Headed to Chicago for the Big Ten tournament? Check out these MSU bars
Heading to Chicago to cheer on Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament?
The top-seeded Spartans (25-6, 16-4 Big Ten) are scheduled to begin play on Friday (12:30 p.m. EST), the Chicago Spartans website recommends several "Official MSU" bars near the United Center and around downtown for fans staying the weekend.
If you can't choose for yourself, take some advice from the largest MSU Alumni organization outside the state of Michigan:
1. Avenue Tavern - 2916 N. Broadway Street, Chicago
For those who miss Detroit-style favorites, the Avenue Tavern has you covered with its Coney Island chili imported from the Motor City, topped off with mustard and onions. The Avenue has a fine selection of pizzas, sandwiches and other bar food as well.
2. Corcoran's Grill and Pub - 1615 N. Wells Street, Chicago
This Irish pub, known for its cozy atmosphere, has a brunch selection as well as famous pub selections like chicken wings with sriracha BBQ, Korean sweet chili, buffalo, mango habanero or Guinness BBQ sauce. Those staying for St. Patrick's Day weekend can enjoy specials all day on Saturday and Sunday.
3. The Crossroads Bar and Grill - 1120 W. Madison Street, Chicago
The Crossroads offers shuttles to the United Center, making it a great place to stop before heading to the arena. Options like the Wisconsin Fried Cheese Curds can go great with a large selection of sliders, sandwiches and burgers or can be washed down with a wide variety from the drink menu.
4. El Hefe - 15 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago
This "Super Macho" Taqueria has plenty options for those seeking Mexican food, including options like carne asada fried — marinated steak, melted queso lime crema, cilantro and pickled jalapeno could go great with the wide variety of tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and chimichangas. Wash it down with one of its many margaritas or other drink specials.
5. The Hidden Shamrock - 2723 N. Halsted Street, Chicago
As put by a reviewer on Google, "Hidden Shamrock? More like Hidden Gem!" The Hidden Shamrock's food selection has something for everyone, including cauliflower "wings" for vegetarians or health-conscious individuals. For those uninterested in keeping with their diet, the one-pound pretzel comes in two styles: with salt, Guinness cheese sauce and honey mustard, or with cinnamon, sugar and Bailey's whipped cream.
6. Lion Head Pub - 2251 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago
The Lion Head Pub has deals going on all weekend ,starting with $0.25 wings all day Friday with the purchase of any alcoholic drink. Deals for St. Patrick's Day also begin Friday and a free breakfast buffet with a drink purchase from 10 a.m. until noon Saturday, and drink specials all day Sunday.
7. The River - 2909 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago
Unlike most other options, The River is famous for its "Drag Brunch" shows every Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The River is also selling $30 tickets for St. Patrick's festivities on Saturday.
8. Municipal - 216 W. Ohio Street, Chicago
Municipal has a large selection of draft beer, bottled beer, mules and wine, great for pregaming a long day of basketball. According to its website, Municipal offers a few MSU specials, including $7 Jameson shots, $8 mixed drinks, $6.99 wings or nachos, and $22 Miller/Coors Lite buckets and $20 pitchers.
9. Old Crow Smokehouse - 149 W. Kinzie Street, Chicago
Though there are multiple Old Crow locations, the one closest to downtown is in Wrigleyville. Like most other bars downtown, St. Paddy's day brings a slew of things to do, like live music, bagpipers and stilt walkers — all blocks away from the downtown parade off the Chicago River.
10. The Stretch - 3485 N. Clark Street, Chicago
The Stretch is an officially recognized MSU Alumni-owned and operated bar and grill. According to its website, fans are welcomed to watch every Spartans game with full audio and music during commericals surrounded by other MSU fans. The Stretch also has MSU-themed drink specials like $5 "Sparty Bombs" and others on their Facebook page.
11. Whiskey Business - 1367 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Whiskey Business, as described on its website, is a restaurant, bar and rooftop in Wicker Park that mixes '80s and '90s nostalgia with more than 115 different whiskeys. The niche bar also begins an NCAA March Madness special beginning Thursday open for games all day and a chance to win a Cubs game excursion.