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Best sports bar in central NJ


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#1 gardenstatepkwy

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 10:55 AM

This probably has been discussed a bit before but I'm looking for a good sports bar with lots of TVs an a good craft tap list.  Nothing north of New Brunswick and nothing south of Trenton. Help a guy out!

 

I've been to a few spot in Princeton and wasnt impressed. Winberies, Triumph and Tigers Tale in Montgomery. Theres gotta be something better.


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#2 DevsMan84

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 03:45 PM

That's the thing, princeton has good bars but none of them I would consider a good sports bar. All of them cater to a more upscale crowd and the only sport bar they had closed last year after being there less than 5 years. That place was a block away from triumph and was called princeton sports bar or pub and shows that sports bars have a tough time making it in that town.

As for tigers tail, I've been there once and thought it was very overrated and more of a family and local watering hole than a sports bar.

Best sports bar in the general area that is also a bit of a hidden gem is Freddy's at pierce in somerset. It's large, has a ton of tv screens, decent tap list, good food and most of the bartenders are actual devils fans. It's clean, kept up well and doesn't ever get all that crowded as it is kinda in the middle of nowhere despite it is near exit 10 of 287 but it's mostly surrounded by offices and retirement communities. Basically the place is like miami mikes if miami mike actually gave a sh!t about his restaurant instead if just always trying to be "miami mike"
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#3 devilsfan26

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 07:11 PM

That's the thing, princeton has good bars but none of them I would consider a good sports bar. All of them cater to a more upscale crowd and the only sport bar they had closed last year after being there less than 5 years. That place was a block away from triumph and was called princeton sports bar or pub and shows that sports bars have a tough time making it in that town.

As for tigers tail, I've been there once and thought it was very overrated and more of a family and local watering hole than a sports bar.

Best sports bar in the general area that is also a bit of a hidden gem is Freddy's at pierce in somerset. It's large, has a ton of tv screens, decent tap list, good food and most of the bartenders are actual devils fans. It's clean, kept up well and doesn't ever get all that crowded as it is kinda in the middle of nowhere despite it is near exit 10 of 287 but it's mostly surrounded by offices and retirement communities. Basically the place is like miami mikes if miami mike actually gave a sh!t about his restaurant instead if just always trying to be "miami mike"

I work at the hockey rink down the street from Freddy's and I'm really not a fan of that place.  I haven't been there in a while so I don't know if it's different now, but I remember them only having a few craft taps and the staff being clueless about them.  One time I was there, one of their craft taps was listed as "Ithaca beer" so I asked which beer from Ithaca it is, and the bartender's response was, "I don't know, it's some dark beer."  I ordered it anyway even though I still had no idea what beer it was because none of their other offerings interested me, and it was not dark at all, it was a cloudy yellow.  I think it was their apricot wheat.  I enjoyed the beer but I don't know anyone that would consider it a "dark beer" and it was pretty annoying having to do some online searching when I got home just to figure out what beer I had.

 

We got them to sponsor an adult hockey tournament we ran and their involvement was extremely frustrating.  When we agreed with the owner of the bar, they said they would give 10% for any tournament participants that weekend, and the winners would get an "alcohol-themed prize pack."  When some of the players went to the bar and asked for their 10% discount, the people working said they didn't know anything about the tournament, so my boss called their owner to let him know the tournament was going on that weekend, and he said, "Oh yeah, tell them 10% off food, nothing off drinks."  As for the "prize pack" that they promised the winners, each winning player just left with one DAB pint glass that the bar most likely got from them for free.

 

At least they have a dartboard though, that's a plus for me.  I was hoping World of Beer would have one because my buddies and I like to play darts but they don't seem to have much wall space being that they are on a corner and have big windows. on two walls, the bar on the other wall, and a stage on the fourth wall.

 

EDIT:  Speaking of World of Beer, I know the OP said New Brunswick is his northern limit, but that seems like it could be a good sports bar.  Their beer list is probably about as good as it gets around here (50 taps, 500 bottles) except for Maloney's and they had a ton of TVs all over the place.


Edited by devilsfan26, 10 November 2013 - 07:13 PM.

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"Swim against the tide, don't follow the group, stay away from the majority, seek out the fresh and new, stay away from the poseurs, and don't be a barnacle. Be original, be different, be passionate, be selfless and be free. Be a hockey fan."
--John Buccigross

#4 DevsMan84

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 11:33 PM

Freddy's had about 6-10 craft beers when I was there last about two weeks ago. From what I remember they had about three different victory beers on tap and also had wolover (sp) pumpkin and shipyard pumpkin as well as a couple of same Adams and about 3-4 others that I can't remember. The bartenders there I would not consider beer experts but they were knowledgeable about them to give me a general idea how they were and they were pretty spot on about them. Since this place does so much more right than wrong IMO with above average sports bar food, good service and cleanliness (there are a couple of popular sports bars in nj that have a cleanliness issue that I can think of off the top of my head) I can overlook there alright beer selection.

As for sponsorship I really don't have an opinion of that. I guess that's between protech and Freddy's.

As for world of beer. If they are in the spot I think they are going in, space is going to be an issue as it was pretty small. Also looking at the menu I was less than impressed by their food selection and while beer will bring me to bars, food is what keeps me staying and coming back. I'm probably going to check them later this coming week and if I do I'll write a full report here after lol.
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#5 devilsfan26

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 01:12 AM

Well that's good, seems like they've gotten better since the last time I was there.  I'll have to give them another shot sometime.

