It’s football season, and many local sports bars become pigskin paradises where ranks of TVs with the NFL Ticket can accommodate any fan.
But for those who feed on the energy of cheering in like-minded company, some venues celebrate certain teams. They reserve everything from the fabled middle TV (for Pats fans at Port Charlotte’s PaddyWagon Irish Pub, 2681 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte) to whole team rooms for them.
We understand you might be new to town, and it takes precious time to suss out the right barstool bleachers. So, we’re here to connect you with your team’s fan base.
Apologies to the omitted. Remember, there are countless bars where you can catch just about any game you want.
At many pubs, you can pick any team, pick a TV and party on.
Multi-team, multi-screen cases in point: Portside Tavern, 3636 Tamiami Trail, and Chubbyz, 4109 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte. Though Chubbyz owner Danny Lutinski admits to a New England Patriots predilection, Chubbyz’ 22 TVs cater to all fans and show all games.
Local glass sculptor Janie Duke, a Dallas Cowboys fan, said, “Chubbyz is very accommodating, not only to me but to Browns fans, too. It’s our Sunday all-day spot.”
You might suspect, from the prominent blue bison on its south-facing side, that All-Star Sports Grill, 2360 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, is a Buffalo Bills bar. In fact, its owners, from Chicago, New Jersey and Florida, are nothing if not even-handed.
Co-owner Andrew Kontos wanted to right the rumor
All-Star Sports Grill is NOT just a Buffalo bar,” he said. “Although the Bills Backers are our largest organized group and get together in the dining room, our second-largest group is Patriots fans getting together around our lounge main bar. Chicago fans are at our patio bar, and Pittsburgh at our back bar in the lounge. We have all games on somewhere in one of our three-venues-under-one-roof establishment.”
Chris Lansdale‘s mammoth Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, 1105 Taylor Street, Punta Gorda, is the official home of five — count ‘em, five! — fan clubs, all welcoming new members. The 10,500-square-foot space has room for them all, with 55 TVs, six rooms and separate spaces for New York Giants, New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills followers. At least 50 Lions fans reportedly pack the simulator room’s Lions Den every game day.
Lansdale advises that there are “more seats than parking spaces, but don’t let the full front parking lot stop you from parking around back, coming in and hanging out at Punta Gorda’s best sports bar.”
Word also has it that you can walk into any of the following and venture, “Heard you might be an [insert Team here] bar,” without being shown the door.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, 1825 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, and 1037 Sumter Boulevard, North Port, have Steelers rooms and support the Giants.
Broad Street Bar & Grill at Treasure Lanes, 1059 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, is proud to name itself after Philly’s main drag and fly with the Eagles.
Even though she’s a Vikings fan, co-owner Robin Shopa said, “Eagles fans heard, by word of mouth, around 2005, that we were an Eagles bar. Then they’d tell their friends. Every football game it got bigger and bigger. The joke went: How many will there be this time?”
Buffalo Wings & Rings, 1081 W. Price Boulevard, North Port, supports the Bills and the Ohio State Buckeyes Club for Florida.
End Zone Sports Grille, 2440 S. McCall Road, Englewood — whose owner, Joanne Anders, hails from Salem, Massachusetts — is understandably in the New England Patriots’ corner.
Goes without saying that Joey D’s Chicago Style Eatery‘s new Venice outlet, at 750 U.S. 41 Bypass North, is friendly to Bears.
Nemo’s Sports Café at Bowland, 3192 Harbor Boulevard, Port Charlotte, hosts a Detroit Lions club.
Olde World Restaurant, 14415 Tamiami Trail, North Port, has reportedly been home to New York Giants fans for a quarter-century.
Over The Bridge, 4300 Kings Highway, Port Charlotte, hosts the third-largest Cleveland Browns Backers group in the nation and welcomes Ohio State Buckeyes fans on Saturdays.
Venice Ale House, 775 U.S. Highway 41 Bypass South, Venice, is all in for the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles. Send restaurant and bar news and recommendations to columnist Sue Wade at email@example.com. Average price ranges are $ = inexpensive (under $10), $$ = moderate ($11-$30), and $$$ = pricey (over $30), including tip and beverage.