We sometimes forget that heading down to the sports bar to watch the game, eat our favorite bar snacks, and maybe play a round of pool. Less than a century ago, there were no sports bars.
The closest thing were pubs and taverns. These places were similar in some ways to sports bars. People still played billiards, food was available, and of course you could get a pint of beer. It was also very different.
The food wasn’t the common bar snacks we know and love today, and of course there were no big screen TVs showing the game from every possible angle.
Despite this, billiards and other bar games like darts were so popular, King Henry VII put severe restrictions on pub games. He didn’t like them because with so many people crowding into pubs to play darts, there were less people practicing their archery.
At the time, archery was an essential skill for the military, and having fewer skilled archers was a concern. It seemed that sports bars would be consigned to history even before they began.
The beginning of sports bars
The first hints of sports bars returning began in the 1930s. A new bar setting up in the USA decided to bring bar games back. Their pub offered billiards, darts, and all the games once lost to time. Although they didn’t offer the familiar foods, sports memorabilia, or sports at all—offering those games again was the first step in the journey to where we are today.
The sports bar as we know it first arose in the 1960s, when a bar in Buffalo decided to change the typical menu offered to guests. The menu included familiar favorites such as chicken wings, which were low-cost menu items meant to help attract guests. Those menu items are now ones we strongly associate with sports bars.
The next major step came in 1979, when the first true sports bar came to be. This sports bar was called Legends, and it was the first sports bar with TVs to let you watch the game live.
Legends was founded by NFL sports star Dennis Harah and contained a lot of sports memorabilia—another common trait of sports bars. The sports memorabilia wasn’t limited to football items. There was even a race car suspended from the ceiling, as well as boxing gloves and items from other sports.
The eclectic mix fit the bill for what a typical sports bar looked like, from the decorations and the food all the way to the TVs playing your favorite game.
Sports Bars Today
Modern sports bars have grown and developed from there. Now, HD televisions that bring the game to life in greater detail, Wi-fi internet access, and a great craft beer selection are all important aspects of a great sports bar.
Society PB has everything you need for the best bar experience. We have great food, great beer, and great TV sets at every angle so you can enjoy the game.