We rounded up what 32 places were offering for Saturday’s Final Four game — and most venues planned something similar for Monday’s game should Kentucky advance. Well, the Cats did. That game is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. Use this guide as a reference for Monday's game — but call ahead to check details.
Central Kentucky restaurants and bars known for their sports crowds are gearing up for big business this weekend, with the University of Kentucky men's basketball team's appearance in Saturday's Final Four round of the NCAA tournament.
"March Madness is our favorite time of year," said Kevin Heathcoat, co-owner of Bourbon n' Toulouse.
Kentucky faces Wisconsin in Arlington, Texas. Game time is expected to be about 8:49 p.m.
Kelly Hieronymus, who is a bartender at West Sixth Brewing and does marketing and creative services for the brewery, said crowds have been big during previous games.
"It's pretty epic how cool it is to watch everyone cheer on the game," she said.
We asked several bars and restaurants known for their sports crowds about their plans for Saturday, and possibly Monday. Read on for drink and food specials and more from venues that responded to our request.
FINAL FOUR PLANS
A.P. Suggins Bar and Grill. 345 Romany Rd., (859) 268-0709, Suggins.com. Eight TVs. No reservations accepted. Arrive by 7 p.m. to get table.
Bd's Mongolian Grill. 2309 Sir Barton Way, (859) 264-0686, Gomongo.com. 12 TVs. Reservations accepted for tables for dining. Arrive by 6 p.m. to get table. $1.75 domestic drafts, $2 bottle beers. "If it is close, people are ordering more beer," said manager Kallie Milburn.
Belle's Cocktail House. 156 Market St., Facebook.com/bellescocktailhouse. Four 70-inch TVs. Arrive no later than 8 p.m. for good seat, says co-owner Justin Thompson. Food truck on-site.
Bigg Blue Martini. 369 W. Vine St., in lobby of Hilton Lexington/Downtown Hotel; (859) 231-9000; TheBiggBlueMartini.com. Seven TVs. No reservations for bar; arrive by 6:30 p.m. to get table. Drink specials will be announced Saturday. "Business is always good here," said Galin Ivanov, a supervisor and bartender. "Fans can be a little bit bitter when they lose. But they tend to drink a little bit more when they are bitter."
Bourbon n' Toulouse. 829 Euclid Ave., (859) 335-0300, BNTlex.com. Restaurant will close at 8 p.m. Saturday, before game, but from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, people dressed as twin UK players Aaron and Andrew Harrison will receive two-for-one meals. Biological twins will receive two $9 gift certificates. If UK faces Florida in Monday's finals, alligator etouffee will be served Sunday and Monday.
Campus Pub. 393 Waller Ave, (859) 231-0957, Campuspub.net. Patio will be covered and will have an additional TV. $3.50 Bacardi and $6 Woodford Reserve drinks, $4 Fireball shots.
Cellar Bar & Grille. 3256 Lansdowne Dr., (859) 317-8301, Cellargrille.com. $11 buckets of domestic beer, $7.50 pitchers of domestic beers.
Cheapside Bar & Grill. 131 Cheapside. (859) 254-0046, Cheapsidebarandgrill.com. $5 blue margaritas, $4 Final Four blue shot. Four TVs and 10-foot project-screen TV playing game. Extra seating added, no reservations taken; arrive by 4:30 p.m. for best seats.
The Copper Still. 212 W. Water St., Richmond, (859) 624-8110. $12 buckets of beer, $2 Big Blue shots, $5 Copper Still old-fashioned; $10 large single-topping pizza. Seven TVs. Reserved seating available. No cover, no live music.
Drake's. 3347 Tates Creek Rd., 859-335-6500, Drakescomeplay.com. First-come, first-served open seating. More than 20 TVs. Starting at 10 p.m.: $1 minis, $2 wells, $1 select draft beers. "It will be just a huge game-watch party. We would advise, since it's Keeneland opening weekend, the earlier the better. It's going to be crazy," manager Stephanie Bork said. Malone's also is booked because of Keeneland. Plan for Monday's game, if applicable, hasn't been made. Last weekend was "crazy, awesome, packed to capacity," Bork said.
