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Where to watch the Super Bowl

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aGATORS09aHonestly, sports bars are a dime a dozen and these days you can find a television in almost every bar, from neighborhood pub to high-end restaurant lounge. And this Sunday, every single one of those screens will be showing the Super Bowl. That means there’s no reason to stay at home and watch the game from your faded La-Z-Boy.

Here are a few options for your pigskin pigout, from bars with amazing drink specials to out-of-the-ordinary gridiron celebrations. And if we left out your favorite place to watch the big game, let us know @ticketsarasota, on Facebook, or in the comments below.

MASS CONSUMPTION
Gecko’s
7228 55th Ave. E., Bradenton; 727-8988; geckosgrill.com
Plenty of televisions, the food is better than at most sports bars and there are drink specials ($8 Bud Light pitchers, $10 Bud and Bud Light buckets), but the real draw at Gecko’s SR70 location is an all-inclusive deal that is one of the best in the area. For $50 you get access to a buffet featuring over a dozen tasty Super Bowl snacks, as well as all the Bud Light, Miller Lite, Yuengling, house wine, select premium spirits and select craft beer you care to drink. – Brian Ries

henry lawrenceSUPER ENTERTAINMENT
Sarasota Kennel Club
5400 Bradenton Road, Sarasota; 355-7744; sarasotakennelclub.com
Why not watch a past Super Bowl Champion while you wait to find out who will be this year’s Super Bowl Champions? The SKC’s Super Bowl Party will feature pre-game and half-time entertainment by three-time Super Bowl Champ and R&B singer Henry Lawrence, who played for 13 seasons with the Raiders. The party will be hosted in The Players Club Bar & Grill and will feature a buffet, $1 Budweiser, prizes every quarter, over 40 televisions and more. Tickets are $25. – Brian Ries

BLUES BOWL
Ace’s Live
4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton; 795-3886; aceslivemusic.com
Enjoy watching the Super Bowl in a funky, former barn – now with a deck and tiki bar – best known for hosting blues bands, which accounts for the life-sized Blues Brothers figures you’ll notice smiling down at the gridiron action Sunday. Chef Ron is putting out his tasty and totally worth-the-money “all you can eat” Italian buffet from 5 to 7 p.m. ($6.95) and there will be drink specials at the full-liquor bar including domestic buckets for $10. Arrive early and catch a free performance by local blues power trio The Jason Haram Group starting at 2 p.m. – Wade Tatangelo

DOpen28a.jpgPOOLSIDE
The Bearded Clam Restaurant and Tiki Bar at the Ramada Waterfront Hotel
7150 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; 355-2600; thebeardedclamsarasota.com.
The Bearded Clam is the ideal spot for enjoying the Super Bowl poolside, at a tiki bar, surrounded by numerous TVs. Not feeling like sitting outdoors? There will be seven more flat-screens inside the restaurant. As for grub, check out the “all you can eat” buffet for $10.95 starting at 5 p.m. It will feature a roasted pig, chicken wings, hot dog bar, chili and Buffalo chicken dip as well as baked beans, coleslaw and potato salad. Happy hour runs from 11 a.m. to close. So, yeah, if you’re planning on partying hard just go ahead and book a hotel room at the Ramada and crawl to your room at the end of the game, or halftime. – Wade Tatangelo

WING HEAVEN
Chumlee’s Wings
3436 U.S. 301, Ellenton; 981-5383; chumleeswings.com
For most folks, no Super Bowl experience is complete without noshing on a dozen, or three dozen, chicken wings. Chumlee’s excels at wings. This Ellenton eatery offers mouthwatering and messy pieces of poultry covered in jalapeno, habanero, barbecue, teriyaki, garlic, garlic parmesan or house sauce. You can get them blackened, too. For starters, we recommend the house sauce. It’s a batch of buttery, garlic goodness that ranks about a medium in the heat department so it should appeal to most palates. In addition to wings, the menu also includes sandwiches, fried veggies and other fun stuff. As for drinks, Chumlee’s is “home of the .93¢ draught, all day every day.”
– Ron Borresen and Wade Tatangelo

ITALIAN BOWL
Mamma Onesti’s
6152 14th Street W. Bradenton; 756-8100; mammaonestis.com
Found on Tamiami Trail by the Bayshore Gardens neighborhood of Bradenton, Mamma Onesti’s is hosting its “2nd Annual Big Game Bash.” Attendees are invited to pre-party on the restaurant’s deck with live entertainment as well as giveaways and door prizes before enjoying some football on 11 televisions. There will be hourly drink specials from the full-liquor bar and the menu features everything from pasta and seafood to sandwiches and salads. Super Bowl special: Pitcher of beer and a large cheese pizza, or 10 wings, for $18.95. –Wade Tatangelo

TELEVISION OVERLOAD
Buffalo Wild Wings
4067 Clark Road, Sarasota, 922-5554; 5235 University Parkway, Sarasota, 351-8584; buffalowildwings.com
There’s something to be said for a chain restaurant that has experience showing sports to hungry and thirsty fans, and Buffalo Wild Wings has the formula down pat. We defy you to point your face in any direction here without having at least a half-dozen massive screens in your line of sight. The wings aren’t bad, either, if you can tear your gaze away from the action. – Brian Ries

mannatees barSUPER DEALS
Mannatees Sports Grille
7423 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, 794-1400; mannateessportsgrill.com
Our 2013 Bar Tab column pick for best sports bar continues to impress with an awesome assortment of Super Bowl specials. Starting at 5:30 p.m. and running through the end of the game, the many drink deals include domestic bottles and drafts ($2), Smirnoff and Sky vodka cocktails ($3.50), and, if you’re really feeling feisty, Fireball and Jose Cuervo Cinge shots ($3). As for food, specials include beer brats with peppers and onions ($5), hearty hamburgers ($5.99) and delicious wings at the extra-appetizing discount of 10 for $5. –Wade Tatangelo

BEER BOWL
Shamrock Pub
2257 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, 952-1730, shamrocksarasota.com
The Shamrock is small, does not – ordinarily – feature a profusion of televisions, and is more well known for its beer selection than its (normally nonexistent) Buffalo wings. Which makes it the perfect place to go if you want an intimate experience at a neighborhood pub that won’t be mobbed with amateurs. They'll have special beers from Washington and Colorado, plus food from neighbor Lovin' Spoonful. It’s like throwing a Super Bowl party in your living room, except with a much better selection of craft brews.– Brian Ries

Last modified: February 5, 2014
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