By Andy Campbell
Football season is upon us — so that means it’s time for the important things in life: beer, meat, and watching your favorite team on a big-screen TV surrounded by lots of screaming, chest-bumping men.
But you’re probably like us: tiny TV, no cable, no backyard (which means no BBQ pork shoulder), and, well, no friends either. Getting all of these game-day amenities takes some real deep digging into Brooklyn’s best sports bars.
“The season’s always a good time,” said Maria Bova, a bartender at the Old Carriage Inn in Park Slope. “It’s pretty funny because you have the locals — who are coming for the Giants or Jets — but then you’ve got a great mix of transplants coming in, and there’s six games going on at a time.”
It’s easy to find any old watering hole with a TV. And beer specials and cheap eats are pretty common, too. But the key is to find the right mix of high-quality screens — believe us, you need high-def when Braylon Edwards makes that 40-yard, one-handed catch for the Jets in the end zone — crowd and food.
That’s why we have scoured the borough to bring you the top seven bars to catch a game:
Old Carriage Inn
It’s the epitome of the old-school sports bar. You’ve got at least six TVs — one is projected onto a wall — plenty of beers to choose from, inflatable Giants memorabilia, and some darn tasty munchies. It’s dark and spacious, and the customers get to choose what games are on at any given time. There’s even a $4.50 “mystery shot” special and $3 bottles during play.
Old Carriage Inn [312 Seventh Ave. at Eighth Street in Park Slope, (718) 788-7747].
Ask anyone in the neighborhood where he goes to see some pain inflicted on the Patriots, and he’ll say Teddy’s. It’s a gorgeous, dimly lit bar with stained-glass windows, several TVs and an all-American menu. Try the burger ($7) with your selection of craft beer, and get ready to share your hoots and hollers with the rest of the hipster sports crowd. Also look for drink specials while either the Jets or the Giants are winning their games.
Teddy’s Bar & Grill [96 Berry St. at N. Eighth Street in Williamsburg, (718) 384-9787].
This is easily one of the borough’s most-dedicated sports bars. It’s got more than 70 customizable TVs, great food and drink specials on game nights, and a huge crowd that’s guaranteed to make you a few new friends (unless you’re pulling for the Cowboys, but, really, come on). If you’re looking for the epicenter of sports overstimulation — or you’re making an odd request, like, “I’d like to watch the Dallas Cowboys, please” — then this is the place for you.
200 Fifth [200 Fifth Ave. near Berkeley Place in Park Slope, (718) 638-2925].
Water Street Restaurant
Forget the dance floor and the underwater lounge and the outdoor seating — today you’re here for pigskin and burgers. Water Street has that and a swath of great beers on tap, plus, it lays claim to being the best (and possibly the only) place to watch your games in DUMBO. If you’re really in a football mood, balance that pint in one fist with a Cajun blackened sirloin burger ($13) in the other.
Water Street Restaurant [66 Water St. between Old Dock and Main streets in DUMBO, (718) 625-9352]. For info, visit www.waterstreetrestaurant.com.
Sure, it’s Irish, but these guys know how to throw the Great American party — with a Guinness, a steak, and a third down conversion. There’s plenty of room to crowd around the big TVs, and there’s always enough noise inside to make you feel as though you’re really the 12th man.
O’Keefe’s Bar & Grill [64 Court St. at Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 855-8751].
This place goes all out for the NFL. If you weren’t a Giants fan before, you will be when you check out the Sunday home games here — you’ll get a free half-time buffet and $9 Bud Light pitchers. There’s lots of bar space, TVs and bar games galore, and the place is packed during game time. Hoo-ah.
Pour House [7901 Third Ave. near 79th Street in Bay Ridge, (718) 491-6658].
3rd & 7
This relatively new spot has the true real tri-fecta: excellent views of the flat screens, quick service at the bar, and a mean buffalo chicken wrap. You’re definitely going to be bumping elbows with some real sports fans at this spot — while there’s certainly a family-friendly aspect to the restaurant space, the bar is absolutely devoted to the enjoyment of sports. Put this one at stop six of your football pilgrimage.
3rd & 7 [3622 Quentin Rd. between E. 36th and E. 37th streets in Marine Park, (718) 336-6300].