SB-watch-header Shut out of Cowboys Stadium? No worries. Plenty of other options for seeing the action. illustration by Rafael Ricoy

If Dallas football fans know how to do one thing, it’s bonding over pitchers of beer and boisterous cheers in our favorite bars. Sure, it’s a shame that we’re not cheering for our home team, and most of us won’t get to feel the excitement at Cowboys Stadium that historic Sunday night, but with the drink specials, giveaways, and crazy crowds at these watch parties, we just might not care.

Frankie’s

Frankie’s draws a crowd for games any given Sunday, so it’s easy to imagine this watch party filled to the brim with screaming sports fans, perhaps even spilling into the street. But that’s all part of the fun, right? Especially when there’s no cover charge, as well as $2 mimosas, $3 tequila sunrises, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and a full brunch from 11 am-3 pm. Oh, and we can’t forget to mention the beer buckets for $18 that are available all day. Sure, it might be crowded, but with more than 30 HD televisions spread throughout the place, we promise you’ll see every flag that’s thrown. (11 am; NC)

McKinney Avenue Tavern

We once dubbed The MAT “mission control for sports fans,” and rightfully so. This place lives, breathes, eats, and (most importantly) drinks sports year-round. So it’s no surprise that Super Bowl Sunday is getting extra special attention. Not only can you watch the game on the wall-sized projection screen with $1 Jell-O shots, beer bucket specials, and all-you-can-eat grill specials, but Big Al has decided to shower football fans with over-the-top prizes. Beginning at 1 pm, a 42-inch plasma TV will be given away every hour until kickoff. Also included in the giveaway lineup are floor seats to a Mavs game, on-the-glass seats to a Stars game, $1,000 in MAT Money, and a trip for two to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The MATMobile will be gassed up and ready to shuttle any ticketholders to and from Cowboys Stadium. (10 am; NC)

The Nodding Donkey

We were a little surprised when we heard about the $100 admission fee to The Nodding Donkey’s watch party. It’s a sports bar. On Super Bowl Weekend. That’s like charging the homeless to get into a soup kitchen. But then we heard what $100 gets you, and it’s worth it. Lunch, appetizers, and dinner are all-you-can-eat, and there’s an open bar all day long. You also receive 10 raffle tickets with admission, and they’ll be giving away prizes such as an iPad, digital cameras, a Wii gaming system, ZaZa spa packages, and a $500 donkey party pack. Buy your admission tickets early, as they’re not over-selling, to make sure everyone has a seat. (2 pm; $100)

Quarter Bar

While we certainly wish Quarter Bar’s special game-day shots were blue and silver, we suppose we can close our eyes as we chug the green, black, and gold. Packers fans, take pleasure in your Green Bay Crunch shots for $4 while enjoying menu items created especially for you, such as the Lambeau Burger Pie, the Rodger Dog with Kraut, and the Grilled Cheese Head Sandwich. Steelers fans, don’t worry — you’ll feel the love, too. Order the Polamalu Punch shots, also $4, with your chili cheese fries, Pitttsburgh Pulled Pork Sandwich, or Italian meatball hoagie. (12 pm; NC)

frankies_01 They know how to have a good time at Frankie's. photo by Jerry McClure


Three Sheets

What we love about the Three Sheets watch party: it’s basically one big tailgate. A 5,000-square-foot tent is taking over the courtyard next to the bar’s fireplace-lined patio. Inside, an oversized projection screen will show the game while fans munch on stadium-style, barbecue-smoked eats. Beer pong, foosball, billiards, and a live DJ are also in the mix, in case the commercials or Black Eyed Peas halftime show don’t keep your attention. Just don’t get too distracted or you’ll miss the drink specials: $2 mimosas, $3 drafts and shots, and $12 pitchers of beer. (12 pm; NC)

Brackets

We all know ‘em. The pacers. You know, the AD/HD friends who walk around the Super Bowl party, making the rounds over and over. Sure, it’s convenient when you need another beer, but when they block the TV by reenacting the latest Bud Light commercial, it’s just plain annoying. Here’s a solution: take them to Sunday’s watch party at Brackets. The interactive sports bar will keep your energetic friends entertained between downs with pool tables, ping-pong, darts, and big screen Wii gaming action. Game day specials include $10 buckets of Coors Light and Miller Lite as well as half-priced pizza. (11 am; NC)

Granada Theater
The Granada is trading in its usual crowd of music buffs for face-painted, jersey-clad fans. They'll broadcast the game on all three of their 20-foot HD projection screens. While they may not hold a candle to Jerry's field-hovering mega-screen, they certainly beat our living room's 42-incher. The $20 admission ticket entitles fans to an all-you-can-eat fajita buffet, and the bar will be open during the game. (4 pm; $20)

Humperdink’s Arlington

If you’re at Humperdink’s on Super Bowl Sunday, you’re one of two sorts of people. Either you’re the excited, lucky fan whose beer is getting warm because you simply can’t focus; checking your pocket every five seconds to make sure the tickets are there can be so distracting. Or you’re the Arlington native who didn’t land tickets but decided Humperdink’s (a stone’s throw from the House that Jerry Built) would be just the right amount of bittersweet. You’re not technically inside the gates, but it’s close enough that you can almost taste it. If that’s you, don’t worry. You can drown your envy in $3 you-call-its and $3 drafts. And if you’re the former, take advantage of their shuttle service to the stadium. The parking lot opens at 8:30 am, and it’s $50 per car, which includes two round-trip shuttle tickets. And, please, try not to brag. (8:30 am; NC)

