Are You Ready For Some Sports Bars?

Champs | Photo: hoffarth

Get your replica jersey out of mothballs, grab your "sittin' couch" out of storage, and stuff a handful of napkins down your shirt to catch the droll. It's football season once again, everyone!

But unless you have the disposable income to turn your garage into a fully-functional DirecTV-compatible man-cave, odds are you're going to have to head out to a sports bar in order to catch your favorite team on Sundays. (And Mondays. And Thursdays. And whatever other day the NFL decides to expand into as they attempt to take over our lives.) Luckily, in Los Angeles there's plenty of great places to watch the game from the perch of a bar stool. As a bit of a sports bar connoisseur myself, here are my favorites:

Big Wangs, Downtown
While the double entendre in the name is creepy to the point where I'm never completely comfortable offering it up as a suggestion, if someone else recommends heading there, I'm in. There are TVs that are easily-viewed (no ducking around someone to see a corner of the game) and pub confections that will make your colon hate you the next day, which is a good thing in the realm of sports bars.

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Barney's Beanery, West Hollywood
While the company's expanded through the area over the past few years, the original Barney's Beanery in West Hollywood is still the Beanery to go to. In its current location on Route 66 (or, as its known to us millennials, "Santa Monica Boulevard") since 1927, the TVs may not be perfectly eye level, and it's probably best to call ahead to make sure they're showing the game you want, but it's chock-full of enough strange Americana on the walls that you won't get bored during the timeouts.

Dillon's, Hollywood
Dillon's shouldn't work. It's full of those highly-attractive waitresses in skimpy-ish clothing, not unlike a Hooters establishment, which is a gross idea that I never "got." And as you'd imagine, the aforementioned skimpily-clothed waitresses certainly bring in the, oh, let's say "douchier" crowds, turning the whole place into a straight-up Hollywood-esque club come nightfall. But during football Sundays, it has open space to watch games, comfortable seating, every game within eyesight, great beer and good specials. So it's a win! (Oh, also, don't be suckered into the $5 "deal" on a 22-ounce beer when you can get a 16-ounce pint for three bucks. The math just doesn't work out!)

Champs, Burbank
Pool tables. Wood chairs. A bunch of HD flat-screen TVs on the walls. Framed photos of ballparks in between. Neon signs. Oakland Raiders memorabilia blanketed by advertisements for classic pre-gastropub brews (Coors Light, Bud, Bud Light, Miller, PBR), all available on tap if you want to remember your youth. Burgers, sandwiches, wings, onion rings, chicken tenders. Video poker at the end of the bar. This is a real sports bar, everyone.

Tin Horns Flats, Burbank
While there's plenty "non-local local" bars spread out along the Los Angeles area -- which makes sense, seeing as L.A. is home to mostly people who didn't grow up here -- Tin Horn Flats is the one that gets the nod on this list because it is a Chicago sports bar, and I am a Chicago sports fan. So, if come here on a Sunday morning and expect to see anything but a Bears game, you're out of luck. But if you have an Urlacher jersey in your closet and a record of "The Super Bowl Shuffle" in your vinyl collection, this is the place for you.

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