See the game and be seen at the following four luxe sports bars
As 82 thousand pigskin fans bundle up to head to the MetLife Stadium for the first ever outdoor, open-air Super Bowl, consider yourself lucky to be able to enjoy the game from the warmth of the indoors. Rather than munching Tostitos on your couch, head to one of the city’s finest sports bars to watch the game where the champagne overflows, HD flat screens abound and world famous DJs more than account for not seeing Bruno Mars live.
Parting the heavy curtains hanging in the entryway at Bounce Sporting Club reveal a massive, wood-walled room full of leather banqueted booths against one wall, a long back-lit bar against the other, and plenty of standing room in between. It’s a good thing, because this place gets crowded with pretty party people, which have, in the past, included Leonardo DiCaprio, Marc Anthony and Jonah Hill. Although the sports bar usually serves as an after-work playground for Flatiron professionals, it outdid itself for last year’s Super Bowl, transforming into a NOLA wonderland complete with men on stilts handing out beads, in honor of the game’s locale. The special themed entertainment for this year is still under wraps, but the usual fare of gastronomic wonders is no secret – yellowfin tuna tempura bites, lobster roll sliders, truffle mac ‘n’ cheese. Get yourself in view of one of their 30 flat screens, order some craft beers, and when the DJ starts to play during commercial breaks, you’ll see that this place was named for a reason. (21st St. nr. 6th Ave.)
It’s all smoke and mirrors at the 40/40 Club, co-owned by Jay-Z and Juan Perez. Named after the baseball term for an achievement only accomplished by four players in history – hitting 40 home runs and stealing 40 bases in a single season – the 40/40 is elite in every sense, if you’re in the mood for a seen-and-be-seen Super Bowl experience. Having undergone a $10 million renovation in 2011, the posh club now looks and feels like an exclusive penthouse (would you expect anything less from the music industry titan?). If its name indicates anything, the 40/40 is all about the numbers: 12,000 square feet, five VIP lounges, 30 flat screens, four 165-foot video walls, a $1.2 million sound system and a 18-foot tall champagne tower with an artifice of Ace of Spades champagne – Jay-Z’s favorite. The food is more low-key, with signature sliders, southern fried chicken and platters of mini desserts. Don’t be surprised to see regulars Warren Buffett and Alex Rodriguez trotting around the second-level catwalk. (25th St. at Broadway)
Opened in 2012, The Royal is the sports-minded brainchild of a group of nightlife-savvy owners, including Stafford Schlitt, who directs SoHo clubs Greenhouse and W.i.P. This sports bar is similarly luxe with leather banquettes, 43 LED screens and bouncers in front to keep the crowd in check. Daniel Parilla, executive sous chef at Minetta Tavern, designed the menu, which offers a range of dishes from hand-twisted pretzels to tuna tacos to breakfast sandwiches served all night. Bottle service is de rigueur at the tables, which require a $250 minimum. But the bar is plenty big otherwise, if you prefer to sip on house cocktails (or buckets of beer) while you dance to beats spun by a world famous DJ – also a norm for the big game. (4th Ave. at 13th St.)
If fears of claustrophobia haunt your visions of a bar on game day, the Windsor Gansevoort Park is a bar after your own heart. The smart-casual drinking establishment has a decidedly European feel, complete with pin stripe clothed walls hung with black and white photographs. Book ahead here, as Super Bowl guests require either an invitation or a reservation. Table minimums won’t appeal to the frugal, but some might say that the luxury of having a HD flat screen at every table is priceless (not to mention the four larger flat screens on the walls). Special Super Bowl menus offer gourmet appetizers – tuna tartare with wonton chips and Guinness battered fish and chips, for example – to share and seasonal cocktails to sip. DJs play during commercial breaks; if you can drag yourself from your personal TV, sports memorabilia showcases with signed sportswear from the likes of Derek Jeter and Kobe Bryant give a good reason to get up and stretch your legs. (Park Ave. at 29th St.)