That defiant, cord-cutting stance you took against Comcast is looking pretty shortsighted right about now, especially since your bracket is killing it this year. Fear not, these five sports bars are your screen salvation for the Final Four on April 2.
1. MadTree Brewing Taproom
All the familiar favorites on tap like Gnarly Brown, Happy Amber, and Psychopathy plus a rotating selection of seasonals join forces with Catch-A-Fire Pizza’s mobile pizzeria and a giant screen for your drinking, eating, and viewing pleasure.
If your team goes down, you can always down your sorrows in a pint of the aptly named, What the Helles. Next year plan on hitting MadTree’s new home in Oakley at the former Rock Tenn facility on Madison Road, which will feature a 10,000 square foot beer garden. 5164 Kennedy Ave., Columbia Township, (513) 836-8733, madtreebrewing.com
2. Champions Grille
With almost as many taps (18) as hi-def screens (19) this west side institution can satisfy whatever beer and b-ball craving you have. They also have a full menu that includes all the Final Four food groups: pizza, wings, dogs, and burgers. The Build Your Own Burger features dozens of add-ons, from perennial faves like aged Swiss and sautéed mushrooms to unlikely upstarts like dried cranberries and chunky Italian marinara. Madness indeed. 3670 Werk Rd., Western Hills, (513) 376-8920, championsgrille.com
Chances are, Lachey’s website is the only place you’ll actually see Nick behind the bar, but you’ve got to give some respect to the brothers Lachey for investing in the OTR revolution. Wood paneled walls, a 90” screen, and running sports ticker beckon, and the menu is one step beyond usual sports bar fare with choices like the bison burger, flowering kale salad, or Cubano with house pickles. But frankly, Nick, you had us at Tot Bowl. 56 E. 12th St., OTR, (513) 275-0704, lacheys.com
4. Holy Grail at the Banks
March 17 marked the 5th anniversary of the third installment of Holy Grail, a locally owned mini-chain with additional locations in Corryville and Delhi. The stats: 31 high-def TVs, 35 beers, 20 taps, a corner location with two outdoor patios, and three garage doors that open up to provide a breath of fresh air, like watching Virginia make the Final Four. Wahoowa! 161 Joe Nuxhall Way, downtown, (513) 621-2222, holygrailcincy.com
5. Betta’s Italian Oven
Every tournament needs a wildcard, right? Betta’s isn’t a sports bar, just a great family-friendly place where you can relax and watch the game (with XU, UC, and UK all out, the nail biting is over, right?) Betta’s also delivers some of the best pizza in the city, straight from owner Willie deLuca’s wood fired oven. 3764 Montgomery Rd., Evanston, (513) 631-6836, bettasitalianoven.com