By Casey Mar
Special to The Bee
Growing up, Super Bowl Sunday always meant one thing: big ol' party. Friends, some of whom we hadn't seen since the Super Bowl the year before, would converge on the designated host's house with snacks, drinks and families in tow. It never mattered much who was playing. For me, the day was meant for reunions, for eating too much and for yelling at the television for no good reason.
As an adult, I still find the game perplexing - it's not a sport I was reared watching, unlike so many Americans are - but the camaraderie and joviality surrounding the game is something I definitely embrace.
Of the 100 or so bars I've checked out in my two years of Night Life wandering, these are the ones I've found that provide the ideal atmosphere to kick back for the Big Kickoff.
Club Raven: 3246 J St., Sacramento. (916) 447-8142
This small neighborhood bar gets hopping for games large and small, so it's no surprise that the Raven is a perfect place to go to watch The Big Game this Sunday. This is an ideal stop if you're looking to do more hanging out and chatting than actual watching.
Clubhouse 56: 723 56th St., Sacramento. (916) 454-5656
With a high-definition projector showing games on a screen large enough to completely dominate the room, Clubhouse 56 is definitely a sports fan's dream come true. Add to this the yummy food and drinks - they mix up a mean Bloody Mary here - and you have a recipe for a great Super Bowl.
Coach's Sports Bar: 3443 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove. (916) 226-2900
This is just the place to spend Super Bowl Sunday if you're planning on heading out with a big group. Coach's is huge, with a hefty menu to peruse and plenty of tables, booths and TVs sprinkled about. They also happen to be attached to Strikes, a massive bowling alley with an arcade, meaning there's something for just about everyone to do.
MVP Sports Grill: 2110 L St., Sacramento. (916) 444-1115
If slick is what you're seeking, stop by MVP. It's two levels of a sports lover's dream. High-definition televisions pepper the walls. It's nearly a 3:1 ratio of tables to TVs. This is a sports bar, through and through.
Nolan's Hilltop Tavern: 4757 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento. (916) 456-2843
The game will be on at the Hilltop, which means that the great pool tables will very likely be open. This is a very friendly bar that's less a raging party and more a laid-back afternoon. It's a perfect place to spend Super Bowl Sunday if you'd rather not have to wear earplugs to combat the noise.
Po'Boyz Bar and Grill: 9580 Oak Avenue Pkwy., Folsom. (916) 987-2886
This mom-and-daughter operation is big on sporting events, so what better place is there to see the biggest one of the year? Whether or not you bring an appetite, you'll feel compelled to grab something off the menu after smelling what the kitchen has to offer. From regular bar food to Cajun-American goodies, this is my idea of a good Super Bowl.
R15: 1431 R St., Sacramento. (916) 930-9090
If you're looking for loud, R15 is your kind of bar. Feel free to voice your support for your favorite team at this particular bar. Everyone's here to have a good time. The main bar area isn't the best spot for those who'd actually like to hear the game, but if you arrive early - and I mean very early - you might just be able to snag one of their two "caves", private rooms that comfortably seat up to about eight.
River City Brewing Co.: 545 Downtown Plaza #1115. (916) 447-2739
This isn't a sports bar, per se. It's simply a bar that offers some seriously tasty craft brews and that will be televising The Game. It's sure to be quieter than the others on this list, which is a welcome option. And, instead of beers, you can find anywhere else, RCBC has their own award-winning brews on tap. A Super Bowl Sunday here is sure to be far different than anywhere else.