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March 21, 2015

Best bars to avoid March Madness

Bars March Madness
Dirty Frank's Dirty Frank's/

Patrons enjoy drinks at Dirty Frank's Bar in Center City.

Personally, I love sports, but am not a huge college basketball fan. If you had to put a label on it in Rich Hofmann's words, you could call me an "NBA snob," so to speak.

This time of year can be tough for those who share a similar mindset or simply don't like sports in general. Wether it's the Super Bowl, a Flyers playoff game (no worries this year), or the NBA draft, it can be hard to hide your lack of interest. That holds especially true during March Madness, when going for a couple drinks usually means being bombarded by three televisions blaring the latest action in the tourney. So if you're looking to avoid the madness, here's three establishments where the games won't be a distraction. But first, a public service announcement:

Got it? Great. 


Nestled in at the corner of Oxford St. and Frankfort Avenue, this surfer-themed joint is the perfect place for conversation. Although they got rid of their free pizza from Pizza Brain night on Wednesdays (RIP), that's been replaced with a pretty lively karaoke night. With no televisions, a thorough amount of Hawaiian decor and Kona IPA on tap, you can take a mini vacation from both the city and your depleted bracket. 


Sure, the walls are covered with Philly sports memorabilia. However, you won't find a screen to catch any of the local teams on at Dirty Frank's. Located at 13th and Pine, look for the silhouette of Frank Sinatra for the entrance, as this "neighborhood watering hole" doesn't have a neon sign to attract passerby's. It's always full of regulars, the music plays at a reasonably low volume, and the bartenders are friendly and engaging, which leads to the type of atmosphere that's difficult to come by in the digital age. It's hard not to strike up a new friendship here, and a deal for a 7 oz. beer and a kamikaze shot for just $2.50 will help loosen you up a bit to make that happen. 


While not a bar by definition, this Brewerytown spot certainly can serve as one. Located between 28th and 29th Streets on Girard, they've got a really awesome selection of sandwiches to accompany a rather large variety of bottled brews. There's plenty of seating, and you can get mildly competitive with your friends at the upstairs shuffleboard table. Every other Thursday night means open mic night, and the shows here feature a welcome variety of singing, rap and poetry, which is a nice alternative to your typical acoustic guitar-laden affair. Without a television in sight, Rybrew offers a great combination of munchies and craft beers.