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The clock is counting down to kickoff; the regular NFL season begins Wednesday, September 5, with the Dallas Cowboys facing off against South Florida's own New York Giants (kidding aside, the Dolphins make their debut on Sunday, September 9, against the Houston Texans).
Where will you be when all of the action goes down? Sitting at home, yelling at your tiny TV? Or amongst like-minded sports fanatics at one of South Florida's most football-friendly establishments? For those who like to enjoy the game with a crowd, Clean Plate Charlie has assembled a list of ten of the best spots to take in a football game, from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale. As always, weigh in with your opinions in the comments section.
10. Mugs Bar & Grill
Situated in a nondescript strip mall on E. Oakland Park Boulevard, this sports bar is easy to blow past when en route to the beach from I-95. But those who slow down and take a venture into the smoke-free environs will find a respectable cluster of screens in varying sizes, offering multiple choices for game viewing. Perhaps best of all are the cheap suds and reasonably-priced bar grub. Other specials are scattered throughout the week, but if you're looking for greasy bites to help you power through a few hours of yelling about bad calls, look for forty-cent wings on Monday and the "buy one, get one half off" burger deal on Saturday and Sundays.
Some pigskin fanatics want to sit and watch the game in relative peace. Those people are called spoilsports and most certainly should give a wide berth to the rowdy good time at this downtown Hollywood party spot. Yeah, it's a sports bar with a ton of big screens and game-focused activities, but it's also a place for self-described rednecks to kick back and whoop it up any night of the week. The bar started the countdown to the NFL season in late July, with promises that they're gearing up for a wild season and new discounts on game days.
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This small chain of restaurants appeals to a cross-section of ages, incomes, and more importantly, team loyalties. The Las Olas location is just steps away from the beach in Fort Lauderdale and draws a considerable crowd who fill the indoor and outdoor seats. This makes for some prime people watching, so if your team starts to tank and watching the screen becomes too much to bear, you can always let your gaze wander. Or, simply drown your sorrows in a pitcher of beer and a basket of Buffalo wings.
5. Boston's on the Beach
It's easy to surmise from the name -- provided one has basic reading comprehension skills -- that this Delray Beach institution isn't the home-court for Jets fans. This is an unofficial home away from
Beantown home for Pats' fans and there are more than 30 screens on which to catch the action on game days. Sure, they'll also play the Dolphins and other teams, but let's be real; it's Boston turf. The bar is equipped with Direct TV's NFL Sunday Ticket and the proximity to the beach only sweetens the deal.
4. Rooney's All-In Sports Bar & Grille
This spot is off the beaten path, but that doesn't stop people from packing in on game days. The West Palm Beach sports bar underwent a significant renovation in recent years, unveiling a new sports-minded focus (it used to be a Florida version of an Irish pub). You'll find high-definition screens throughout the space, including three 65-inch screens and dozens of 42-inch screens, with access to NFL Ticket. There's a pro-Steelers bent to the crowd, but you needn't be a Pittsburg native to find your home amongst the sports fans here.
3. Bru's Room Sports Grill
There are ten Bru's Rooms throughout Broward and Palm Beach counties, each boasting a similar formula; tons of TV screens broadcasting the game, cheap beer, and reliable bar food. Bru's is loyal to Florida teams, and in fact, the Pompano Beach location is home to the Broward County Gator Club Alumni. There's still plenty of love -- and screens -- to go around for the NFL games, so don't fret about missing the Dolphins if you stop by the newly renovated bar in Pompano. With so many TVs on display, odds are in your favor that you'll be able to score a seat with a good view of the game.