SI Vault
The 25 Best In America
Chris Ballard
February 07, 2005
So many bars, so little time before last call. And yet, undaunted, SI's (Pabst) blue-ribbon panel set about the task of determining the best sports bars in America. First, we convened a nationwide nominating committee of some 100 staffers, correspondents and certifiably reliable bar aficionados to begin the process. � Some suggested places were eliminated early because they failed to meet our definition of sports bar: a place that first and foremost caters to sports fans. Other joints made the first cut by virtue of how often, and how passionately, they were nominated. Then the panel went to work. Where any doubt existed, a panelist was dispatched to check the place out and render a decision. � Given the nature of the subject, this list surely won't go unchallenged, and if a worthy watering hole has somehow been overlooked it is a certainty that you, the sporting barflies of America, will let us know. And if your case is convincing? Well, maybe we'll have another round.
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February 07, 2005

The 25 Best In America

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CAESARS AND its Strip-side ilk may be more famous, but the hidden gem of Vegas sports books isn't even in Vegas. Nestled amid a plush resort 20 minutes to the south, the Green Valley book feels like the largest, nicest living room a sports fan could ever hope to be in. It features big comfy swivel chairs, roaming waitresses, good food and a core group of regulars who have become like family over the years. Even better, as opposed to many books on the Strip, you can actually get a seat. For those who like to gamble, there is no finer place in the country to watch March Madness.

[TV] 24 [FB][B][H][BB] �[DB] 4 [BT] 12


Chappell's Restaurant and Museum Kansas City, Mo.

WHEN A university holds a class in your bar, you must be doing something right. Northwest Missouri State conducts a sports memorabilia class at Chappell's, home to the largest personal collection of sports artifacts in any bar in the country. "You can go to any bar and watch a game," says owner Jim Chappell, whose bar has more than 10,000 items, including an autographed pair of Muhammad Ali's gloves and the Oakland A's 1974 World Series trophy. "Here you can get a glimpse of sports history." But you can't watch the Super Bowl: Because of its business-district location, Chappell's closes on Sundays.

[TV] 4 �[DB] 4 [BT] 20


Majerle's Phoenix

"I OPENED the bar basically to have a place for the guys to come after games," says former Suns shooting guard Dan Majerle of his sports bar, which is located a block from America West Arena. "I never dreamed it would take off like it did." Twelve years later the bar has become an essential stop for visitors in town for games, conventions or even the symphony, also located nearby. Majerle, who does color commentary on Suns games, still drops by the bar four or five times a week. "I've bartended, but usually I don't go there to work," he says. "I'm just there to hang out and enjoy myself."

[TV] 20 [FB][B][H][BB] �[DB] 8 [BT] 12

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