College football is finally here and the Ohio State Buckeyes will start the season with a game opener.
The Buckeyes, ranked No. 2 in the nation in the USA Today Coaches Survey as the season approaches, will host No. 5 Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Football, however, has become as important a social event as a sport. Bars in Columbus and across the country are full on Saturdays for college football and Sundays for the NFL. Luckily, in Columbus there are plenty of places to watch the Buckeyes, but some take game day more seriously than others, especially the season opener.
Take Big Bang Dueling piano bar1516 N. High St., for example.
The popular event space will host a launch party on Saturday starting at noon, followed by a pep rally starting at 4 p.m. with dueling pianos. The game will be shown on 20 televisions across the main level, upstairs and in the patios, starting with the pre-game show at 7 p.m., and there will also be an after-party post-game. Four projectors on the main level will also show the game, so guests really won’t miss a moment of excitement. The bar will also offer 16-ounce drafts of Coors Light for $3.
The Big Bang Piano Bar isn’t the only place to watch the Ohio State football game this weekend, or for the rest of the season, for that matter. Here are nine other bars that have a great vibe for watching the Buckeyes.
Small Bar, 2195 N. High St.
Located less than a mile from Ohio Stadium, Small Bar is still a good place to watch the game if you want to be close to the action. The bar will offer $7 and $8 White Claws, along with a plethora of other drinks. There are 10 TVs inside to watch the game, but outside is the real draw. With a trailer-sized Jumbotron – around 150 feet – there’s no way you’ll miss the excitement. You can also sit on the patio and watch the 65 inch TV.
Coaches Bar & Grill, 1480 Bethel Road
Fancy a place a little further from campus? Bar & Grill Coaches is just under 7 miles from Ohio Stadium, but it’s a fun sports bar where fans can watch the game. Indoor TV options are good, with over 50 indoors and four on the outdoor patio, which will keep you up to date with the game no matter where you’re seated. There is also a large pub menu to keep you full throughout the evening.
Roosters, 3370 Route de la Rivière Olentangy
Let’s head back to campus for this one. The good thing about Roosters is that there are places all over Columbus. This location, however, is only 2 miles from Ohio Stadium. Good football bars are able to mix together TVs, good drinks and a solid food menu, and Roosters does it well. On top of that mix, being so close to campus, you’ll also likely be in the middle of a good crowd of Ohio State fans during the game.
Roosters has locations in the German Village: 897 City Park Ave.; Northwest side: 1832 Henderson Road; Polaris: 1041 Gemini Square; near Dublin: 7110 Sawmill Road; and on the Far West Side: 4650 W. Broad St.; Pickerington: 1500 Stonecreek Drive S.; Whitehall: 376 S. Hamilton Road
Short North Pint House, 780 N. High St.
Located in the North Court, you can spend the whole day at Small Pint of the North, if your bank account can last that long. This bar offers brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., which can get you started early with food and drinks. The drink list is extensive, with a beer list that exceeds the list on paper. With multiple TVs all over the walls and an outdoor cafe, it’s easy to catch the game and hang out with your friends.
Grandview Cafe, 1455 W. 3rd Ave.
Speaking of brunch, Grand View Cafe also offers brunch until 3 p.m. on weekends. Located about 3 miles from the stadium, Grandview Cafe also offers specials, with $4 Captain Morgan, $6 Ketel One and Red Bull, and $12 Bud Light and Miller Light pitchers. It also offers a game day menu including fried pickles, wings and pizza. With TVs all over the walls showing the game, the bar will also turn on the sound, so even if you’re busy socializing, you’ll still hear what’s going on during the game.
Out-R-Inn, 20 E. Frambes Ave.
You can’t have a list of Ohio State football bars without Out-R-Inn. The legendary bar has been around since the 1960s and is packed for major sporting events, especially Ohio State football games. It has a dive bar feel with a patio that adds to the atmosphere on game days. It’s an Ohio State staple, if you haven’t been you should just for the atmosphere and of course to watch the game on the TVs inside and outside the bar .
Urban Meyer’s Pint House, 6632 Longshore St.
You want to watch the game with Urban Meyer? Well, Meyer probably won’t be there in person, but there are pictures of him all over this Dublin bar. With Ohio State memorabilia and posters adorning the bar, you’ll feel right at home cheering on the Buckeyes on the multiple TVs. It also has a large food and drink menu to keep you full throughout the game.
Land-Grant Brewing Co., 424 W. Town St.
Another option away from campus is Land-Grant Brewing. First, it hosts a ticketed event by Eleven Warriors, again hosting the 2002 National Championship team, Friday in the beer garden. Tickets for the event are sold out, however.
It’s a great way to kick off the season, but as far as the actual game goes, Land-Grant is a great venue with its plethora of beer options and beer garden. There are plenty of TVs on the walls inside and a big screen Land-Grant also has outside for big games. Head to Land-Grant, grab a beer and a seat, and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and the game around other fans. It’s a good way to start the season.
Gallo’s Tap Room, 240 N. Liberty St. A
Another off-campus option is Gallo’s tap room located at 240 N. Liberty St. A in Powell. With over 15 TVs, a wide variety of bourbons and cocktails, over 20 draft beers, and a laid-back atmosphere, it’s a great place to sit and enjoy the family game without the hustle and bustle of campus. The menu is also a plus. You’ll have everything you need to enjoy the game at Gallo’s Tap Room.