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Bars

Philly Bars where you can watch your college football team

You may not be an undergrad anymore, but you can still cheer on your alma mater with other alumni on a fall Saturday.

New Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse on Sansom shows Wisconsin and Michigan games, in case you need a place to cheer on your team alongside people wearing the same varsity sweatshirt as you. / Photograph courtesy of Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse

College football season is in full swing, with all its buffalo wings, offbeat fight songs, and cornhole. You may not be an undergrad anymore, but you can still cheer on your alma mater with other alumni on a chilly fall Saturday. (Personally, as a Penn State alumnus, I’ve enjoyed my fair share of wins and heartbreak over cheap beer and fries.) This town’s college alumni groups have made their mark. in the bars of Philadelphia by hosting special experiences. So grab that college shirt, load up the 12-leg parlay that’ll net you $1 million, and use this guide to figure out where your folks congregate on the weekends.

Crew: Alabama
Bar: Cavanaugh Headhouse
This is where Crimson Tide fans show up and show off. The old-school Irish pub offers free half-time hoagies for groups of alumni who sign up for a private room. Enjoy $5.50 Goose Island beer, plus wings tossed in their sweet and spicy Cav’s sauce as you watch future first rounds pass the competition. 421 2nd Street South.

Crew: our Lady
Bar: The mulberry
Mulberry owner and former Notre Dame Ben Haney makes sure fellow Fighting Irish fans are comfortable at his Logan Square location. The cozy, upscale pub has a massive menu with a cheese board that would make any game better, plus Jameson wings and a double-stacked burger smash. The Mulberry doesn’t have any Saturday drink promotions yet, but maybe that’s a good thing. Who wants to hear ND fans screaming about how they shouldn’t join a conference after downing several hard seltzers? 1835 Arch St.

Crew: Penn State
Bar(s): Shopkeeper and La Roca
Penn State devotees congregate at Tradesman’s, where you can get a special eight-person package that includes wings, deviled eggs, chicken fingers, cheesesteak spring rolls, fries and beer for $225. The downtown bar is busy with fans glued to the huge media wall. Any old-timers looking for a quieter experience should visit La Roca in Manayunk, especially for its jalapeño cucumber tacos and margaritas that are strong enough to make you forget about losing the Rose Bowl in 2016. 1322 Chestnut Street and 4161 Main Street.

Team(s): State of Pittsburgh and Michigan
Bar: Sto’s Bar
It’s understandable that Pitt and Michigan State fans flock to Sto’s Bar. Old Town’s reliable watering hole serves up $5 citywide and filling drinks all day, every day. If that’s not enough motivation, Sto’s offers $20 Miller Lite buckets and jello shots after every touchdown. Not bad for the second-best teams in Pennsylvania and Michigan. 236 Market Street.

Crew: Texas
Bar: Chickie’s & Pete’s
The Texas Exes congregate at Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philly on Saturdays. Things get rowdy in this popular bar that has dozens of TVs. While you’re cheering on Texas and keeping an eye on Oklahoma across the bar, grab a bucket of Chickie and Pete’s Crinkle Crab Fries with a creamy cheese dip. Then, wash down your fries with $5 National Pitchers on special. 1526 Packer Ave.

Crew: USC
Bar: At Dave and Buster’s
This giant restaurant and entertainment chain is your childhood dream with pre-workout supplements, video games, pop music, huge TVs and bright lights. It’s also where Trojans fans brave the East Coast temperatures on game days. D&B’s typically offers a special fall drink list that includes remixes of classics like old fashioneds as well as pumpkin-enriched shakes. If the PAC-12 game isn’t going well, ditch the giant flatscreens and head to the arcade. 325 Columbus Blvd North.

Crew: ohio state
Bar: Scale 15
The Buckeyes take over Ladder 15 – a Rittenhouse bar that gets crowds dancing – every fall weekend. It’s a good place to watch any game if you don’t want to feel too packed, as Ladder 15 has TVs on both levels. Expect standards like wings, as well as elevated pub fare like calamari and truffle fries. 1528 Sansom St.

Crew: Michigan
Bar: Flanigan Boathouse
Michigan fans watch Maize and Blue at Flanigan’s Boathouse in Conshohocken. This family-friendly sports bar serves breakfast tacos and quesadillas as well as crispy pork sandwiches from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those looking for game day drinks can add $25 High Noon buckets or $4 Bud Light bottles. (Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse also shows all of Michigan’s games). 113 Fayette Street, Conshohocken.

Crew: Clemson
Bar: The post office
Clemson alumni take part in ACC main action at the Post in University City. In addition to showing games, this bright and colorful bar with brasserie seating offers activities like pool, air hockey, and shuffleboard that add to the game-day experience. If you love martinis, The Post offers eight (yes, you read that right) varieties of the drink. Whenever you need a bit of air, head to the rooftop of Cira Green where the games are played on their giant screen. 129 30th Street South.

Crew: Wisconsin
Bar: Cavanaugh’s Rittenhouse
Wisconsin fans enjoy Cavanaugh’s new two-story Rittenhouse location, which features wall-to-wall televisions. While you watch the Badgers play Big Ten football, order from Cavanaugh’s list of Saturday specials like $18 Bud Light buckets and $24 White Claw buckets. Make it an even better Saturday and stock up on Philly-style toddlers topped with steak, onions and cheese. 1921 Sansom Street.

Crew: Rutgers
Bar: Pub O’Neals
It’s hard to have back-to-back losing seasons, so it’s only fitting that the folks at O’Neals care about Rutgers fans. This family-run Irish pub in Queen Village serves $3.75 Bud Lights all day, plus breakfast sandwiches until 10 p.m. Head’s up: They broadcast most college football games indoors, as well as on their street-side and back patio. 611 3rd Street South.


Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement