CINCINNATI -- Need a place to dive into March Madness? These local sports bars offer a lot of TVs, plus good food and beer, too.
Holy Grail at The Banks: Holy Grail is a popular place on game days for good reason. It has 32 TVs, including four 70-inch screens, and a wide variety of options on the menu and at the bar. The Reuben wontons – homemade egg rolls with corned beef, Swiss and sauerkraut inside and Thousand Island dressing to dip – are a popular appetizer, as are the loaded fries (bacon, ranch, cheddar cheese and chives). There are 20 taps including mainstream brews, rotating crafts and local offerings.
Dana Gardens: For more than 80 years, Dana Gardens has been the Xavier bar. Students sign their names all over the bar (from ceiling to floor!) to commemorate their time at XU -- and during March Madness there's no better place to watch games than this bar filled with alumni and students alike. Try a Herschel's Special, and don't forget the wings and grilled mac-and-cheese bites.
Dickmann's: This is the place to root for UK and NKU during March Madness. Grab a Bud or a craft beer and a side of great wings. Dickmann's has wings (in orders from five to 25) with lots of homemade sauces, from mild to barbecue to "barn burner hot." The bar also serves burgers and pizza, too -- everything you need to settle down for the tourney.
Smoke Justis: If you enjoy Dickmann's wings and atmosphere, you're probably going to love cheering on UK at Smoke Justis, too. The owners of Dickmann's opened this Covington sports bar in 2016. Smoke Justis serves wings by the pound, burgers, sliders and loaded fries, along with a nice selection of whiskey and craft and domestic beers. There also are multiple televisions to watch March Madness unfold.
Delicio Coal Fired Pizza: The artisanal pizzeria located at the corner of Dana Avenue and Montgomery Road near Xavier's campus is a perfect place to watch the No. 1-seeded Musketeers play in the NCAA tournament. Delicio is hosting a block party for the first weekend of the tourney. The party will include shot specials, daily prizes, free swag, multiple TVs and an outdoor basketball game viewing area.
Longnecks (multiple locations): Another great place for UK fans, Longnecks features everything you might want in a sports bar: lots of cold beer (bottled, canned and draft) and plenty of great bar grub. Try the Longnecks Sampler featuring your choice of four appetizers, from local classics like Hanky Pankies to bar favorites like fried pickles and cheesy fries.
1009 Town Drive, Wilder, 859-291-5664; 2141 North Bend Road, Hebron, 859-869-4448; 12919 Frogtown Connector Road, Walton, 859-919-0435. www.longneckssportsgrill.com
Kitty’s Sports Grill: Kitty’s has plenty of TVs that will be tuned to basketball (12 HDTVs, including one 80-inch and a large projector screen). You also can count on the bar's popular grilled wings and Angus burgers, as well as other traditional bar fare such as pulled pork sandwiches and homemade chili.
Oakley Pub & Grill/Anderson Pub & Grill: For more of a dive bar, head to Oakley Pub & Grill, which has fewer TVs (10) and a smaller setting; for the full sports bar experience, go to the Anderson location, which features 19 TVs ranging from 42 to 65 inches. At both, you can find the same great food. Enjoy the “Soul Burger” – Black Angus chuck, seasoned with jerk spices, and topped with bacon, American cheese and grilled onions – among the favorites. And, if you’re not a burger fan, there are plenty of other items on the menu, such as wings, pizza, sandwiches and nachos. Drink-wise, both offer a variety of craft beers, bottled or among the eight taps.
Second Place: The owners of the Littlefield, the bourbon bar and kitchen in Northside, opened bar and gaming venue Second Place next door in 2016. Second Place features a large bar with beers on tap, multiple flat-screen televisions, board games, billiards and dart boards.
MVP Sports Bar & Grille: MVP offers a casual atmosphere with 15 TVs, mostly 55-inch with one main large screen. Enjoy burgers, wings, potato skins, sandwiches, melts and flatbread pizzas. You can choose from a beer selection that includes domestic, import and local craft brews in can, bottle or draft form (12 on tap), including hard root beer and pale ales from MadTree.
Lucky Duck Pub: With two Northern Kentucky locations, either Lucky Duck location is great for watching March Madness. These locally owned sports bars offer wings (served in orders of 10), burgers, pulled pork and fries, along with a fully stocked bar with plenty of TVs.
6072 Limaburg Road, Burlington, 859-282-8570; 5028 Old Taylor Mill Road, Taylor Mill, 859-360-1621.