Thursday, January 3, 2013
Best bars to watch the Cotton Bowl
This border battle may be better than some BCS bowls.
ARLINGTON Maroon and crimson: They're almost the same color, right? Wrong.
Texas A&M, the maroon, battles Oklahoma, the crimson, in a Cotton Bowl game that surely will rival the BCS bowls. Both teams' close proximity to Arlington, plus the participation of Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, make it one for headlines. The game is at 7 p.m. Friday, January 4 at Cowboys Stadium. Texas A&M is favored to win by about 3 points by VegasInsider, but it's sure to be a fight. The BCS ranks A&M at No. 9 and OU at No. 11.
Tickets range from $120 to $15,990 for a suite. If you can't make it to the game, we've scoped out some gameday bars that'll entertain fans of both persuasions. Click on the blue links below to find addresses and maps to each bar.
For Texas A&M fans
The official A&M bar in Arlington is J. Gilligan's. A&M alumni and fans of all ages are invited to a pre-game party with an $8 roundrip shuttle to Cowboys Stadium for the game. Parking is free at J. Gilligan's. Specials include $3 for a 16-ounce maroon beer, according to the Aggie Network.
Knox Street Pub in Uptown is the official Dallas Aggie bar. You'll find it slammed right before game time, so get there early for $6 pitchers and $4 wells. During the game, they serve $5 burgers, hot dogs, and nachos. After each Aggie score, the bar serves $2 "injector" shots.
The bar in the 'burbs for Aggies is Tailgaters Sports Bar and Grill in Frisco, where the Frisco A&M Club hosts a party.
For Oklahoma fans
Near Cowboys Stadium, the big party for OU fans in Arlington is at Humperdink's. Oklahoma City radio station The Sports Animal will air a live broadcast all day and after the game. Parking at Humperdink's is free, with a $10 shuttle to and from the game that starts at 2 p.m.
The official OU bar in Dallas is Three Sheets. The OU Club of Dallas says "all Sooner fans are welcome." (Non-Sooner fans need not apply.) The crimson'n'cream section should be easy to spot.
The bar in the 'burbs for Sooners is Pluckers Wing Bar in Allen. The OU Club of Collin County hosts all its game-watching parties there.
For fans who just want to drink and watch pigskin, regardless of who wins
Frankie’s in Uptown Dallas, Lewisville, and Fort Worth: We’ve all been to Frankie’s to watch a sporting event at one time or another, and that’s why it's so great: It never lets you down. If you are looking to be in a big crowd with sloshing beers and rowdy camaraderie, you’ve found your place.
Stan’s Blue Note on Greenville Avenue in Dallas: On a non-game day, the bar at Stan’s Blue Note plays host to a weird mix of strangers who sip beer out of mason jars and know their bartender by name. The shuffleboard table skews to the right, and the bathrooms aren’t always clean. On game day, all that is still true, but the bar is stocked with tons of rowdy football fans, many in large groups. Try to reserve the upstairs if you're entertaining a crowd.
Bryan Street Tavern in Dallas: This unassuming Dallas hole-in-the-wall isn’t first and foremost a sports bar, but it’s a great scene if you want a laid-back watering hole. They’ve got an impressive list of Texas beers on tap and a slew of tables tucked into cozy nooks. In the room to the left of the front door, several sectional couches face a giant television that seems perfect for settling in for a night of fizz and football.
The Owner's Box in Downtown Dallas: Downtown Dallas isn’t known to be a hotspot on the weekends or after dark; it’s busiest during the workweek and especially during lunch. But the Owner's Box, located in the bottom of the Omni Hotel, is a great place for out-of-towners. The wall of big screens show every game you can imagine, and unlike many Dallas bars, you can easily go to The Owner's Box alone and not feel like you’re the outcast at a frat party.
Christies in Uptown Dallas: A come-as-you-are kind of place, Christies doesn't even care that there's an apostrophe missing from its name. Pretty twentysomething young professionals drinking low-cal vodka/soda perch at the bar next to older, rowdy men who slog beer and throw their hands up in protest during bad calls. The pool tables are still good yelling distance from the many big TVs.
Buffalo Wild Wings on Lemmon Avenue in Dallas (with several area locations): Some might think it’s blasphemy to pick a huge sports bar chain as one of the best sports bars in Dallas. Buffalo Wild Wings is not locally owned, and most are the same, regardless of city or state. But they serve some of the coldest beer in town. And your game will be on -- probably on at least three screens within eyeshot. Menu items are greasy good, especially if you’re hungover. And that punching bag game will still be there next time you get a wild streak.