Adam Foreman is Fly’s Bar Czar. This month, Adam put on his football helmet (the one with the two beer cans attached to it) and hit the streets looking for some great sports bars to catch all the action this season.
This month I write to you from far outside my comfort zone. Even though I grew up playing baseball and hockey, football has never been an interest of mine. But, as your faithful authority on Central PA’s best bars, I was determined to discover some of the area’s best places to get your football on.
Legacy Bar and Grill
My first stop was Legacy Bar and Grill at 50 Veterans Dr. in Elizabethtown – just a short drive from the Elizabethtown-Hershey exit off Route 283.
Legacy features a U-shaped bar with about 15 seats, surrounded by a dining room. The bar has nine TVs and one big projector, and they have both the NFL Sunday Ticket and the Big Ten Network for college football fans.
The Sunday feature is $2 Bud drafts or $4 Bud pitchers. In the background, you can hear rock, blues, country, or bluegrass playing behind the roar of a packed house when a home team (Eagles, Steelers or Ravens) is playing. Feeling lucky? The Legacy raffles off two tickets to an Eagles home game every other Wednesday during their trivia night.
As a unique feature, the owner has decorated the venue with authentic sports memorabilia, including a kayak raced in an international competition and a Ted Williams jersey won from an auction (and worth a lot more than you might expect.)
Ted’s Bar and Grill
After a short ride north up Route 283 from Legacy, I found myself on Second Street in our state’s capital. A few blocks from restaurant row, as you enter the Midtown section of town, you’ll find some of the best sports bars in Harrisburg. First on my itinerary was Ted’s Bar and Grill.
Upon entering, you’ll find a sea of different football jerseys from all eras of the game. The bar gets packed on game days – regardless of which teams are playing – so finding a seat might be challenging. But finding a good beer and a good view of the action won’t be hard – Ted’s has 18 beers on tap and eight TVs.
I ordered a half-dozen of the spicy tomahawk wings, (on special for 50¢ each) served hot and crispy with a light honey drizzle as suggested by the bartender.
At Ted’s I met Chris, Sean and Erick. Aside from the great specials and hearty atmosphere, the trio claimed they were there by convenience and that the crowd was typically made up of locals.
The difference between Ted’s and Legacy is that Ted’s doesn’t necessarily feel like a sports bar, but more like the corner pub. It was kind of dive-y with good food and cheap beer, which, to me, is the American sports bar dream.
<<< Looking for more places to catch all the action? Check out our annual Pigskin Party list here. >>>
Recommended by my new friends Chris, Sean and Erick, I hit the Midtown Tavern, located just a short walk from Ted’s.
The Midtown features 12 taps and 40-cent wings. There are 20 seats at the two-tiered bar and 12 TVs, including one big projector that’s perfect for catching all the action.
The Midtown Tavern wasn’t nearly as crowded as Ted’s, but the energy (and the decibel level) could match that of a small stadium. Midtown is primarily a Steelers bar, but when local teams are playing, it’s hard to find a seat. The Midtown Tavern is the first sports bar I’ve been to that packs so much character.
After checking out the action in Harrisburg, I made my way to York. The highlight of my York adventure was The Cove. Here, the Sunday football special is a $2 Coors Light bottle available all day and a $7.99 cheesesteak. I suggest getting a “bowl” though. The Cove’s bowl (predating the more familiar KFC bowl) is prepared with quality ingredients – from steak, seafood, corned beef, or chicken smothered with cheese on a scoop of mashed potatoes. I would come here just for the bowl.
Aside from the fantastic food, The Cove features over 150 different whiskeys, along with 28 different taps.
My favorite sports bar experience from this month might be the crowd of new friends who took me under their wing at The Cove – initially hanging out and drinking whiskey with a young couple and their folks, and then just slugging shots of tequila with an older gent whose wife kept calling. The Cove offered the most colorful experience of any bar from this month’s review.
The Brickyard and Fetty Wootz
I don’t care what your opinion is about the Brick Yard on a Friday or Saturday night when the crowd is mostly college students and their standards might not be the highest. The Brickyard is one of Lancaster’s best sports bars.
Out of all the bars I’ve visited this month, the Brickyard was by far the loudest, while containing the least amount of people. According to bartender, The Brickyard gets packed out for home teams. They have $2.50 22-ounce Miller Lite drafts and a different “bomb” recipe for every NFL team.
But, I admit the real reason I was excited to write about them is the unforgettable Fetty Wootz BBQ – their in-house barbecue joint. I’ve sampled barbecue from Maine to Louisiana and I think Fetty Wootz might have them all licked. I can’t tell you how they do it, but their brisket might change your life. I would gamble that their barbecue is somehow smoked with the tears
Where are your favorite Central PA bars to go to for an action-packed Sunday of football, beer and wings?