 

The sponsorship thing really pissed us off because we did everything we could to deliver a good tournament but everyone had the same complaints and they were all about Freddy's.  Of course I don't expect most people to really care about that, but that's a big reason I haven't been a fan of them.

 

World of Beer is on the corner of George St. and Bayard on the side of George closer to the river and across Bayard from the Verizon building.  I think Soho used to be there.  It's bigger than probably most of the bars in the College Ave area, but it's definitely smaller than Maloney's, Tilted Kilt, Fox and Hound, so I guess it is kinda small.  Someone on their facebook page said the place was packed the other day so you may have a point there.  I usually don't care about the food at bars because it's usually expensive so I'd rather just eat at home or get something cheaper outside the bar, but as Port 44 showed, good beer sometimes isn't enough to keep you in business.


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"Swim against the tide, don't follow the group, stay away from the majority, seek out the fresh and new, stay away from the poseurs, and don't be a barnacle. Be original, be different, be passionate, be selfless and be free. Be a hockey fan."
--John Buccigross

#6 DevsMan84

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 11:45 AM

Well that's good, seems like they've gotten better since the last time I was there.  I'll have to give them another shot sometime.

 

The sponsorship thing really pissed us off because we did everything we could to deliver a good tournament but everyone had the same complaints and they were all about Freddy's.  Of course I don't expect most people to really care about that, but that's a big reason I haven't been a fan of them.

 

World of Beer is on the corner of George St. and Bayard on the side of George closer to the river and across Bayard from the Verizon building.  I think Soho used to be there.  It's bigger than probably most of the bars in the College Ave area, but it's definitely smaller than Maloney's, Tilted Kilt, Fox and Hound, so I guess it is kinda small.  Someone on their facebook page said the place was packed the other day so you may have a point there.  I usually don't care about the food at bars because it's usually expensive so I'd rather just eat at home or get something cheaper outside the bar, but as Port 44 showed, good beer sometimes isn't enough to keep you in business.

 

Ah ok if it is where Soho used to be then it is a decent sized space.  I was thinking a different space across the street and over a block that is pretty small.

 

 

This is a pretty good thread in that does anyone have any favorite bars in NJ?  I live in Somerset County so I would love to hear where people go to either watch the game, have a good beer or food or both.


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#7 gardenstatepkwy

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 12:27 PM

The food selection at WoB was very small and fairly basic. I was interested in trying the wings and they had a bratwurst slider which my group also planned to order had it not been for the terrible service.  It did seem like a small space. I expected something a little larger.  Not much personality either but this may change as the bar ages.  I wrote about this in the Beer thread but they really need to get an up to date taplist daily and train their wait staff.  I've been to other beer bars like the Pour House in Westmont and even though they kick kegs pretty quickly they always manage to get the taplist updated, printed and circulated to the staff and patrons.  Very impressive.

 

Agree on Tiger's Tale.  More of a local hangout. Like the free popcorn idea.  I could see myself stopping in now and then for a burger and a couple beers but it's not a hang out from 1-6pm Sunday and watch football kind of bar.

 

Before I went to World of Beer I stopped by The Stage House Tavern in Somerset to check it out.  It was absolutely jam packed.  Good size bar and a TVs were plenty but not enough high-top tables in the bar area. There was no where to sit so we left for N.B.  They had a nice looking Sunday buffet out which we probably would have gotten had we stayed. $17.95 price.  Cool building too. I'm going to go back to this place when it's less crowded and actually eat. Saw one guy with a bottle of Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin at the bar.  Taps seemed liek the standard MillerCoorsBud stuff though.


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#8 DevsMan84

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 11:33 AM

The food selection at WoB was very small and fairly basic. I was interested in trying the wings and they had a bratwurst slider which my group also planned to order had it not been for the terrible service.  It did seem like a small space. I expected something a little larger.  Not much personality either but this may change as the bar ages.  I wrote about this in the Beer thread but they really need to get an up to date taplist daily and train their wait staff.  I've been to other beer bars like the Pour House in Westmont and even though they kick kegs pretty quickly they always manage to get the taplist updated, printed and circulated to the staff and patrons.  Very impressive.

 

Agree on Tiger's Tale.  More of a local hangout. Like the free popcorn idea.  I could see myself stopping in now and then for a burger and a couple beers but it's not a hang out from 1-6pm Sunday and watch football kind of bar.

 

Before I went to World of Beer I stopped by The Stage House Tavern in Somerset to check it out.  It was absolutely jam packed.  Good size bar and a TVs were plenty but not enough high-top tables in the bar area. There was no where to sit so we left for N.B.  They had a nice looking Sunday buffet out which we probably would have gotten had we stayed. $17.95 price.  Cool building too. I'm going to go back to this place when it's less crowded and actually eat. Saw one guy with a bottle of Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin at the bar.  Taps seemed liek the standard MillerCoorsBud stuff though.

 

I went to Stage House a few years ago and wasn't impressed.  However I have heard they either got new management or something because now I hear pretty good reviews of that place.  I might have to check it out soon.


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#9 MDPucks

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 08:46 PM

Kelly's Tavern in Neptune City.


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