SUPER BOWL SUNDAY

// Tacoma Weekly gives its picks for best places to eat, drink and be merry

Sure, there will be an undercurrent of melancholy this weekend given the horrific events that unfolded in Atlanta recently. (Stupid Falcons kicker.) But still, there is not a much bigger day for partying than Super Bowl Sunday.

While it is technically not a holiday, the Super Bowl is our annual excuse for drinking beer all afternoon, scarfing down mountains of Buffalo wings and paying way too much attention to TV commercials that we normally fast forward through. Hey, look! It's that talking investment baby again!

The big game, pitting the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers, kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 3, preceded by inevitable hours of coverage that CBS will give us on the battle of the Harbaugh brothers and quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s tats.

You can catch all that anywhere there is a working TV set, but your game day experience will be greatly enhanced by the right setting. With that in mind, we surveyed the Tacoma Weekly staff on some of the hottest places to catch the game, assuming you are not throwing your own Super Bowl party. Here is what we came up with:

The Liberty Theater

(116 West Main Ave., Puyallup): If bigger is better when it comes to Super Bowl Sunday, then Puyallup’s Liberty Theater has the competition beat. The 20-by-40-foot movie screen will serve as a projection backdrop for the game.

The historic theater will be offering prize drawings and other entertainment throughout the day.

Premium seating is available at $250 per table, with each table seating eight. Tables will include two pounds of hot wings, bottomless soda glasses and coffee cups, hummus and veggies and three, all-you-can-eat buffet stations with prawns, salads, tacos and ingredients for building your own hot dogs. More info: (253) 845-5105 or http://www.thelibertytheater.com.

The Ram International

(3001 Ruston Way in Tacoma or 10019 59th Ave., Lakewood): Known as a sports bar through the entire season, the waterfront Ram International will have specials on its Imperial pints, Jack Daniels and Bacardi shots, margaritas and its signature drink-as-a-meal Proud Bloody Mary concoction. The main sports screen in the bar spans 10 feet for easy viewing. More info: (253) 756-7886 in Tacoma, (253) 584-3191 in Lakewood or http://www.theram.com.

Steve Dunkelberger

Cheers Bar & Grill

(2611 Pacific Ave., Tacoma): There is not a bad seat in the house at Cheers, with plenty of TVs, booths, tables and – best of all – arcade-style games to fill the time in between multi-million dollar commercials.

Arrive early to stake out a table, and all through the game the bar will offer $8.50 Bud Light pitchers. The bar’s huge food menu includes everything from Mac-N-Jack-battered fish and chips to a decent selection of wraps that will go a long way. Game on! More info: (253) 627-4430 or http://www.cheersdowntown.com.

The Loose Wheel

(6108 6th Ave., Tacoma, and 715 River Rd., Puyallup): Now with options: one in Tacoma (6108 6th Ave.) and the newly opened Puyallup Pit Stop (715 River Rd.). For those of us who really could not care less about a Super Bowl played by any team but the Seahawks, Loose Wheel offers more than 60 pull-tab games, pool tables and plenty of arcade games, in addition to the 42 HD TVs. And with 23 beers on draft and a huge menu, Loose Wheel is a great option.

Sunday specials include happy hour prices from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., and chicken and jojos for $8.95. And they will have $2.50 pints on game day. More info: (253) 301-1647 in Tacoma, (253) 848-4444 in Puyallup or http://www.theloosewheel.com.

Kate Burrows

Harmon Tap Room

(204 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma): The Tap Room was already a trendy destination for fans of the Harmon’s tasty craft brews. But it may also have one of the best-kept secrets not being exploited by local sports fans. The venue boasts a 12-foot projection screen in the back showroom, which was nearly empty for most of the 49ers-Falcons game the weekend before last.

On game day, the venue will have happy hour prices all day, discounted pints, wells, mimosas and Bloody Marys and giveaways for hoodies, growlers and other swag at the end of each quarter. More info: (253) 212-2725 or http://www.harmonbrewingco.com.

O’Malley’s Irish Pub

(2403 6th Ave., Tacoma): The stiff drinks contribute to a rowdy game-day atmosphere at one of Tacoma’s most beloved dives. And local celeb Kris “Save Our Sonics” Brannon has been known to show up when the ‘Hawks are on the tube, though he will likely lack his usual arsenal of flags, poppers and air horns this weekend given the tragedy that took place in Atlanta recently. On game day load up on $3 cheeseburgers, two for $2 tacos and a host of adult bevvies that will be on sale for $2 to $3. More info: (253) 627-9403.

Ernest Jasmin

Emerald Queen Casino

(2024 E. 29th St., Tacoma): The EQC will have a big place to watch the big game in their I-5 showroom at the Tacoma location. The television set is quite big as well – a 40-foot, high definition screen.

There will also be a big-time buffet, sports boards and cash prizes given out for each quarter of the game. Dave “Softy” Mahler from KJR AM 950 will be on hand with prizes to give away. Must be 21 and older to attend. More info: (253) 594-7777 or http://www.emeraldqueen.com.

Backstage Bar and Grill

(6409 6th Ave.): Known as a rock music nightclub, the Backstage is a good place to watch a sporting event. The spacious venue has several televisions in various places, creating good viewing angles throughout the club.

Owner Joy Hutt is a 49ers fan and the food and drink specials reflect this with all prices ending in 49 cents. During the game well drinks will be $2.49. Food specials include corn dogs for $1.49 and baskets of chicken strips and fries for $4.49.

Prizes will be given out during the game, with a number of glasses and other objects with a sports theme. More info: (253) 564-0149.

John Larson

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