If New York City bars had an actual month-long holiday, March Madness may be it. Think about it: non-stop action for three straight weeks, during which you’ll need to practically drown yourself in alcohol to numb the anxiety over your tournament bracket selections. Yeah, they’re practically giddy right now.
Still, in a city of tens of thousands of bars, narrowing down the odds for the ultimate watch spot can be tough. You don’t want to be the bricklayer of this situation. People don’t forget mistakes like that.
So what if we told you we could get you into the Elite 8 of college basketball bars in NYC without even breaking a sweat?
Seriously, go ahead and bet on us when it comes to any of these elite 8 spots.
1. The Royal (127 4th Avenue)
When it comes to any sports watching whatsoever, it’s really hard to top The Royal. First of all, the place is huge. Not to mention, it’s smack dab in the middle of Union Square, eliminating the “But there are no trains near there!” gripes that are common with group bar outings in NYC.
As far as March Madness, they class it up more than the average sports bar, complete with a DJ and bottle service should you feel so inclined.
This may be the best part, however: they have-- count ’em-- 45 flat screens. It’s literally impossible to miss any action here.
2. Village Pourhouse (64 3rd Avenue - 982 Amsterdam Avenue)
We could go on and on about how Village Pourhouse is on standby when it comes to beer, sports, and especially mixing the two-- because it’s true. Its got the TVs (a respectable 20), the crowd (always rowdy), and the food (pretzel-crusted chicken tenders = YES).
What it also has is an all-you-can-eat buffet for drinking. Typically for March Madness, the bar rolls out an open bar and apps for a fixed price. So, I mean, whether your team gets knocked off or not… someone is ALWAYS scoring in there.
3. Josie Woods (11 Waverly Place)
If want a little “bohemian” with your March Madness insanity, Josie Woods is your spot. It’s retro-scene is achieved with wooden booths, pool tables, datrt boards, and classic rock-filled jukebox that you can control with your smartphone.
But don’t let the chill vibes fool you, it takes its sports seriously and will be streaming all the Madness on one of its many flat screens. Plus, their menu goes a well beyond the typical bar food, so prepare to park it here all day.
4. Standings (43 East 7th Street)
Whoever said good things come in small packages must have been talking about Standings. In fact, maybe it was the owner, that would make sense.
Nonetheless, for sports fans, this spot is an absolute must. Aside from slinging dozens of craft brews in giant Oktoberfest-like steins, the cozy bar is plastered with pennants from the regulars’ alma maters, jerseys, and chalkboards listing the sports standings (we can neither confirm nor deny this is where the name comes from.)
They also have free pizza on Fridays. In other words, this is basically the ultimate man-cave.