Sam Leonardi of Clinton Township watches a play-off game during a party at Total Sports in Harrison Township. (Jose Juarez / Special to The Detroit News)
The neighborhood sports bar is often a substitute for one’s living room. It’s a place to gather with friends and watch the game without having to clean up, make dips and move the furniture around.
In anticipation of Super Bowl XLVII Sunday evening, here’s a round-up of popular (and some unheralded) sports bars, listed by county. Belly up at your favorite and watch the Seattle Seahawks battle the Denver Broncos. Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers are the halftime entertainment.
Kick-off is 6:25 p.m. and follows the opera star Renée Fleming’s performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Wayne County Marge's Bar & Grill
Modest and friendly, this Mack Avenue bar is usually a hockey hangout and neighborhood gathering spot. Marge’s celebrates every Red Wings’ goal with a red light and an air horn. The menu even pays homage to the team, with the special Hat Trick burger, a half-pound patty with bacon and all the fixings. Burgers are priced right, too, $4-$6.50.
“Marge’s has everything good about a sports bar — enough TVs, the sound is on during the game, burgers and bar food — and nothing bad about a sports bar,” says patron Scott Held, who lives within walking distance. “(There are) no obnoxious idiots, no waitresses in referee shirts trying to push awful girl drinks or shots on you. People are there to watch the game, period.”
The bar, open since the 1960s, is adorned with hockey memorabilia, including hockey sticks and tons of vintage photographs.
15300 Mack, Grosse Pointe Park. (313) 881-8895. Open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Fri. and noon-2 a.m. Sat.-Sun.
Bailey’s Sports Grille: Plentiful seating and a big beer selection. 22091 Michigan, Dearborn. (313) 277-3212
Big City Bar and Grill: Huge menu and beer selection, plus valet parking and banquet room. 1020 Washington, Detroit. (313) 963-8808
Bookies Bar & Grille: This three-story bar recently celebrated 10 years in Detroit. 2208 Cass, Detroit. (313) 962-0319
Buffalo Wild Wings: Wings, burgers, appetizers and a good selection of draft beer. Most locations have long tables that are good for large groups.
1218 Randolph, Detroit. (313) 961-9453
22216 Michigan, Dearborn. (313) 359-1800
13655 Eureka, Southgate. (734) 281-2999
6677 N. Wayne, Westland. (734) 641-4000
37651 Six Mile, Livonia. (734) 469-4400
41980 Ford, Canton Township. (734) 844-9464
20900 West, Woodhaven. (734) 676-9464
Chick’s Bar: Modest watering hole with affordable beer prices and some food, including a fish fry every Friday. 18550 W. Warren, Detroit. (313) 441-6055.
Coaches Corner: Classic Detroit sports bar with burgers, pizza and more. 1465 Centre, Detroit. (313) 963-4000
Cobo Joe’s: Spacious and modest, this downtown bar offers a burger topped with ham and Velveeta, plus a ton of other sports-friendly menu items. 422 W. Congress, Detroit. (313) 965-0840.
Firebird Tavern: A newer bar and restaurant in a historic, renovated building. 419 Monroe, Detroit. (313) 782-4189
Hockeytown Café:Named No. 2 sports bar in America by ESPN2, this hockey-themed bar and restaurant is good for groups, has more than 50 varieties of beer and offers a gluten-free menu. 2301 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 471-3400
Old Shillelagh: Has a long history as a sports-watching hangout. 349 Monroe, Detroit. (313) 964-0007
Mallie’s Sports Bar & Grill: Home of one of the world’s largest burgers. They have regular-sized sandwiches, too. 19400 Northline, Southgate. (734) 287-0800
Motor City Sports Bar: No-fuss joint with a simple, yet remarkable bar burger. 9122 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck. (313) 875-4710
Nemo’s Bar: Traditional sports bar in Corktown. 1384 Michigan, Detroit. (313) 965-3180
Shotz Sports Bar & Grill in Greektown Casino: Full menu, daily specials and sports on every television. 555 E. Lafayette, Detroit. (888) 771-4386
Sports Brew Pub: Full menu, including pizza, Mexican food and craft beer. 166 Maple, Wyandotte. (734) 285-5060
TAP at MGM Grand Detroit: Hearty bar food, a wide selection of beer (including craft beers) and more than 40 HD flat-screen TVs. 1777 Third, Detroit. (313) 465-1234
Oakland County Library Sports Pub & Grill
This two-location chain of restaurants is family-owned and offers a casual sports bar atmosphere, but with a focus on a hearty menu and a television in every direction.
The Novi locale opened in 1995 when that area was starting to expand.
“It did not take long for us to catch on,” says owner Bob Barnett. He runs the Novi spot while his partner Phil Zakaria takes care of their West Bloomfield Township restaurant, which opened in 2007.
“It has been challenging to compete with the chains, but when the smoking law took effect, I think that helped put us on a more level playing field,” adds Barnett, who admits that Super Bowl Sunday can be hit or miss because a lot of people choose to stay home. He thinks his pubs offer a good reason to venture outside, though.
“With the quality of HD televisions and not having to worry about cooking or cleaning up, it is about as close as you can come to being there when you are in a lively environment when there is a big game.”
42100 Grand River, Novi. (248) 349-9110; 6363 Haggerty, West Bloomfield Township. (248) 896-0333. Novi location is open 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Mon.-Wed., 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thurs.-Sat. and noon-midnight Sun. West Bloomfield Township location open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Sat. and noon-2 a.m. Sun.
