When people think of March, they instantly think of basketball. The annual NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship provides fans with some of the most exciting basketball games of the year.
From late comebacks and buzzer beaters to early upsets and Cinderella stories, there is no telling what will happen once the ball is tipped. That is why they call it March Madness! After the teams are all selected, print off a March Madness bracket and start taking your best guesses at who will win it all. Do you see all No. 1 seeds heading to the Final Four or is your favorite team going to end up winning it all this year?
Whoever you pick, experience March Madness this year at any one of these eight great local spots in The Bend.
Brothers Bar and Grill
Pull up a stool at the bar and enjoy a cold brew while you watch your underdog pick upset a No. 1 seed at Brothers Bar and Grill. Right across from the University of Notre Dame on Eddy Street, Brothers Bar and Grill is a great place to watch a game with wall-to-wall televisions. If the games on the televisions are blowouts, play a game of pool or team up with your buddy for some shuffleboard. Take advantage of the nightly drink specials they offer such as $3 Double Wells on Friday, $3 Coors and Miller Light Bottles, and Happy Hour All Day Sunday. Whether you just want an order of Brothers Breaded Pickles or you feel like taking on the Nice Spice Burger, you are guaranteed to have some great eats at Brothers. This is a local favorite for residents and students.
O’Rourke’s Public House
Stay on Eddy Street and head over to O’Rourke’s Public House. This Irish pub is perfect for every Notre Dame fan to watch their team compete in the tournament. With full-service bars and televisions on either side of the pub, you won’t have to wait in line for a drink. Take a seat at the bar, sit at one of the many tables, or enjoy the outdoor seating area. Have a tall, cold brew and order the Golden Dome burger. This burger is not for the faint of heart. Served on a grilled pretzel bun, this 12 oz patty is topped with rashers, cheddar, Swiss cheese and a fried egg. With events like trivia night and karaoke happening every week, the atmosphere in O’Rourke’s is one you will want to be a part of throughout March Madness.
Make your way over to Mishawaka for Scotty’s Brewhouse. Have an IPA, an Angry Apple Mule, or a Spicy Cucumber Margarita while you and your friends watch a game that is coming down to the wire. This establishment serves up delicious food and drinks with a smile. You may even get a chuckle out of some of the names of the items on the menu. Have you ever tried a hot dog that is topped with mac ‘n cheese? How about a burger that has four… that is right FOUR beef patties? If not, then you and Scotty’s need to meet. I think it will be a pleasant first encounter.
Coach’s Sports Bar and Grille
There is no shortage of televisions to watch the big game at this Notre Dame-themed bar. During the game, order some delicious pub fare from wings, fried pickles, and pretzels, to their 11 Championship Sandwiches commemorating each of Notre Dame Football’s 11 consensus national championships. The 1949 Burger at Coach’s Bar and Grille might be the most intimidating and tastiest burger you will ever had—three patties topped with bacon, cheese sauce, cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickle fries, and a tater tot cake. A good nap is encouraged after consuming this burger.
Finnies Next Door
While you are in downtown South Bend, stop in for a drink at Finnies Next Door. Sometimes referred to as “New Finnies” by students, this two-story bar is quickly becoming a South Bend staple. The most iconic piece of the bar is the bar itself. Located in the center of the establishment, the bar is a big octagon. A smaller octagon is at the center of it with all of the brews on tap and liquor that is offered. Perched above the bar are four televisions and a replica of the Golden Dome. This bar makes you truly feel like you are in Notre Dame country and is a place for people of all walks of life to enjoy.
LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern
With 30 craft beers and over 120 American, Irish and Canadian whiskeys and scotches, chances are that LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern has your favorite. You may have a tough time ordering something from the menu though because everything looks so good. Try the Drunken Steak Skewers or taste the ale marinated wings. The Tavern Steak Sandwich has all the flavor your taste buds can handle and you will wish you asked for a second when you order the LKT Burger because it is that delicious. If you’re bracket is busted, that does not mean your evening has to be! Enjoy live music or maybe even play a board game with some friends while you wait for your meal.
Corby’s Irish Pub
Corby’s Irish Pub is in the DNA of South Bend Mishawaka. 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 and a dance floor. Be sure to take your picture with the famous “Corby’s” sign behind the bar. Then make your way to what is referred to as the pizza room where you can order up a bite to eat and play a game of pool or beer pong. There is a quieter room that offers patrons with a place to talk and count up how many games they guessed right on their bracket. Make your way to the outdoor area for intense game or two of corn hole. This is a hotspot for students on the weekends.
The View Tavern
Home of the 2014 Burger Wars Champion “Becky Burger,” The View Tavern epitomizes what a laid back, friendly neighborhood pub experience should be. With a full service bar offering a wide selection of brews, including draft, imported, and craft beers, rest assured you will be able to wet your whistle here. Drink specials are offered daily as are their delicious burgers. If you become a regular at The View Tavern, your server will know what you want before even you do.