Charlotte has dozens of social venues for sports watching, but so many of them are more about the social scene — bar sports, billiards, meeting that next Tinder date — than the game. Which spots are the best for cheering along and yelling at the jumbo screens with fellow football devotees? If you want a great viewing experience with an atmosphere to match, try a place that focuses more on the game and less on social distractions.
Here are 11 spots to watch the game if you actually want to see the flags on the field, the tight-window passes, the fingertip catches and the blown calls.
130 Matthews Station St., Matthews
Why: Pats fan unite: If you want authentic Boston accents, you’ll definitely find them here in this Boston-themed sports bar. “Other places may have all the money and glitz, but Beantown has family” owner Donnie Gaskin said.
Specials: $1.50 Bud Lights and $5 well drinks; a 70” television giveaway at the end of the third quarter and other raffle gifts. Free Beantown T-shirts and hats will be handed out during this all-day affair.
5301 Hwy 557, Clover
Why: For those near Lake Wylie, you may enjoy the 120” projector screen at The Cove. This drinking hole caters to locals but also welcomes newcomers. They have a full menu available. “Full surround sound will be playing throughout the restaurant,” owner Andrew English said. “Super Bowl here is going down — big time.”
Specials: Along with merch giveaways, drink specials will be offered: $3 mimosas and $5 bloody marys.
3701 N Davidson St., Suite #203
Why: For those looking for a backyard vibe, head to Divine Barrel. Look for owner Ben Dolphens around 4 p.m. — he’ll be the one grilling burgers and hot dogs. There will be a squares contest and winners will get to take home swag. A dozen or so beers on tap will be flowing, including their gose and sour brews, and the volume will be on during game time.
314 N. College St.
Why: Here you’ll find 60 beers on tap, big-screen televisions and a humongous projector to keep you visually immersed in the big game. Located in the heart of Uptown, there is an abundance of space for gathering. Parking at the Hearst Tower Parking Garage is validated with your purchase at the bar. Your parking hookup means ”the most stressful part of a night Uptown is taken care of,” employee Jonathan Stanley said. The ideal time to arrive is an hour before game time, he said.
Specials: There is a $20 craft beer and buffet special along with other food specials.
400 S. Graham St.
Why: With 12 TVs, a heated rooftop patio and a covered heated lower patio next to Bank of America Stadium, the football vibes flow from the bar onto the streets of this newer Uptown venue. This pub has sweeping skyline views and is walkable from anywhere in Center City. Food choices include wings, nachos, burgers, hot dogs, tacos and quesadillas. There will be a pre-game party at 2 p.m. with a DJ for those wanting a head start. If you’re truly devoted to the day, brunch is from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Specials: $15 buckets of domestic, $18 beer towers, $10 Deep Eddy’s flavored buckets, $5 Patriots/Rams shots and a $20 appetizer platter. There will be a Super Bowl Squares game with prizes every quarter, including 2019 Panthers Season Opener tickets, Hornets tickets and gift cards.
329 Main St., Pineville
Why: With 20 taps to choose from in this cozy little spot, Pintville has been Pineville’s home for craft beer since 2015. “Get ready to have a fun and relaxing Super Bowl party,” employee Jessie Hearn said.“And of course, the free popcorn will be popping.”
Specials: $4 New England IPA’s and $4 West Coast pints all day.
2101 Central Ave.
Why: This Plaza Midwood brewery, recently named No. 10 in the world, will have a 133” projector screen with the game and sound on. There is a BIG Game Bottle Share & BYOD (Bring Your Own Dip) Contest. The Hot Tamale food truck will provide eats. And there is space inside and out to gather small groups of friends for the event.
507 E. 36th St.
Why: Located in the heart of NoDa is the perfect football viewing setup for this neighborhood dive, with its eight wide-screen TVs that span the entire length of the bar. Often used as the hideaway pub for musicians and comedians traveling through and impromptu neighborhood gatherings, this bar packs in the locals on Sundays during football season with rabid fans and local beer specials. “Regular season or Super Bowl, Sanctuary is NoDa’s home for football,” bartender Larry Kohler said.
Specials: Birdsong pints are $3, including Higher Ground IPA, Jalepeño, and Lazy Bird Brown. Tall or call liquor drinks are $4. For the thriftsters, there are $2 PBRs and High Lifes.
1513 Pierson Dr.
Why: Long-flying under the radar as one of the best sports bars in Charlotte, Steamers features an impressive 116 televisions and a large selection of affordable beers. Manager David Heaps assured us they will be cranking the volume for the game at the bar, located just east of Plaza Midwood and Chantilly.
2000 S.C. 160, Fort Mill
Why: With its sports memorabilia tattooed all over the walls, Towne Tavern offers a visual representation of its dedication to football. Some tables even have their own televisions. The 36 screens with theater sound engulfing you may help you really feel the great moments from the game. They recommend getting there by 5 p.m. for a seat in the house.
Specials: Deals on Labatts 16-ounce cans, bloody marys and prosecco mimosas; 60 cent wings all day.
920 Hamilton St.
Often the warm-up bar for music fans, this beer garden is nestled in the heart of the AvidXchange Music Factory. “That atmosphere lends itself to camaraderie and community, which is perfect for football watching,” owner Kara Taddeo said. There are at least 20 beers on tap and a frost rail for those wanting theirs chilled. Ten-foot projection screens will be showing the game inside.
Specials: 12 oz. PBR for $1.50, PBR pitchers for $7, well drinks for $5, mimosas for $4 and bloody marys for $5.
Pro tip: Some of the other restaurants and breweries are closed or closing early on Sunday, so check before you go.
What’s your favorite spot in the area to watch football? Let us know in the comments.