Best Bars To Watch Thursday Night Football in Tampa

October 9, 2014 8:00 AM

One of the biggest nights during football season comes every Thursday. Arguably the most popular sport in the U.S., there are many bars and pubs around the Tampa Bay area to watch the games in a fun, vibrant atmosphere. Highlights range from delicious bites and a wide range of beverages to state-of-the-art TV screens and an expansive choice of sports channels. Here is a list of some of the most popular spots for Thursday night football. Don’t miss your favorite teams this fall!
Mike’s Tap & Tavern
169 1st Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 592-4949
www.mikestapandtavern.com

Mike’s Tap & Tavern proves itself deserving of a large clientele. Boasting 20 60-inch plasma screens, over 40 beers on draft (including some local brands and microbrews) and a selection of delicious snacks, it’s well worth heading downtown to watch a game. The pizza, burgers, boneless chicken wings and shrimp rank among the most popular menu items. Mike’s rounds out its offerings with modern and clean decor, plenty of room and games like skeeball and pool tables.

Hattrick’s Tavern
107 S. Franklin St.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 225-4288
www.sportsbartampa.com

With over a century of history and sportsbartampa.com as a website, Hattrick’s symbolizes a landmark for the Tampa Bay region. Located in the heart of downtown Tampa, in a huge brick building with three levels, there’s plenty of room for even the biggest of groups. Don’t miss the happy hour, every day from 4 to 8 p.m., and 10 p.m. until closing time, with reduced prices for buckets of beer, drafts, chicken wings and two-for-one wells. Buccaneers games are always given priority, as well as those of other local teams, such as the Rays and Lightning.

Press Box Sports Emporium
222 S. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33609
(813) 876-3528
www.pressboxsports.com

A local institution, Press Box Sports Emporium offers a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere and great deals on food and drinks. Almost like a time capsule buried for a few decades, a visit here means a trip back to a sports bar typical of the 1980s or 90s. Filled with big-screen and high-definition TVs, it’s hard to miss a game while here. Don’t miss the $8 pitchers of domestic beers and buckets of six bottles for $16. As far as food is concerned, the wings and chicken melt get rave reviews. Finally, if you think you’ve had one too many libations, Press Box makes a breathalyzer available by the exit to check your blood-alcohol level.

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Bilmar Station
8501 W. Hillsborough Ave.
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 496-8898
www.bilmarstation.com

Bilmar calls itself a “dive bar” without any reservation, and a visit here will show you why. Games like darts, Pac-Man, a karaoke station Wednesday nights and a pinball machine will keep you and your friends amused all night. Nightly specials, such as liters for $4 on Tuesdays and $2 burgers and pints on Thursdays, will keep you coming back for more. In addition to being a great place to watch a game, the Bilmar is also ideal for “people watching” as it can attract a unique cast of characters. However, if you’re bothered by cigarette smoke, it’s probably best to skip it, or at least to come at a non-peak time.

Prime Time Sports Grill
14404 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 908-0780
www.primetimesportsgrill.com

Few bars, let alone sports bars, get as many rave reviews as Prime Time Sports Grill in the northern Tampa neighborhood of Carrollwood. Family owned and operated, there’s a real sense of community and warmth among the clientele. Expect an astonishing 60 high-definition televisions, 11 of which are big screen, and several speakers to ensure you can hear the games. Great deals like a pitcher of beer and 20 wings for $20 make it easy on your budget. With delicious snacks, such as wings, burgers, wraps, pasta, pizza and salads, there’s something to please every palate.

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Aaron Phillips has experience in marketing and journalism. Recently back to his hometown, he’s excited to discover and share what Tampa has to offer. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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