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Local joints offer big fun for big games

By Kyle Kensing
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, March 24, 2005
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Are you one of the many Arizona basketball fans wanting to watch tonight's Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament game against Oklahoma State, but couldn't afford the airfare to Chicago or price of admission at Allstate Arena?

Cheer up. Tucson has its share of establishments to make the tournament viewing experience the next best thing to being in the Windy City.

Bars and restaurants on and around campus offer everything from drink specials to multiple giant televisions to activities.

Here are a few:


E. Speedway Blvd., near the Campbell intersection.

The bar that proclaims "it's a part of growing up" is showing the UA-OSU matchup on 12 TVs and offers patrons $2.75 Stolichinaya Vodka drinks.

"We've been around since 1982 and been part of the university and its tradition," manager Gary Welch said.

Dirtbag's will be open to Arizona fans 21 and over by the 8:15 tip-off.

Old Chicago

2960 N. Campbell Ave.

Old Chicago Pasta and Pizza, home to 110 different beers, has its "Thirsty Thursday" drink special scheduled to coincide with tonight's game. Pitchers of domestic draft beer are $6.99.

Spectators can watch the Wildcats and Cowboys on 26 TVs in the bar and dining room, which will be open to fans of all ages.

"We have a huge fan base, and our staff gets into (the games) as well as the customers," manager Greg Leonard said.

"It's a very excitable crowd, and we want everyone to have a good time," he said.

No Anchovies

870 E. University Blvd.

UA hoops fans hoping to enjoy pizza and Arizona-brewed beer during tonight's game will have the opportunity to do so at No Anchovies.

All pints from the No Anchovies bar are $1 off the regular price, including various styles of Nimbus.

TVs in the bar and dining room will be tuned into the game, as well as two 5-by-5-foot projector screens on the outside patio.

Employee Robert Antoine Duffek said No Anchovies' patio is the best place in town to watch the game because of the screens and recent remodeling.

"You can get a great view on the screens, they're really clean," he said. "We've got more seating, good specials. ... It's also the people who work here. It's a great atmosphere."

Gentle Ben's Brewery

865 E. University Blvd.

This campus microbrewery welcomes basketball fans tonight with 13 TVs showing the game, including 56-inch screens and plasma screens.

Gentle Ben's offers a beer brewed on-location specifically for the Big Dance, NC-Double Ale, a dark ale with an alcohol content of 9.3 percent.

Co-manager Ian Broome said there are three reasons UA basketball fans will have a great time taking in the game at Ben's.

"First, it's a favorite place for students here in the campus area," he said. "Students come to watch the games, and we have patronage from the football and basketball teams."

Broome said that the very popular NC-Double Ale and the size of Gentle Ben's are two others factors making it a top choice for tourney viewing.

"It's a huge venue with something for everyone," he said.

Gentle Ben's dining room is open to all ages, while the upstairs patio is open to fans 21 and older.

Putney's Sports

Saloon and Grill

6090 N. Oracle Road.

For those looking to venture away from the one-mile radius surrounding campus, Putney's Sports Saloon and Grill, in its third decade in Tucson, is a quick six-mile drive and offers $1.50 pints of domestic draft beer and 35 TVs for the game.

"It's quite a bit more fun than your average (bar or restaurant)," said manager Heather Holmes. "There's more happening here.

"There's so much to do, it's almost too much to comprehend," she said.

Putney's 35 TVs will all be tuned into the game, and the bar offers a variety of activities to keep patrons busy during those long television timeouts, including Golden Tee video games, pinball and pool tables.

Putney's is open to all ages.

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