Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11am-1:30am, Fri.-Sat. 11am-3am
Unlike its suburban cousins, the Tower Tavern on 31st Streets Martini Corner is the best kind of sports bar. Theres no strip mall nearby, no AstroTurf or shiny beer banners inside. There are a gazillion flat-screen TVs, however, and plentiful Golden Tee machines but thats where the nod toward sports fandom stops. Instead, the place exudes inner-city charm, with exposed-brick walls, pressed-tin ceilings and an eclectic menu that includes both delicate hummus and killer stromboli.
Veteran bartenders Damian King and Grant Naugle decided it was time to open their own laid-back sports bar, so they took over the old Café Trocadero space, ripped out the fussy blond-wood bar and replaced it with a macho steel-and-glass construction by Aaron Ray (better-known for building custom choppers). When it came to creating a menu to go with cold beer and icy cocktails, they took inspiration from the corner saloons of another era: pizzas made with fresh, house-made marinara; hefty meatball sandwiches; stuffed strombolis; and the best trio of slider burgers in the city -- the traditional cheddar-and-caramelized onion kind and their deluxe version with bacon and roasted garlic cream cheese. If you start craving one late at night, this taverns kitchen stays open until midnight. — Charles Ferruzza
Payment Type: All Major Credit Cards, cash
Parking: Free, Lot Available, Street
Extra Info: Smoking at bar only.