March is full of great happenings, which includes the NCAA'sMarch Madness--an annual college basketball tournament that sweeps the nation. The games kick off on March 15th and run through April 6th. MarchMadness Live will stream the games. Of course, New York City is home to plenty of great viewing spots--from quiet and intimate to rowdy and wild. Many venues are offering special discounts on drinks and pub grub, so get out and cheer on your favorite teams!
The Barrel Room at Park Avenue Tavern
The Barrel Room is an ideal hideaway for basketball enthusiasts who are seeking a bit of privacy and a relaxed destination for sipping some brews while watching the games. The private lounge, which is tucked beneath Park Avenue Tavern, boasts six booths—each comes with four in-table taps and a convenient view of one of three HD TV screens. For reservations, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 99 Park Ave., parkavenuetavern.com
All American-style Heartland Brewery locations will be showing the tournaments, so go cheer on your favorite teams. Happy Hour coincides with the MarchMadness schedule, so head to one of the venue’s locations from Monday through Friday from 2pm to 7pm. Bar area deals include $6 drinks, including select beer, wine, and cocktails, and $2 sliders. A pioneer in the craft beer movement in New York City, Heartland Brewery traces its history back to 1995. Locations include Times Square, The Empire State Building, HB Burger, and Midtown West. 212-582-2057, heartlandbrewery.com
Discreetly hidden behind Devocion Coffee & Cascara in NoMad is J. Bespoke—a sports-centric cocktail bar helmed by brothers Jesse and Eric Jacobs. Its mission was to fill an untapped niche—a refined venue that plays athletic events in an upscale, speakeasy setting. With just 50 seats and attentive service, J. Bespoke offers a luxe alternative to mainstream sports bars. The March Madnesstournaments will be streamed on the lounge's six 4K LED flat-screen TVs. To ensure that fans don’t miss a moment of action, the doors will open at noon on March 21 and March22. Tournament offerings on these days include Sweet $16 pricing on limited-edition cocktails. Get your head in the game with the Double Dribble—a zesty cocktail made with Casamigos Reposado tequila, 400 Conejos mezcal, orange, Angostura bitters, and demerara. Also on the menu is the tangy and bright Blue Chips—a winning combination of Wyoming Whiskey Bourbon, Select Aperitivo Liqueur, fresh lemon juice, muddled blackberry and mint, and prosecco. 121 E. 27th St., jbespoke.com
Six large screen TVs, a robust selection of beer, wine, and spirits, and a kickin’ bar menu make The Ribbon an ideal venue for catching the games. The pub fare includes Meatball Flatbread topped with mozzarella, tomato, and basil; Mac and Cheese Fritters with pickled jalapenos and tomato confit; BBQ Nachos with pulled pork, pickled jalapenos, black beans, and cheddar, and more. Those who prefer watching the games in their own space can reserve a private room. For information, email email@example.com, 20 W. 72ndSt., (212) 787-5656; 220 W. 44thSt., (212) 944-2474, theribbonnyc.com/sports-at-the-ribbon
Virgil’s Real BBQ
On March 15, Virgil’s Real BBQ will kick off its MadnessSpecials, which will run through April 6 at the Times Square location. Fans can indulge in theMadness Burger ($35), which boasts 16 ounces of certified angus beef, cheddar cheese, bacon, mac and cheese, and beer-battered onion rings. This deluxe dish is served with a side of Virgil’s signature Trainwreck Fries, which are topped with melted cheddar and jack cheese, bacon, scallions, and jalapenos. Wing enthusiasts can enjoy the 3-Point Wing Bucket ($35), which feeds up to four guests. It comes with a choice of either 12 whole fried chicken wings with a side of jalapeno-mango honey sauce and celery—or 12 of Virgil’s famedsmoked whole chicken wings with blue cheese dip and celery. The menu includes a variety of beers and liquors, and an extensive bar program features cocktail, margaritas, spiked lemonades and sweet teas, as well as whiskeys and bourbons.152 W. 44thSt., (212) 921-9494, virgilsbbq.com