The 2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament is coming to Chicago in March. To celebrate, Chicago Like a Local will highlight the best area bars to watch each Big Ten team. With last night's upset vicotory against No. 2 Indiana, Wisconsin is fast becoming the conference's dark horse. And when it comes to rooting on the Badgers, our city has some of the best establishments this side of Madtown.
Chicago's curiously rural escape comes complete with free popcorn, cheese curds and an enormous ornamental moose. How charmingly Wisconsin. If this place were any more cheddar belt, it would feature wood paneling and offer free popcorn. Oh, wait...
On game day, Will's balances the excitement of State Street with the charm of a Door County cabin.
At Municipal Bar & Dining Co., the only thing larger than the TV's is Jared Berggren's elongated wingspan. With a few 90" screens and a menu befitting of its stylish River North location, this place has a better all-around game than Badger legend Jordan Taylor.
Remember your senior year at Madison when you scraped together couch change for Natural Light and lived on frozen pizza? It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Now that you're a grown up with sophisticated taste, catch a game at Stout. Their lamb burgers are wayyy better than that freezer burnt Jack's Pizza and it's about time you perused a craft beer menu. Finally, your age of wisdom has come full circle.
The original Kroll's is in Green Bay, Wisconsin, so this place is rooted in an almost Bud Foster-like tradition. Watch Bo Ryan agonize incessantly over a blown charging call from the comparative comfort of a sunken leather chair. Then, thank us for the recommendation with another round of Miller Lite.
If you can't get make it to the game, Wrigleyville is a comparably raucous Kohl Center substitute. Redmond's is just off the Clark Street pass which, come tournament time, will look like the Autobahn for jersey-adorned basketball fans. If you're looking for a Badger-crazed bar within a Traevon Jackson bounce pass of Al's Beef, we'll meet you at Redmond's.
Where to Watch is an ongoing series that highlights the best places to catch Big Ten basketball in Chicago. For details on the tournament, which comes to Chicago's United Center March 14-17, visit www.bigtenchicagohoops.com. Subscribe to our blog and follow @ChooseChicago on Twitter for ongoing updates.