Hooters. 3101 Richmond Rd., No. 315, (859) 269-8521, Hooters.com. No special plans solidified for Saturday's game, but if UK plays Monday, half-price appetizers and $1.50 domestic drafts during happy hour.
Hugh Jass Burgers. 395 S. Limestone, (859) 357-8934, Hughjassburgers.com. 15 TVs inside, widescreen TV in parking lot, which will be roped off. $6 Bud and Bud Light pitchers, $2 Kentucky blue Jell-O shots, $2 blue John Wall shots. Seating is first-come, first-served. Tables available on patio. Standing room in parking lot. Monday's plans will be similar, if applicable. Last weekend, "it was packed. I expect it to be as busy as the Louisville game, if not busier," manager Mike Wyrick said. "I'll probably have to double my normal staff."
Jefferson Davis Inn. 319 Cedar St., 859 246-0202, Jdilex.com. Specials on brisket ($9.99), smoked ribs ($12.99 for half rack); $5 blue drink specials, $8 pitchers of Bud Light on draft, $10 for bucket of five domestic beers. 10 TVs on first floor, five on second floor. Patio will be open as long as weather permits. First-come, first-served seating. Manager Jennifer Simpson said, "We have taken some reservations, but the second floor is already booked up. Already have someone that called and asked to reserve a table on Monday, just in case." People probably will start arriving about 6 or 7 p.m.
The Ketch. 2012 Regency Rd., (859) 277-5919, Ketchseafoodgrill.com. Happy hour prices (domestic draft pints and longnecks for $2.25, well drinks for $2.50; half-price Cat Paws catfish bites for $4.25, $1 tacos). Eight HD TVs in dining room and bar. Open seating. Arrive 30 minutes to an hour before game. "Last weekend had a packed house," owner Art Howard said. "Got a former server who brings a crowd of about 30 people, so now they can't stop because they're pretty superstitious."
The Local Taco. 315 S. Limestone, (859) 523-3700. Thelocaltaco.com. $10 bags of beer; four tacos for $10. Seven TVs. No reserved seating. Arrive by 5 p.m. Saturday for good seat. Same specials for Monday because, manager Kevin Lewis said, the Cats are "going all the way."
Lynagh's Irish Pub. 384 Woodland Ave., (859) 255-1292, Lynaghsirishpub.com. Specials include $6 domestic pitchers, $2 blue Jell-O shots, $4 Big Blue shots, $12.99 game-day platters (three mini brats, six wings and three mini O'Rounds).
McCarthy's Irish Bar. 117 S. Upper St., (859) 258-2181, Mccarthysirishbar.com. $3 well drinks and $2.50 domestic beers starting at tip-off. 15-by-15-foot TV. McCarthy's opened in 1996, when the UK men won an NCAA championship; the bar considers itself a good-luck token.
Merrick Inn. 1074 Merrick Dr. (859)269-5417. Themerrickinn.com. Half-price appetizers; prime rib and seafood specials. 11 TVs. Reserved seating in dining room, open seating in bars and patio. Happy hour starting at 6 p.m., right after last race at Keeneland. Same specials will apply Monday.
Nick Ryan's Saloon. 157 Jefferson St., (859) 233-7900, Nickryans.com. Filet mignon with lump lobster Hollandaise sauce ($28); two-for-one well drinks and house wines all night. Four TVs playing game with sound. Reservations available.
O'Neill's Traditional Irish Pub. 2051 Richmond Rd., Suite 140, (859) 266-4488, Oneillsirishpub.com. 20 TVs plus 120-inch TV that's "clear as a bell," owner Dave Spreitzer said. The band See Alice will play after game (no cover). $12.50 for buckets of five domestic beers, $7 domestic pitchers, drink specials TBD before half-time and after game. Same game plan for Monday, if applicable. "It's a great place to come relax and watch the game far from the madding crowd on Limestone." Arrive 4 to 5 p.m. for good table. No reservations taken.
