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Where to Drink in Boston While Watching March Madness

Beers will be swilled; brackets will be busted

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It’s that time of year again when everyone in America becomes a college basketball expert for a few weeks. Brackets will be filled out with best intentions, but brackets will inevitably be busted. Phil from accounting will win the work pool (Phil always wins the work pool, but no one really minds because everyone knows it’s all Phil has going for him); cold, raw March will yield to April flowers; and there will be millions fewer college basketball experts in America.

March Madness is exciting because it asks otherwise objective observers to get behind a team for which they hold no allegiance, and to become a super fan of that team in an instant. This blind support is made even more intoxicating when shared with a bunch of strangers at a bar.

Hitch your wagon to Wichita State (always a dark horse championship threat), and head to these Boston bars to help a bunch of strangers urge the Shockers to victory.

Note: Map points are listed geographically from north to south, not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Parlor Sports

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These folks like sports — it’s right there in the name, y’all. Lots of televisions, lots of craft beer. And after the game, head next door to Trina’s Starlite Lounge for a cocktail.

Crowded interior of a narrow, casual bar with sports bar vibes. A sign on a wall reads Inman Boxing.
Sports!
Parlor Sports/Facebook

Grafton Street Pub & Grill

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Grafton Street is projecting March Madness games on its pull-down screens. Grab a beer and some fried chicken, and pray that this is the year a No. 16 seed finally beats a No. 1 seed.

Grafton Street patio
Grafton Street is projecting the March Madness games
James Ringrose/Grafton Street

Blackmoor Bar & Kitchen

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Go to Charlestown for the college hoops, and stay for the Bunker Hill Monument. The Blackmoor has a massive tap tower, so there’s no way a drinker won’t find what he’s looking for.

blackmoor charlestown
Watch some hoops at the Blackmoor in Charlestown
Blackmoor Bar & Kitchen/Facebook

Sullivan's Tap

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Sullivan’s Tap is better known as a place to drink before professional basketball games, but they’ll be screening the Madness too. Bonus: cheap beers and pool tables.

Sullivan’s Tap
Sully’s is a popular stop before Celtics games
Sullivan’s Tap/Facebook

The Fours

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While you’re at it over by TD Garden, head to the Fours. It’s another of the area’s great sports bars. It’s more of a Bruins joint (it’s named for Bobby Orr’s number, after all), but they’ll be showing the college hoops.

The Fours
Another TD Garden area sports bar
The Fours/Facebook

Tavern in the Square

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Avoid this place on Thursdays (at all costs). Otherwise, it’s not a bad place to have a 20-ounce Budweiser and watch some sports. We get it: It’s a chain, and it has an unfortunate nickname. It also has many screens for the many college hoops games you want to watch.

tavern in the square allston
Avoid Tavern in the Square on Thursdays
Tavern in the Square/Facebook

McGreevy's

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McGreevy’s tagline, “America’s first sports bar,” is a bit misleading; it’s a decade-old replica of 3rd Base Saloon, which was located elsewhere in Boston and may have been America’s first sports bar. But first or not, McGreevy’s definitely is a sports bar. Drink some cheap domestic beers and cheer like hell when Duke loses in the first round.

McGreevy’s is a good spot for all you Back Bay Madness chasers
McGreevy’s/Facebook

Cask 'n Flagon

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In less than a month, there will be ample reason to head to the Cask ‘n Flagon. But until balls start flying over the Monster at Fenway, college basketball on televisions will have to do. The Flagon is a Fenway classic, and they’ve got enough televisions to watch as that Cinderella No. 13 seed charges through to the Elite Eight.

Exterior of a bar with green and beige accents and a large red sign reading Cask ‘n Flagon. A large banner for Fenway Park is stretched across the adjacent street.
One of two Fenway-area bars on this list
Cask ‘n Flagon [official photo]

Champions

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Champions kind of looks like what someone in 1950 probably thought 2018 would look like. The weirdly futuristic interior aside, there are about a billion televisions inside. Grab some beers and some calamari, and tell everyone how much you know about half-court defense.

Champions Boston
The odd future of Champions
Champions/Facebook

Game On

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There aren’t many places in the city where patrons can play ping pong. Game On is one of those places. Once bored of the Madness, challenge a friend to some pong. Loser buys the next round of Bud Lights.

game on fenway
Sticking with the Fenway vibes
Game On/Facebook

Coolidge Corner Clubhouse

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I love this bar; I want everyone to love this bar. The bar top is decorated with old baseball cards — a killer touch for patrons predisposed to a certain kind of nostalgia — and there is Pac-Man. Eat some ghosts; drink some beers; pray for an early tournament exit for Duke.

coolidge corner clubhouse
Ah, the Clubhouse
Coolidge Corner Clubhouse/Facebook

Stats Bar & Grille

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Southie loves its basketball, kehd! Come March Madness time, Stats should be bumping with people talking about stats — while getting drunk off light, domestic lagers.

Stats Bar & Grille
This bar is named for stats, kehd!
Stats Bar & Grille/Facebook

Sonny Walker's

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Sonny Walker’s has live music, a pool table, and sports playing on its many televisions. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to catch some funk music while also watching as Duke bows out early.

