Buzzer beaters, upsets, Cinderella stories, busted brackets — there’s nothing quite like March Madness.
Do you stash away a couple vacation days to catch the first round of games? We don’t blame you. Watching your favorite team or an underdog pulling off an upset with other fans is an experience like few others.
Trying to find a spot with wall-to-wall televisions, good grub and cold drinks for a day (or days) of watching games? The Bend has several options.
Brothers Bar and Grill
Right across the street from the University of Notre Dame in Eddy Street Commons, Brothers Bar and Grill is a favorite of locals and students. Televisions ring the bar, which has an extensive draft beer list. There are daily drink specials plus a menu that includes juicy burgers, wraps and an extensive list of appetizers. If the games turn into blowouts, play some pool or team up with your buddy for some shuffleboard.
Make sure to come to CJ’s hungry, although there’s no requirement that you must order the 20-ounce burger. We’re just saying it’s an option. CJ’s is one of the best places in downtown South Bend to catch a game and specializes in those burgers. Locals and visitors voted it one of the best burger spots in The Bend. It specializes in a laid-back atmosphere with several televisions.
Coach’s Sports Bar and Grill
Here you’ll find a screen that takes up an entire wall. Seriously. Think they’re serious about the sports watching experience? That screen is actually several televisions that can be merged into one massive screen or divided up to show several different games. You’ll find a menu that leans heavy on barbecue and several craft beer options at this Notre Dame-themed bar near campus.
Corby’s Irish Pub
Corby’s Irish Pub part of The Bend’s DNA. Featured in the 1993 film “Rudy,” there are four different pieces that make up Corby’s. Upon entry, there is a full service bar area with multiple televisions. Pizza is a staple here as they churn out pies late into the night. Staying out after all the games are wrapped up? Corby’s has pool tables, dart boards. If it’s warm outside, cornhole is a staple on the patio.
Situated inside Four Winds Casino South Bend, Kankakee Grille has all the requirements for a great night of watching hoops — large bar top with multiple TVs, long craft beer list, an intriguing menu and regular specials. And if you’re done watching games, you can head out to the gaming floor for a different kind of action.
O’Rourke’s Public House
O’Rourke’s Public House is another top stop in Eddy Street Commons. This Irish pub is a great spot to watch Notre Dame if they’re in the tournament field. There is a full-service bar on either side of the pub, along with several televisions. When hunger hits order the Golden Dome burger. Just know it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s a prime rib burger served with rashers, cheddar, Swiss cheese and a fried egg on a grilled pretzel bun.
Ever tried a hot dog topped with mac ‘n cheese? How about a burger with four — yes, FOUR — patties? Head to Scotty’s Brewhouse in Mishawaka for a menu with unique features. Just make sure the impending food coma (that’s totally a good thing) doesn’t set in as games come down the stretch.
The View Tavern
Although not a sports bar in the purest sense, this local favorite is home to The Bend’s best burger. Locals and visitors voted the “Becky Burger” as champion of burgers in The Bend. There’s a full-service bar with extensive craft beer list, plus daily specials.