Parlay Social. 257 W Short St., (859) 244-1932, Parlaysocial.com. Specials: Big Blue Hawaiian pizza ($11.95), Kentucky Ale beers and Town Branch rye cocktail. Eight TVs. Caught Red Handed will play at half-time and after game. No reservations taken. Get there 5 to 6 p.m. "We were swamped on Sunday," said manager John Brown. If UK plays Monday, game will be playing on all TVs and same specials will be in place; karaoke win or lose.
Paulie's Toasted Barrel. 517 W. Main St., (859) 229-5886, Pauliestoastedbarrel.com. Open at 2 p.m. 110-inch HD JumboTron, seven 55-inch TVs. $5 Blue LITs, $12 domestic buckets; Ricks Hot Dog cart on site. First-come, first-served for tables; no reservations. Extra drink specials every hour: 2-5 p.m., $1 tequila shots; 5-7 p.m., $2 Wildcat shots; 7 p.m.-close, $3 John Wall shots.
The Pub. 3750 Mall Rd., in Plaza at Fayette Mall, (859) 971-2748, Experiencethepub.com/lexington. Happy hour specials will apply during game: $3 for 14-ounce beers; $4.50 for 20-ounce beers; Wildcat margaritas available. All appetizers $3.95. Patio open. Four 60-inch TVs, including one on patio.
Shamrock Bar and Grille. 154 Patchen Dr., Lexington, (859) 269-7621. Shamrocksky.com. No food specials, but drink specials include: $11 for five-beer buckets, $7.25 pitchers, $2.75 Killian's. "We're asking people to get here early," said co-owner Steve Reed. No reservations, but one person may save up to four seats. 17 TVs that are 40 inches or larger. Tables added in darts area.
Shamrock Bar and Grille. 4750 Hartland Pkwy., (859) 245-9504, Shamrocksky.com. Same drink specials as Patchen Drive location. 26 TVs. Additional seating. No reservations, but one person may save up to four seats.
Soundbar. 208 S. Limestone, (859) 523-6338, Soundbarlex.com. Call for table or lounge seating reservations. 16 TVs. Both levels open. $1 tube shots, $10 buckets of beer. Same plans for Monday if UK advances.
Southside Pub. 3650 Boston Rd., (859) 223-4775, Southsidepub.net. 21 TVs, one projection-screen TV. $8.95 game-day buffett, 50-cent wings; $10 buckets of beer, $6 pitchers of beer, $1 Big Blue shooters during game.
The Tin Roof. 303 S. Limestone, (859) 317-9111, Tinroofbars.com. Jumbotron in fenced-in parking lot, 16 TVs inside. Beer-bucket specials. No more reservations available.
Two Keys Tavern. 333 S. Limestone, (859) 254-5000, Twokeystavern.com. 32 TVs. Open at 11 a.m., no cover until 7 p.m. $12 bags of beer. No reservations taken. Good Fellas pizza available for purchase.
West Sixth Brewing. 501 W. Sixth St., (859) 951-6006, Westsixth.com. Big-screen TV in beer garden, more TVs in taproom. Rolling Oven pizza food truck on site, food available at adjacent Smithtown Seafood; 12 beers on tap. Get there early. If UK plays Monday, game will be shown.
Wild Cat Saloon. 123 Cheapside, (859) 309-1297, Wildcatsaloon.com. Large projection-screen TV plus seven more TVs. $1 Wildcat Brew, $4 shots, $7.50 fish bowls. No cover.
Winchell's Restaurant & Bar. 348 Southland Dr. (859) 278-9424. Winchellsrestaurant.com. $10 buckets of five domestic beer, blue shot special, food specials. 30 TVs inside, three TVs on sidewalk. "We've been packed for every game," said owner Graham Waller. No reservations accepted. Come a few hours before tip-off for table.
Wines on Vine. 400 Old Vine St., (859) 243-0017, Winesonvine.net. Half-price appetizers, happy-hour prices on draft beer during game, no corkage fee on wine. Seven TVs. Reservations recommended.