Sonny Walker’s
Play pool, listen to music, watch sports
Sonny Walker’s/Facebook

Parlor Sports

Crowded interior of a narrow, casual bar with sports bar vibes. A sign on a wall reads Inman Boxing.
Sports!
Parlor Sports/Facebook

These folks like sports — it’s right there in the name, y’all. Lots of televisions, lots of craft beer. And after the game, head next door to Trina’s Starlite Lounge for a cocktail.

Crowded interior of a narrow, casual bar with sports bar vibes. A sign on a wall reads Inman Boxing.
Sports!
Parlor Sports/Facebook

Grafton Street Pub & Grill

Grafton Street patio
Grafton Street is projecting the March Madness games
James Ringrose/Grafton Street

Grafton Street is projecting March Madness games on its pull-down screens. Grab a beer and some fried chicken, and pray that this is the year a No. 16 seed finally beats a No. 1 seed.

Grafton Street patio
Grafton Street is projecting the March Madness games
James Ringrose/Grafton Street

Blackmoor Bar & Kitchen

blackmoor charlestown
Watch some hoops at the Blackmoor in Charlestown
Blackmoor Bar & Kitchen/Facebook

Go to Charlestown for the college hoops, and stay for the Bunker Hill Monument. The Blackmoor has a massive tap tower, so there’s no way a drinker won’t find what he’s looking for.

blackmoor charlestown
Watch some hoops at the Blackmoor in Charlestown
Blackmoor Bar & Kitchen/Facebook

Sullivan's Tap

Sullivan’s Tap
Sully’s is a popular stop before Celtics games
Sullivan’s Tap/Facebook

Sullivan’s Tap is better known as a place to drink before professional basketball games, but they’ll be screening the Madness too. Bonus: cheap beers and pool tables.

Sullivan’s Tap
Sully’s is a popular stop before Celtics games
Sullivan’s Tap/Facebook

The Fours

The Fours
Another TD Garden area sports bar
The Fours/Facebook

While you’re at it over by TD Garden, head to the Fours. It’s another of the area’s great sports bars. It’s more of a Bruins joint (it’s named for Bobby Orr’s number, after all), but they’ll be showing the college hoops.

The Fours
Another TD Garden area sports bar
The Fours/Facebook

Tavern in the Square

tavern in the square allston
Avoid Tavern in the Square on Thursdays
Tavern in the Square/Facebook

Avoid this place on Thursdays (at all costs). Otherwise, it’s not a bad place to have a 20-ounce Budweiser and watch some sports. We get it: It’s a chain, and it has an unfortunate nickname. It also has many screens for the many college hoops games you want to watch.

tavern in the square allston
Avoid Tavern in the Square on Thursdays
Tavern in the Square/Facebook

McGreevy's

McGreevy’s is a good spot for all you Back Bay Madness chasers
McGreevy’s/Facebook

McGreevy’s tagline, “America’s first sports bar,” is a bit misleading; it’s a decade-old replica of 3rd Base Saloon, which was located elsewhere in Boston and may have been America’s first sports bar. But first or not, McGreevy’s definitely is a sports bar. Drink some cheap domestic beers and cheer like hell when Duke loses in the first round.

McGreevy’s is a good spot for all you Back Bay Madness chasers
McGreevy’s/Facebook

Cask 'n Flagon

Exterior of a bar with green and beige accents and a large red sign reading Cask ‘n Flagon. A large banner for Fenway Park is stretched across the adjacent street.
One of two Fenway-area bars on this list
Cask ‘n Flagon [official photo]

In less than a month, there will be ample reason to head to the Cask ‘n Flagon. But until balls start flying over the Monster at Fenway, college basketball on televisions will have to do. The Flagon is a Fenway classic, and they’ve got enough televisions to watch as that Cinderella No. 13 seed charges through to the Elite Eight.

Exterior of a bar with green and beige accents and a large red sign reading Cask ‘n Flagon. A large banner for Fenway Park is stretched across the adjacent street.
One of two Fenway-area bars on this list
Cask ‘n Flagon [official photo]

Champions

Champions Boston
The odd future of Champions
Champions/Facebook

Champions kind of looks like what someone in 1950 probably thought 2018 would look like. The weirdly futuristic interior aside, there are about a billion televisions inside. Grab some beers and some calamari, and tell everyone how much you know about half-court defense.

Champions Boston
The odd future of Champions
Champions/Facebook

Game On

game on fenway
Sticking with the Fenway vibes
Game On/Facebook

There aren’t many places in the city where patrons can play ping pong. Game On is one of those places. Once bored of the Madness, challenge a friend to some pong. Loser buys the next round of Bud Lights.

game on fenway
Sticking with the Fenway vibes
Game On/Facebook

Coolidge Corner Clubhouse

coolidge corner clubhouse
Ah, the Clubhouse
Coolidge Corner Clubhouse/Facebook

I love this bar; I want everyone to love this bar. The bar top is decorated with old baseball cards — a killer touch for patrons predisposed to a certain kind of nostalgia — and there is Pac-Man. Eat some ghosts; drink some beers; pray for an early tournament exit for Duke.

coolidge corner clubhouse
Ah, the Clubhouse
Coolidge Corner Clubhouse/Facebook

Stats Bar & Grille

Stats Bar & Grille
This bar is named for stats, kehd!
Stats Bar & Grille/Facebook

Southie loves its basketball, kehd! Come March Madness time, Stats should be bumping with people talking about stats — while getting drunk off light, domestic lagers.

Stats Bar & Grille
This bar is named for stats, kehd!
Stats Bar & Grille/Facebook

Sonny Walker's