Cleveland Area Sports Bars to Watch the NCAA Basketball Championships

The sporting world’s championship season began last month with College Footballs’ BCS games and finishes with the World Series in the fall. However, one of the biggest and most watched sporting events is NCAA Basketball’s March Madness, taking us from the First Round through the “Sweet Sixteen”, “Elite Eight”, “Final Four” and culminating in the championships. If you’re looking for a great Cleveland area location to watch the games, the following three establishments are my picks to enjoy the excitement.

The Winking Lizard – A Cleveland area chain with locations from Avon to Peninsula and everywhere in between so there’s no excuse not go. Televisions with HD through outthe restaurant to follow the game whether you’re in the bar, outside or in the dining areas. Recently voted “Best Sports Bar” by the Metro Mix “The Wink” is one of our usual drinking and dining spots. Meaty wings with fifteen different sauces to choose from, over one hundred beers and casual atmosphere makes “The Wink” is the place to watch the game. Bring the fam because the kids get their own menu, crayons, live lizard in house to visit and (depending on the location) game room. Hours determined by location. Please refer to www.winkinglizard.com for more information.

Harpo’s Sports Café – Located in Strongsville and Brookgate on Cleveland’s West Side, Harpo’s prides itself on being the area’s first sports-themed restaurant than simply a sports bar. Their full menu includes wings with seventeen different sauces, burgers, pizza, salads, steak and kids items so there’s something for everyone. Watch your favorite sporting event of any of the eight big screens and eighty-two monitors with NFL Sunday ticket and Pay Per-View events. The game room at the Brookgate location offers darts, air hockey, video games and pool. Outstanding beer selection includes thrity-seven beers on tap and eighty-two brands in bottles. Hours vary by location. Go to www.goharpos.com for hours and location.

Shula’s Steak 2 – A little upscale, very down to earth, Shula’s Steak 2 is a sports bar with a casual atmosphere and upscale menu. No matter what your personality you’ll find this a perfect setting to watch any sporting event although I’ll willing to bet that football takes precedence. Owned by former John Carroll stand out, Cleveland Browns Defensive Back, Head Coach of the Baltimore Colts and the Undefeated Miami Dolphins, Don Shula, the restaurant offers high tech flat screen TVs lining the pig-skinned walls of the perimeter. Sports memorabilia include a ’72 Dolphins’ jersey and helmet, Super bowl Trophy and items from local sports teams and legends. I’m not a big steak eater so I like the pecan crusted salmon, the Black & Blue Burger and anything on the appetizer menu. My husband enjoys the 12oz strip. The thing that’s missing from the menu, in my opinion, is an entrée of Mahi Mahi for those occasions when the Miami Dolphins lose. Hours – Monday through Friday 6:30am – Midnight, Saturday and Sunday 7:00am – Midnight. Location: Inside the Doubletree Cleveland South, 6200 Quarry Lane, Cleveland.

From casual to upscale, these Cleveland area establishments will offer something for everyone from family dining to treating executives in town on business to what I’m sure will be an exciting series. You’ll come for the NCAA Basketball Tournament and return after the champion is crowned.