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We track down the top spots to watch football during the pandemic
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We track down the top spots to watch football during the pandemic

Ahh football season…

Packing ourselves in shoulder to shoulder at the local bar to drink, eat, cheer, shout and curse at the TV every week is a beloved American tradition. But with bars and restaurants only allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity, the jam-packed Sunday afternoons are going to have to be modified a bit for the time being. Spots equipped with the winning combo of TVs and outdoor space are the obvious frontrunners here, but indoor options are available, too, if you can be early enough and lucky enough to secure yourself a seat. Here are some of our picks for great places to check out the games this week.

Bourre: Though the TVs are all located inside, the air flows freely thanks to the garage door-style windows behind the bar at this Cajun-themed hotspot on Atlantic City’s Orange Loop. And for all NFL games they will offer specials to entice you to head on over — we’re talking $2 drafts and cans of Miller Lite and Yuengling as well as $5 house wines, $8 martinis, $10 loaded fries and 75-cent wings. Bourre is located at 201 S. New York Ave., Atlantic City. Go to BourreAtlanticCity.com

Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall: One of the absolute go-to spots for your outdoor dining and drinking needs, Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall sports 40 taps worth of tasty brews alongside around a hundred bottles and a plethora of TVs — both outdoors and in — to watch the game on. Chef Charles Soreth consistently cooks up football-friendly pub grub with multiple varieties of burgers, hot dogs and wings, all of which have a permanent spot on the menu. For NFL games, the Beer Hall offers $2 Miller Lites, half-price wings and $5 bottles or cans of any beer or seltzer. Insider tip: While the season is still young and the weather is still warm, we suggest grabbing a picnic table outside in their spacious yard and cheering on your favorite team with a parade of beers, including many Oktoberfest and pumpkin varieties for the season. Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall is located at 133 S. Tennessee Ave., Atlantic City. Go to TennesseeAvenueBeerHall.com.

Maynard’s Café: An absolute legend of a local bar, Maynard’s has been the cornerstone of Margate’s bar scene for longer than anyone can remember. With ample space both outdoors and in, they provide the perfect place to blow off some steam and watch the games. And on Sundays, their NFL specials include chili, sliders, hot dogs, nachos, mac and cheese bites and loaded tots for $5 each. Spiked root beer floats and creamsicles can be had for $10 and $12, respectively. Maynard’s is located at 9306 Amhearst Ave. , Margate. Go to Maynards-Café.com.

Ducktown Tavern: This A.C. pub is a favorite of both locals and visitors and has remained a much-loved spot to watch football for as long as they have been open. And now, thanks to The Duck Hut, their brand spankin’ new outdoor tavern and patio, fans can cheer on their favorite gridiron greats in a comfortable, socially distanced environment. Of course, if it gets too cold, the bar inside is loaded with TVs and taps alongside tasty entrees and apps such as their famous buffalo wings, which come in 10 different varieties such as sriracha zest, garlic parmesan and hot honey, just to name a few. Ducktown Tavern is located at 2400 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City. Go to DucktownTavern.com.

Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grille: Galloway’s best sports bar is easily Tailgaters, with its homey vibe, awesome lineup of craft beers and plethora of framed jerseys and sports memorabilia, which deck the walls. Add to that the fact that their owner Ari Frangias even has the good sense to root for the New York Giants, despite being in Eagle country, and you have a winning combination. This year they will have a TV or two outside, as well, along with a full menu of your favorites, including an out-of-this-world buffalo chicken dip. But if you can only order one thing, make it a cheeseburger, order it medium rare and add lettuce, tomato, raw onion, ketchup, mayo and a few strips of their awesome brown sugar bacon. Yes, it’s a very specific order. No, you shouldn’t change any of the ingredients. And yes, you will thank me later. Tailgaters Sports Bar and Grille is located at 337 W. White Horse Pike in Galloway. Go to TailgatersNJ.com.

Chickie’s & Pete’s: Does it get any bigger in the sports bar world than Chickie’s & Pete’s? This famous bar and grill has always been the go-to spot to cheer on your favorite Philly sports teams, and its Egg Harbor Township location continues that tradition to this day with its massive wall of TVs and menu of fan favorites, such as the ever-popular CrabFries. Outdoor seating is also available, with four TVs set up so you can catch all the action. And in case you get thirsty, Bud and Bud Light drafts can be had for $2.75. Chickie’s & Pete’s is located at 6055 E. Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township. Go to ChickiesAndPetes.com.

Vagabond Kitchen & Tap House: Vagabond has always been one of the best spots to catch a game, but this year with the addition of their new Egg Harbor Township location, as well as the “Mile Stretch Beer Garden” — a massive outdoor space packed with tables and TVs which opened recently at their Atlantic City location, Vagabond is making it hard to come up with reasons to stay home for the game. Add to that their long list of craft beers, an incredible menu of apps, burgers and sandwiches, plus their standard happy hour specials — which will be available during all NFL games — and you have yourself the next best thing to being at the stadium. Vagabond Kitchen & Taphouse is located at 672 N. Trenton Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to VagabondAC.com. EHT Vagabond is located at 3016 Ocean Heights Ave. in Egg Harbor Township. Go to VagabondKitchenAndTap.com

Borgata Beer Garden: One of the few casinos to have opened an outdoor space long before COVID made it the hip thing to do, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Beer Garden offers up a seriously fun and spacious gameday experience, complete with multiple 10-foot wide LED screens plus a live DJ and specials on wings — $7 for a half pound, $13 for a full pound and $22 for two pounds — as well as Bavarian pretzels with whole-grain mustard and cheese sauce for $9. Borgata is located at 1 Borgata Way in Atlantic City. Go to TheBorgata.com for more.

The sportsbooks

If betting on sports is your thing, it doesn’t get much better than hitting up a sportsbook when football season is in full swing. Of course getting in before they hit capacity is going to be the real challenge, and there are rules about where you can and can’t sit, but you knew that going in. While all of Atlantic City’s casinos have a sportsbook, here’s where we would go if we had pick of the litter.

The Book at Bally’s: Bally’s Atlantic City has been on a mission to provide the ultimate party experience for guests, with its massive Boardwalk Saloon featuring fun and games such as beer pong and more. Add to that The Book at Bally’s, which sports a massive, 98 x 18-foot, hi-res TV wall with surround-sound audio, comfy recliners as well as fan caves and you have yourself one of the best spots around to win a few bucks as you cheer on your favorite team. Bally’s Wild Wild West is located at 1900 Pacific Ave. in Atlantic City. Go to Caesars.com for more info.

BetMGM Sportsbook & Bar: If you are looking to place a few wagers while you watch the game, BetMGM Sportsbok & Bar is the perfect spot. An 8,000 square-foot monster of a bar, one can casually cheer, scream, rant and rave while watching the game on their impossible-to-miss, 40-foot-wide LED video wall. Winner of “Best Sports Book” in Philly Magazine’s 2019 Best of Philly issue, this spot is worth popping into for a while on a Sunday afternoon — if you can get in. Sunday game specials include $75 burger boards, wings are $24 for $40, 50 for $80 and 100 for $150. Buckets of six beers are $36 for domestic and $42 for imports, while pitchers of domestic beer are $24. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is located at 1 Borgata Way in Atlantic City. Go to TheBorgata.com.

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