10 great sports bars to watch a football game around Grand Rapids – MLive.com

Max Craun works at the bar at Peppino’s sports bar at 130 Ionia Ave. SW on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. (Ridley Hudson | MLive.com)Ridley Hudson | MLive.com
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Football is officially back, and Grand Rapids is a city where there are plenty of places to watch college and NFL games.
Sports bars are a great place to unwind and cheer on your favorite team surrounded by other football fans. The best bars offer a fun atmosphere, have tons of TVs with good vantage points from anywhere in the bar, cheap but delicious bar food, and a variety of beer.
Whether you’re looking for a fun and electric environment to get amped up for your favorite team, or a more lowkey bar where you can cheer on your team in peace, we’ve got you covered.
Below is a list of 10 great sports bars in the Grand Rapids area, in no particular order, where you can catch a football game this season. On Thursday, Sept. 7, MLive/The Grand Rapids Press will give readers an opportunity to vote for their top choice on the list. Note: This list is not exhaustive. What other great sports bars are we missing? You can let us know by emailing mfrick@mlive.com.
1. Peppino’s Sports Grille
Located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, Peppino’s Sports Grille is a great place to catch a game on Ionia Avenue, with more than 70 TVs that are always streaming a game. The local Peppino’s chain also has 10 other sports bars and pizzerias located throughout Michigan (see locations here).
Besides its delicious pizzas, Peppino’s is known for its cheesy breadsticks, which is great to share with the table or devour for one. It’s made with fresh pizza dough that’s topped with garlic butter, romano, and mozzarella and served with Peppino’s pizza sauce.
Peppino’s Sports Grille is located at 130 Ionia Ave. in downtown Grand Rapids. You can reach the eatery by calling 616-456-8444. The restaurant is open from noon to 11 p.m. on Sunday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to midnight on Thursday; and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
There are also Peppino’s Sports Grille locations in Allendale, at 5065 Lake Michigan Dr., and in Jenison at 135 Chicago Dr. For menus, hours and locations of the Peppino’s locations throughout West Michigan, visit peppinospizza.com.
2. The Score
This sports bar and restaurant will make you feel like you’ve been transported to the sandy beaches of Florida.
The Score, located at 5301 Northland Dr. SE in Grand Rapids, is the ultimate tropical sports bar with both indoor and outdoor seating options. The inside bar and restaurant have over more than 70 TVs streaming games and entertainment, and the outdoor patio has a beach sand dining area, palm trees live music, and full-sized beach volleyball courts.
The sports bar and grille promises to stream all the games during football season, and even offers a live DJ playing during commercials during all Michigan State versus University of Michigan games. The bar also has over 120 beers on tap.
The Score is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Sunday. You can reach the restaurant by calling 616-301-0600, checking its Facebook page, or visiting thescoregr.com.
3. JT’s Pizza
JT’s Pizza & Spirits is a family-owned sports bar and dining destination that features 12+ beer taps, live Keno, and over 20 large flatscreen TVs to watch your favorite teams play. The bar, located in Cascade Township, is a local favorite for those looking to catch a game.
The bar has full-size garage door walls that can be opened up in the summertime and provide tons of natural lighting inside the bar. The outdoor patio has fireside tables for comfortable seating even if it’s chilly outside.
The menu includes delicious signature and build-your-own pizzas with homemade sauce, as well as other pasta and sandwich entrees. The bar offers daily drink specials including $2 off pitchers of beer on Thursdays and Sundays.
JT’s Pizza is located at 6716 Old 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. You can reach the restaurant by calling 616-942-1552 or visit its Facebook page.
4. Garage Bar
Grand Rapids Garage Bar and Grille has two popular locations in downtown Grand Rapids and Ada and serves up delicious food with fresh ingredients and cold beers to enjoy while you watch your favorite team play.
Garage Bar in Grand Rapids is located in the downtown Monroe North district, at 819 Ottawa Ave. NW. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can reach the bar by calling 616-454-0321 or visiting its Facebook page.
Ada Garage Bar is located in the heart of downtown Ada at 518 Ada Dr. SE. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can call the bar at 616-682-3002 or visit its Facebook page.
5. Uccello’s (multiple locations)
With five locations throughout West Michigan, Uccello’s Ristorante Pizzeria & Sports Lounge is a great sports bar that serves up delicious Italian and bar food while you watch the big game.
The downtown Grand Rapids Uccello’s is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, allowing you to get your fill of football action and then maybe hit up a few popular nearby bars afterward. The restaurant is located at 122 Monroe Center St. NW, right next to Rosa Parks Circle.
You can reach the Grand Rapids Uccello’s by calling 616-773-1687 or checking its Facebook page for any updates. The menu is available here. The restaurant is open from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
There are also five other locations in West Michigan, on the East Beltline in Grand Rapids, and in Grandville, Standale, Caledonia, and Rockford. For the locations, hours and contact information for each restaurant, visit uccellos.com/locations.
6. Chubby’s
Chubby’s Bar and Grill is another local classic that’s always streaming a game. Located in Wyoming, the bar has daily beer specials and a full menu of American pub style food.
The sports bar is located at 5751 Byron Center Ave. SW in Wyoming and is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. It’s closed on Sundays. You can reach the bar by calling 616-534-5161 or visit its website, chubbysbarandgrill.com.
7. The Win Tavern 33
The Win Tavern 33, a small restaurant known for its burgers, has been an integral part of the Jenison community since it opened in 2016 and is a great, family-friendly place to catch the game.
The restaurant is located at 7628 Georgetown Center Dr. in Jenison and can be reached by calling 616-734-6724. It’s open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight.
Here is a link to the restaurant’s Facebook page and website.
8. Elbow Room
Elbow Room Bar & Grill, an eclectic bar located right off the I-196 on Fuller Avenue, serves delicious pub food in a casual and friendly environment and has TVs stationed throughout the bar where you can catch a game.
The menu offers burgers, perch and chicken baskets and a variety of sandwiches and wraps.
The bar is located at 501 Fuller Ave. NE in Grand Rapids and can be reached by calling 616-454-6666 or visiting the bar’s Facebook page or website.
9. Putt Putt’s
Putt Putt’s, a dive bar on the West Side of Grand Rapids, is a neighborhood favorite that serves up classic bar food like wings, burgers and all things fried.
The bar is located at 1148 Fulton St. W in Grand Rapids, and can be reached by calling 616-774-9129 or by visiting the bar’s Facebook page. It’s open from 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to midnight on Sunday.
10. Steel Cat
Steel Cat, the self-proclaimed home of Michigan’s first and only frost rail bar, offers a laid-back environment with daily drink specials including an NFL Sunday deal for $10 beer buckets during all games.
You can expect to have a frosty cold beer every time you visit Steel Cat, with the bar’s frosted railing and temperature-controlled Chill-Rite beer system that dispenses keg beer at 32 degrees regardless of the keg temperature.
The bar is located at 640 Bridge St. NW in Grand Rapids, on the city’s growing West Side. You can call the bar at 616-288-9632 or visit its website and Facebook page. It’s open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
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