Five bars to watch basketball at this weekend
End Zone (10034 S Western Ave, 773-238-7969)
Not to be confused with ESPN Zone, this cozy South Side spot banks on real sports fans and loyal locals rather than tourists and buffalo wings. This week the NCAA will be the main attraction, naturally. But if you get bored with the games, you can roam the room, checking out the vintage photos of sports legends.
The North End (3733 N Halsted St, 773-477-7999)
This low-key Boystown sports bar attracts a steady share of regulars looking for solid basketball coverage and a good pool table. During the final game (Mon 6) it’ll also host a Wii Basketball competition, the winner of which wins an iPod Touch.
Theory (9 W Hubbard St, 312-644-0004)
Save the yelling with your arms over your head for the Wrigleyville sports bars—this newcomer is for the sophisticated sports fan. The sleek decor and ambiance could easily make you forget that you’re in a sports lounge, but seeing the Final Four on huge flat-screens is your reminder.
WestEnd (1326 W Madison St, 312-981-7100)
The bar stools at this sports bar are extra-wide, and the dark room draws the focus to the game shining brightly from the numerous TVs. It’s perfect for anybody who’s bummed about not scoring NCAA tickets: Here you see the game better, cheaper and more comfortably than you would if you were actually there.
The Spread (2476 Lincoln Ave, 773-857-5074)
Though it looks a little more upscale than most this is still, at heart, a sports bar. Every seat has a view of a flat-screen and is occupied by a basketball fan. The best part: Warm doughnuts are always available to comfort fans of the losing team.