24 Seconds: Huge menu and many beers on tap. 3071 W. 12 Mile, Berkley. (248) 336-0024
Buffalo Wild Wings: Wings, burgers, appetizers and a good selection of draft beer.
280 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale. (248) 744-4470
1873 E. Big Beaver, Troy. (248) 743-1299
1234 Walton, Rochester Hills. (248) 651-3999
44375 12 Mile, Novi. (248) 344-4019
5223 Highland, Waterford Township. (248) 674-9464
CK Diggs: Good variety of Michigan beers and full menu, plus several TVs, including a 9-foot big screen. 2010 Auburn, Rochester Hills. (248) 853-6600
Danny’s Irish Pub: Rock-and-roll Irish pub with bar food. 22824 Woodward, Ferndale. (248) 546-8331
Hamlin Corner: A newish sports bar with a nightclub twist, the Hamlin Corner has extensive drink and food menus and VIP seating. 386 N. Main, Royal Oak. (248) 556-5428.
Rochester Mills Beer Co.: Specials on stadium-inspired food, $2 pints of house brew and a “beer for a year” raffle. 400 Water, Rochester. (248) 650-5080.
Rosie O’Grady’s: Lots of televisions, plus a menu of burgers, pizza, hot dogs and Irish food. 279 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale. (248) 591-9163
Star Lanes at Emagine Royal Oak: Watch the games while you bowl at this full bar and restaurant. 200 N. Main, Royal Oak. (888) 319-FILM
Tilted Kilt Novi: A chain of Celtic-themed sports bars, the Novi location in the Fountain Walk offers signature pub food like nachos with Guinness cheese sauce as well as beer cocktails that go beyond the black and tan. 44175 W. 12 Mile, Suite F139, Novi. (248) 374-4990.
Tony’s Sports Bar: Blue-collar venue with nice staff and loads of fried foods. 23500 Woodward, Ferndale. (248) 545-2920
Macomb County Total Sports
This Harrison Township complex is not just for spectators, but also for folks who like to get active. In addition to the Upper Deck Sports Bar, Total Sports has facilities for softball, racquetball, wallyball, handball and half-court basketball. The 50,000- square-foot complex also has a gym and bowling alley.
Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for the Upper Deck, where Total Sports hosts a big bash with tons of food and giveaways.
“They have a huge crowd every year ... it’s insane” says patron Christine Kotila of Mount Clemens. “You get pizza during the first quarter and a full food buffet at halftime.”
The party start at 5 p.m., and there is a $10 cover to pay for the food.
40501 Production, Harrison Township. (586) 463-2000. Upper Deck open 5 p.m.-2 a.m. daily.
Boat Works Bar & Grill: Full menu of bar food, including giant nachos. 29917 Harper, St. Clair Shores. (586) 777-5730
Buffalo Wild Wings: Wings, burgers, appetizers and a good selection of draft beer.
23117 Harper, St. Clair Shores. (586) 777-9464
29287 Mound, Warren. (586) 573-9164
15745 15 Mile, Clinton Township. (586) 293-9500
44671 Mound, Sterling Heights. (586) 997-2999
48 Market, Mount Clemens. (586) 469-0725
51346 Gratiot, Chesterfield Township. (586) 349-9464
8669 26 Mile, Washington. (586) 677-9932
Ditty’s in the City: Lots of televisions, food and drink specials during games. 36434 Groesbeck, Clinton Township. (586) 329-1422
Dooleys: Good draft selection and specials, plus HD televisions and stadium surround sound.
12414 Hall, Sterling Heights. (586) 323-3501
32500 Gratiot, Roseville. (586) 296-2739
235 N. Groesbeck, Mount Clemens. (586) 954-1800
Kelly’s Sports Bar & Grill: Billiards, video games, darts and other diversions, plus a full menu that includes burgers, pizza, wings, sandwiches and more. 26615 Ryan, Warren. (586) 757-1250
Madison’s Pub: 8-foot screen, full menu. 15 N. Walnut, Mount Clemens. (586) 468-7777
Rosie O’Grady’s: Tons of televisions, plus a menu of burgers, pizza, hot dogs and Irish food.
30400 23 Mile, Chesterfield. (586) 421-1962
36759 Mound, Sterling Heights. (586) 264-9500
Victory Inn: Affordable and casual, a no-frills neighborhood bar. 28950 Mound, Warren. (586) 751-4140.
Ashley’s: Stellar beer selection, full menu and televisions on both levels. 338 S. State, Ann Arbor. (734) 996-9191
Banfield’s Bar and Grill: An alternative to the campus bar scene, this neighborhood bar, which recently celebrated 30 years, has a low-key atmosphere. 3140 Packard, Ann Arbor. (734) 971-3300
Good Time Charley’s: Campus hot spot has daily drink specials, a huge menu of mixed drinks and traditional bar food. 1140 S. University, Ann Arbor. (734) 668-8411
Scorekeepers:Low beer prices, full menu including burgers, salads and wraps and four 100-inch HD big screens. 310 Maynard, Ann Arbor. (734) 995-0100.
The Wurst Bar: Spacious gastropub with an interesting menu of brats and appetizers and more than 25 whiskeys. 705 W. Cross, Ypsilanti. (734) 485-6720