Friday, June 6, 2008

Bar Review, After Softball Bars

In the greater CU area there are several bars that I tend to think of as After Softball bars.

These are the places you might go to around 8 or 9 p.m. on a weeknight (not Friday or Saturday) and see a bunch of people wearing similar shirts and tall socks. There will invariably be some guys in brightly colored socks in Adidas flip flops.
These bars are pretty easy to pick out. So how do you tell if the bar you are at is an after softball bar, if it's raining? It's pretty easy to pick out, if the place sells pitchers of beer and its the little plastic pitcher, then it's probably an after softball bar.

When you go to these places, you could get that little pitcher filled with your choice of macro beer. Miller Lite, Bud Light, and if you are lucky you might be able to get one full of regular Bud. Horray!!!

Around CU, there are 4 bars that fit the above descriptions pretty well.

The first is on Neil Street near downtown Champaign. Tumble Inn, called TI to people who frequent it.

TI has darts, and some form of internet juke box, and possibly bar food, dunno for sure, never been there when anyone was eating. This bar is macro-heaven. There's a review somewhere on the interwebs that says over 50 beers (wait no, that's 50 years). If it's a macro-made, it's probably at TI.

TI is the kind of place where you don't go to enjoy a beer, or to enjoy your liquor, it's a "Let's do shots" kind of establishment.

A little down the road on Springfield is Pia's Sports Bar and Grill. Pias sponsors many many many softball teams (I think most everyone who has played softball in CU has either played for or against a Pia's team). Pia's is one of the places to go after softball, where you pay for your pitchers for striking out. They also have a grill that produces grilled bar food (go figure). There's nothing too spectacular about the place, but some folks love it.

A couple blocks away is Office II. It's pretty much the same as Pia's except it's totally different, just ask the people who love O2 and can't stand Pia's. Apparently someone likes their burger basket. I think I once had buffalo wings there that were ok.

So far, none of these places will have any beer that remotely resembles craft beer. You might be lucky and find Guinness on draught, but is that really luck?

The final after softball location is at one of the softball locations. T.K. Wendls or the Brickhouse, one of the two major CU places to play softball, the other is Champaign County Parks district. Wendl's has a full grill bar menu, and the full lineup of ho-hum beers. After softball games, on hot nights, its fun to sit out and sip hydrating beers and watch pretty girls play sand volleyball. Other than that, it's not so great. There are two pool tables at the Brickhouse and up until recently they had OTB.

So if you are looking for a bar that has decent hamburgers, with marco lager on tap that is served in mini-pitchers, then Office 2, Pia's, Tumble Inn or the Brickhouse would be great places to go.

No comments: