With the Northwestern (No. 7) basketball team taking on Boise State (No. 10)  at 6:30 pm on Thursday, March 16 in Sacramento, Calif., local bars are prepping for lively crowds and eager supporters.

“I like the camaraderie amongst fans. I think it’ll be exciting, we expect a pretty good crowd,” said Ike Robertson, owner and operator at Ridgeville Tavern, 1520 Sherman Ave.

This is only the second time Wildcats head to the NCAA tournament, with their first appearance coming in 2017.

basketball hoop in basketball court
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The restaurant and bar will show the game on all seven of its TVs with the sound on, Robertson said. In a bid to draw fans, the establishment is also extending its happy hour from 4 p.m. through 7 p.m.

Just down the street, Tapville Social, 810 Grove St., is also showing the game with discounted beers and ciders during its all-day happy hour from 4 p.m. through 10 p.m.

In addition to a ‘bite splatter,’ an appetizer sampler which includes Sante Fe egg rolls and cheese curds with a marinara dip, the self-pour bar is also serving up a Northwestern-themed margarita that’s purple and hibiscus-based, said Diego Cerda, the store’s lead bartender.

“We’re trying to get more people in. It’s always really nice to have the seats filled,” he said.

Fans at Bat 17, 1709 Benson Ave., another downtown pub, will also be able to watch tomorrow’s game. However, they should be sure to get there 30 minutes early, as seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Guests will be able to enjoy the bar’s regular Thursday specials on house drinks and mixers.

“It’s fun when the teams are doing well and everyone can come in to support them. It’ll definitely be busy,” general manager Hannah Lindsey said.

Here’s a breakdown of more places around town where fans can see the game:

  • Prairie Moon, 1635 Chicago Ave. The restaurant is hosting its happy hour from 4 p.m. through 6 p.m. before the game kicks off.
  • Bob’s Pizza, 616 Davis St. Pilsen-style pizza and specialty cocktails like the Espresso Martini, Cold Fashioned and Irish Twins Root Beer come together at the pizzeria on game day. The cocktails are in partnership with Newport Coffee House.
  • Firehouse Grill, 750 Chicago Ave. Guests at the bar will be able to watch the game and enjoy a 50% discount on the second pizza if they get two during operation hours.

“There’s a ton of support for Northwestern among the businesses in southeast Evanston. Northwestern is the pride of Evanston,” said Katherine Gotsick, the executive director for the Main-Dempster Mile business district.

However, if you prefer staying home, you can catch the game on TruTv

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Manan Bhavnani

Prior to joining the RoundTable, Manan Bhavnani covered business and technology for the International Business Times, with a focus on mergers, earnings and governance. He is a double Medill graduate, with...

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  1. Bluestone has always been a favorite NU sports hangout. What does the reporter have against this bar/restaurant?