Barcadia

All you east-siders who (wisely) don’t want to fight game day traffic, we understand. Especially when your own neighborhood bar is broadcasting the game with drink specials. Barcadia will serve brunch 11 am-3 pm, which includes $4 mimosas and Bloody Mary’s and $5 fruit mojitos. Those and a few rounds of Jenga ought to hold you over until the $4 you-call-its, which begin at 3 pm and last until close. (11 am; NC)

Fox and Hound

To some, it’s blasphemous to not eat Buffalo wings on Super Bowl Sunday. Stick to tradition at Fox and Hound with their selection of wings available in nine different sauces. They’ll have the game on all the TVs and the drink specials last all day: $4 Miller Lite drafts, $4 Absolut you-call-its, and $13 buckets of Miller Lite. If your couch looks more appealing than the drink specials, you can still have your wings. They’re buy one, get one free if you order them to go on game day. (11 am; NC)

Lakewood 1st & 10

This low-key neighborhood bar already caters to its Sunday football crowd with weekly happy hour specials, and the big game is no exception. Enjoy $1 off all wells, drafts, and wine 4-7 pm and again 11 pm-2 am. Be sure to check out their list of beers, boasting 35 different brews. Go early enough to claim your territory and, in case you were wondering, their Famous Point Burger is indeed worthy of both lunch and dinner. (4 pm; NC)

Donkey-01 Watching the game is always more fun with friends, a nonstop buffet, and an open bar. photo by Jerry McClure


Milo Butterfingers

If you care more about socializing than you do first downs, make Milo’s your game day post. The laid-back vibe, pool tables, darts, and video games, make the ideal entertainment for those who want to “watch the game” but couldn’t tell you any one player’s name. They’ll broadcast the contest on all the TVs for your occasional glances, and pitchers of beer are $7 all day. (11 am; NC)

Lee Harvey’s

If you're not up for watching the game while curled up on your sofa in sweats, but a crowded sports bar isn’t your thing, head to Lee Harvey's. They'll show the game on the big screen, and the happy hour specials last from 3 pm until close. Pigskin Radio will be doing its live podcast from the bar, and the patio deck is now heated, just in case you do want to don the sweats after all. (3 pm; NC)

Luna de Noche – Victory Park

Bring your out-of-towners to the watch party at Luna de Noche for a taste of Texas culture with an all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet. And while Victory Park is sure to impress any tourist, we’re sure they’ll enjoy the happy hour drink specials just as much. DJ K.O. will provide the tunes, and several NFL players are scheduled to appear. (4 pm; $65)

The Patio Grill

Playing on the cliché that everything’s bigger in Texas, The Patio Grill is hosting a weekend-long party entitled just that. Sunday’s itinerary includes broadcasting the game on the patio’s projection screen along with Playboy Playmates acting as guest DJ’s. We’re told that several “well-known” athletes will make cameos throughout the day. Really, that’s just the icing on the cake. They had us at $3 mimosas, Bloody Marys, wells, and drafts, and $5 you-call-its. Be sure to purchase your ticket in advance. (11 am; $50)

State & Allen Lounge

In case you forget to buy tickets to The Nodding Donkey’s watch party, their sibling bar, State & Allen Lounge, is hosting what we suspect will be a calmer affair a few blocks away — and it’s free. They’ll serve Sunday brunch with favorites such as the WTC sourdough pancakes or the fried chicken and waffles, and drinks will be specially priced for the big game. Count on $3 Absolut cocktails, $4 Avion tequila drinks, and $15 buckets of domestic beer. (10:30 am, NC)

SB-watch-2 And would you really want to deal with the hassle of the crowd at the stadium anyway? photo courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys


Vino100

Let’s say you take Super Bowl Weekend pre-game celebrations a little too far. Don’t feel guilty. It happens to the best of us. If just the thought of a rowdy bar for the game makes you feel dizzy, then Vino100 might be just what you need. The quaint Uptown wine bar is hosting a watch party, complete with comfort food sure to cure any hangover, such as Texas chili and tamales, paired with a variety of wine and beer options. The $30 admission is all-inclusive, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the game with a crisp glass of Shiraz. (Or grape juice, if need be. We won’t tell.) (4:45 pm; $30)

Studio Movie Grill

Technically, it’s not a sports bar. OK, it’s not even a bar. But Studio Movie Grill is flaunting their best feature for the big game: their big screens. A movie theater wouldn’t be our first choice for witnessing North Texas Super Bowl history, but if you’re looking for low-maintenance, you’ve found it. Watch the game in any of the theaters, and feel free to get extra comfortable: the servers bring you food and drinks any time you press the call button. The full bar in the lobby will be open throughout the game, and while there isn’t an admission fee, they do recommend purchasing a food and beverage coupon for $25 to reserve your seat. (4:30 pm; $25)

Find all the Super Bowl parties and pre-parties in our events listings. Seek out other nightlife options in our bar guide.