing.

Flying Dutchman

August 31st, 2010 at 4:45 PM ^

Lotties is gorgeous.  If you achieve this dream, I will show up from Grand Rapids and buy beer FOR both of you.

As a former Bucktowner, I've always felt the Northside on Damen is a great place to watch sports.   There won't be packs of Wolverines, so I suggest you bring your own.


August 31st, 2010 at 8:12 PM ^

I knew it began with an "M". Tells you how long it's been since I watched a game in Chicago (that didn't involve going up to Evanston). Definitely remember the '96 Colorado game there (on an unseasonably cool day). Also hit a Red Wings Cup game there...Washington or someone. Thanks for the refresher.

double blue

August 31st, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^


in supporting rockit you support an alum (aturo gomez) who supports u of m.

they are extremely excited about hosting the games and are willing to listen to any idea

Bando Calrissian

August 31st, 2010 at 6:25 PM ^

Not Booth, but yes, UC.  Doing an MA.  I've quickly found out Hyde Park is pretty much a lifetime away from everything cool.  And I'm not going to have cable, so going to the bar is going to be a necessity to watch sports this year unless I stream it on my computer.  :\


August 31st, 2010 at 11:34 PM ^

This is my first fall living in Chicago and my friends all say that Duffys is off the chain so thats where I'll be. I dont mind a crowded bar but if its like a can of sardines then I might head out to Matilda's.