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New In Town: Searching Out The Perfect Sports Bar For You

New in town & looking for *your* sports bar? Read on for a firsthand account & criteria…

Taking the train back into Manhattan on a day off & cozying up nut-to-butt to hundreds of other Eagles fans in a noisy pub is fun vibes for a big game but when you’re older, lazy & playing a team like the Titans it’s nicer to stay local.

Speaking of, I don’t have a TV in my new apartment yet and as I settle in & continue to acclimate myself to the neighborhood the search for a solid Eagles bar for me is on.

Grateful to say my new corner bar in Queens is wonderful but as I make friends there (is that a sign of being there too much?) it’s hard to just watch the game in peace if there’s no other Eagles fans around. Everybody wants to give me a good-natured ribbing & my fake laugh sort of goes stale after awhile but I’ll keep forcing it because I’m polite and then I’ll worry that I seem weird. I don’t need that stress on a Sunday.

A dedicated introvert, I value my solo time so I want to keep that as my after-work-write-a-blog-sip-a-beer-and-chat bar. So onto the CitiBike to explore for greener pastures…

On 30th Ave. in Astoria a lot of the trendy brunch spots only had one or two TVs that were playing the (Goddamn) Jets, and I’m more of a dark, hole-in-the-wall kind of gal anyway. (#Lifehack – extremely dark bars are very flattering in the looks department.)

Then underneath the Q train I found some of those old, crusty pubs I tend to love, but was repeatedly told by older gents missing teeth that they weren’t going to put that game on followed by intense cackling.

On down the street I went until I found The Astorian on 31st St. & Newton Ave. and ventured in. Before I even said anything the bartender noticed my bootleg Eagles shirt & motioned to two TVs with the game on. Here’s how it stacked up on my personal criteria list:

Bartenders/buy-backs – Never had to wait for a drink & everyone seemed to know & like these guys. I didn’t get any buy-backs, but maybe that’s partially because I haven’t brushed my hair in two days, hogged my portion of the bar with a laptop & housed an entire bowl of French fries by myself while requesting extra sauce twice.

Noise – Old lady here… but damnit, you could hold a conversation without going ‘whaaat?’ A delight!

Music – They played music over all the games & that’s a negative for me. Even if it’s not my game I like to hear it in the background; just feels like a Fall Sunday. But the music they did play kept everyone happy. In fact, the whole bar perked up & sang along at a couple opening lines of some songs. My foot was tappin’ along to the likes of Big Pun & Jay Z.

Lighting – Perfect. I didn’t feel like I was in a cave on this beautiful day, but it wasn’t blindingly, clinically bright either. There was still a chance it was dark enough to cover my encroaching unibrow & they also had a great back patio with TVs, couches & tables if I wanted to get real outdoorsy.

Food – A little on the expensive side if you’re trying to snack a bit during the game, but the house-cut fries were legit for $6. The big upset for me here was that they only had jumbo wings & I like mine small & double fried because I’m gross.

Beer selection – Biggest upside & downside at the same time. I usually do one or two good craft beers & then switch to something that tastes like watery garbage to rehydrate & save money. The cheapest beer here was $7… but I supposed that’s good for NYC & I have to say I wasn’t mad at the Bronx Brewery’s $8 ‘Friend Zone’ with hints of tiramisu, coffee & possible poor life choices. They had a lineup up of 16 good lookin’ beers from around the country, but especially NY.

Skee Ball – YES!

Dude-bros – Minimal. Good mix of outsiders representing various teams & everybody mingling. No one hit on me yet so they’re either woke or have standards.

Chain – No. No random knick-knacks on the wall or flare on server vests. : (

Does It Smell Like A Bar Rag Covered In Barf As Soon As You Walk In – No, so it’s a great spot to go if you’re hungover.

WiFi – Yes. And again nobody bitched at me for hogging the bar with my laptop.

Bathrooms – As long as they keep the TP flowin’ I’m cool with it, and they did.

TVs – Too many & I go cross eyed. Not enough & I know they won’t be playing the Birds. This place had 6 inside & several on the patio. Enough where I could watch my game & keep tabs on the others without getting overwhelmed by ADD.

Price/specials – If I’m paying over $40 to get a solid buzz I’m unhappy. This place had $4 Bloody Mary’s & Mimosas for the brunch special. And I only just now discovered that, so I’m a little mad at myself.

**Update: as I write this from that bar during the game the Eagles have lost to the Titans & the jab I took in the beginning now feels a little bad. Excuse me, bartender? Is it too late to house some of those $4 Bloody Mary’s?