It’s happening. Loyola’s men’s basketball team is in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA March Madness tournament for the first time in 33 years after defeating the University of Tennessee Volunteers March 17. Students have been taking over the Damen Student Center, Bar 63 (6341 N. Broadway St.) and Bulldog’s Ale House (6606 N. Sheridan Rd.) to watch the games for the last week, cultivating a vibrant community of Loyola students, faculty and alumni that’s something to be cherished.
However, because so many people are flocking to these locations, they can get a little crammed. For those 21 and over looking off-campus for a more intimate, but still exciting, place to watch the Ramblers take on the University of Nevada’s Wolf Pack March 22, here are four places worth visiting.
Mullen’s Sports Bar and Grill (7301 N. Western Ave.)
Local, friendly and fun, Mullen’s Sports Bar and Grill in West Rogers Park has a great history in the neighborhood and a dynamic atmosphere for any game night. The cozy, family-friendly bar is broadcasting March Madness games almost exclusively for the tournament’s full run, and there’s sure to be plenty of support for Loyola’s men’s basketball team when it faces Nevada. With cheap drink specials, a hearty Irish menu and staff who love to chat and laugh, Mullen’s is the perfect place to settle down and cheer on the Ramblers with a plate of potatoes, corned beef and a pint of Guinness. Mullen’s will be open 11-12 a.m. March 22. To make reservations, call 773-465-2113.
Brownstone Tavern (3937 N. Lincoln Ave.)
As the bar hosting “Chicago’s OFFICIAL Loyola Game Watch Party” March 22, according to its Facebook page, Brownstone Tavern is sure to be lively for the Loyola-Nevada game. As another all-ages bar and grill, Ramblers fans can either hunker down at a table with a $6 plate of jumbo wings and a pop, or watch from the bar while sipping a $4 Revolution beer. About 45 minutes away from the Lakeshore campus via Red and Brown Line trains, Brownstone is an accessible, charming place to hang out and cheer on the Ramblers in Atlanta. Brownstone will be open 11-2 a.m. March 22. To make reservations or get a full list of Brownstone’s Thursday night specials, visit brownstonetavern.com or call 773-528-3700.
The Fifty/50 (2047 W. Division Ave.)
With the city’s best bar food on its menu, according to Chicago’s Best, Wicker Park’s Fifty/50 is a quirky and friendly local bar that’s bound to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for March Madness viewers. Not only was the classy Fifty/50 voted America’s best sports bar by Nightclub & Bar Magazine in 2016, but it’s also serving exclusive drink specials during every March Madness game. Ramblers fans over 21 can watch their favorite team on the bar’s 20 flat screen TVs while they enjoy $6 Vegas bombs, $5 Fireball shots or discounted beer buckets. Fifty/50 will be open 11-12 a.m. March 22. To make reservations, visit thefifty50.com or call 773-489-5050.
Joe’s Bar on Weed St. (940 W. Weed St.)
Joe’s Bar is a Lincoln Park classic, and it’s got enough huge TVs on its walls to give every Ramblers fan there a great view of the Loyola-Nevada game. While they don’t have any drink or food specials during March Madness, it’s still an iconic bar that’s bound to be full of basketball fans March 22. In addition to showing the game, Joe’s is also hosting a special Drake tribute event, Drakefest 2018, at 10 p.m. The show is for patrons 21 and over and should provide a positive end to the day no matter the game’s outcome. Joe’s will be open 11-12 a.m. March 22. For tickets to Drakefest 2018, visit TicketWeb.com. For $5 off tickets, message Joe’s on Facebook. To make reservations, visit joesbar.com or call 312-337-3486.
Hyatt Regency Atlanta — Hanover Hall (265 Peachtree St., Atlanta, Georgia)
For Ramblers fans in Atlanta without tickets to the Loyola-Nevada game, there’s still a way to cheer the team on to victory. Loyola’s men’s basketball team will be staying at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, and at 5:30 p.m. March 22, Loyola fans, students an alumni will give them a hearty send-off as they leave for the game at the Phillips Arena. There will be “light appetizers and a cash bar” in the hotel’s Hanover Hall Theater during the game, according to Loyola’s list of viewing parties.