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Best Place to watch a Football Game - Berkeley/Oakland...elsewhere

Hey so where do you guys think is the best place to watch a football game (Cal v. USC) this Saturday? The criteria are:

1) decent/large TVs to watch
2) decent food (nothing special but not bad or overpriced)
3) a jolly crowd would be nice

The previous list, from another thread reviewed some places: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/341693

A summary goes something like this:

Pyramid Ale House - they don't play sound
Luka's - small TVs
Pacific Coast Brewery - average TV setup, hard to watch
Triple Rock - seems hard to watch there
Kip's - if I were 20 y.o. and didn't mind grease and stickiness

Barclay's - never been, not sure of the TVs
Ricky's in San Leandro - never been, heard mixed reviews
Flat Iron in San Rafael - old guy bar?

Thanks - ML

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  1. my friends and i have been looking for a place like in the berkeley/oakland area for years and we still haven't found it.

    willie mays sky box lounge opened a few months back in emeryville, but i have not had a chance to check it out yet.


    ricky's in san leandro is always good for watching sports, some greasy food though.

    1. Raleigh's on Telegraph isn't bad, but it will be very crowded this Saturday.

      1. In downtown Berkeley, Looney's BBQ on Bancroft and Fulton is a great choice. They've got a great sports-bar feel with lots of TVs, and being new and all, it wasn't crowded at all right before last Saturday's game. There are a few threads already on this board about the food at Looney's.

        Other places around there are kind of iffy for game watching.
        Bear's Lair, Henry's, Raleigh's (mentioned), Kip's (mentioned) - all probably crowded on Saturday.
        Beckett's, Jupiter's - probably less crowded and have menus, but do they have TVs? Not sure...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Agent 510

          Beckett's has TVs, a few really big ones, actually, I forgot about them. Jupiter does not.

        2. Duh duh duh! I was going to say "Not the Oakland Coliseum" Hardeehar

          Lots of folks watch games at a bar on Grand (The Golden Bear?) It's on the Lake side of Grand next door to a Chinese Restaurant and a block or two toward the Grand Lake Theater from Perkins St.

          1. Thanks for the recommendations. Willie's Skybox and Looney's sound like real possibilities. I'll have to scout these places or have someone else do so.

            Any other recs still welcome.

            1. Barclay's has three large tv's and will undoubtedly have a huge crowd. If beer is important, go there.

              1. Okay sports fans - Looney's it is. A new 10' projector TV pretty much sealed the deal...and beer on tap and decent reports on the food.

                Thanks for the recommendations. I have to say this is what makes CH great -- instant recon.

                1. I've been to Willie's Sky Box and was not impressed. Unless they have seriously improved both the selection of the menu and its execution, not to mention the service. The munchies selection was practically non existent. That said, the screens and sound were good, and they have a decent selection of beers.

                  Also there's a place on Alameda where I'm blanking the name. A block or so east of Park St, on Central I think. Large tv's, ok beer selection, actual food. Don't know about the tv volume on or off. And if you're looking to avoid game day traffic, well, it isn't in Berkeley, but is close to a freeway.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Louise

                    The place in Alameda is Scobie's. The food isn't that good, typical food service stuff, but works well enough to soak up the booze.

                    Avoiding traffic won't be hard at all since the jam will be over 300 miles south.

                  2. The Kingfish Pub @ Claremont and Telegraph.

                    Two blocks below DMV toward Telegraph.

                    Est. 1932

                    They used to serve food,but I think they stopped.

                    (You can alway bring in food from the uprising local gourmet ghetto in the Temescal district a block away)

                    They do have a Jolly crowd of all ages.

                    Some of the cheapest beer prices too!

                    Go before it gets torn down for future condos.

                    1. I know you've decided on Looney's for its 10 foot monster TV but I'll post this anyway for reference..

                      Brennan's on 4th St. and University (under the overpass, next to the Berkeley Amtrak station) has several TVs (at least one giant one), and it serves hearty and filling hofbrau type food cafeteria-style (corned beef, turkey legs, mashed potatoes&gravy, stuffing, etc) and beer on tap (as well as some hard stuff.. try the Irish coffee). The crowd is very eclectic but I don't know whether or not they'll be 'fun'. I doubt it'll be terribly crowded on game day since the eating area is so huge.. you might want to call and check whether they'll be airing the game.

                      There's ample parking as well since they have their own parking lot.

                      720 University Avenue
                      Berkeley, CA 94702
                      (510) 841-0960

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sophia C.

                        Hahaha...thanks for the rec. I use to go to Brennan's back in the day for the liquid refreshment. I stumbled into it again about a year ago in the day time and almost didn't recognize it. My immediate reaction was the food was the same, a bargain and good since I saw quite a few seniors in there. I just might check it out.

                      2. Since you mentioned elswhere I've got one for you in San Carlos. Just head across the San Mateo bridge. Sneakers on San Carlos Ave, www.sneakerspubandgrill.com is perfect. It's a big place with a great pub menu, huge portions and lots of beer. TVs are everywhere and the booths each have their own 13" flat screen. Great garlic fries. I used to live in Chicago and this is the closest I've come to a good neighborhood sports bar like we had back there.

                        1. So any updates on the apparently yearly question?

                          Went to Looney's last year...not good.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: ML8000

                            T. Rex has some nice TVs upstairs, and lots of TVs in the bar area, and I've had good food there.

                            1. re: ML8000

                              You should look into Bobby G's Pizza. They have good food, good draft beer, nice big TVs (no 10' screens though). They're very close to campus, so you're likely to find a good pro-Cal crowd. Only thing is that they usually have the sound off on the TVs. However, I saw a sign saying that they're trying to attract a crowd for Cal games so they may turn the sound on for football.

                              1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                JG and MTM - thanks...I'll have to check T Rex and Bobby's out. I've heard a lot about T Rex and pizza seems a natural.

                                1. re: ML8000

                                  Yeah, I saw signs at T-Rex this summer advertising that they have Sunday Ticket, so hopefully they'll be a fun time for football. And I was there for one of the Warriors playoff games this spring, and it was a very involved crowd, so I think they get a good sports audience.