(credit: O’Malley’s Sports Pub Facebook)
We really don’t want to bring up the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals, but we do want to add a few suggestions to this list of the South Bay’s best places for watching and cheering on the Sharks, the 49ers and other great Bay Area teams. What other spots have we missed?
2135 Old Middlefield Way
Mountain View, CA 94043
Come get your pint of Guinness or your glass of Lagunitas IPA. Existing staff cut the ribbon with new staff in April 2014 when Francesca’s was reborn, transitioning from dive bar to Irish pub. Renovations included more television screens with upgraded sound and video systems, and “sports” has even worked its way into the place’s name. O’Malley’s has you covered with a rotating beer selection served from 25 taps, plus bottled beers. With three pool tables, there’s another distraction once the game is over. Happy hour is 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.
510 Lawrence Expressway, Suite 110
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Since 1980, patrons have been grabbing a beer, a burger and a ball game at this Sunnyvale institution. St. John’s sounds like the name of a church, but it’s more like a temple to good burgers for under $10. Even better, all of burgers are half price all day on Saturday, so get ‘em while they last. And, yes, the game is always on.
1777 S. Bascom Ave.
Campbell, CA 95008
“Time to eat” says the neon sign attached to the vintage clock on the wall. “This is Sharks territory,” says another sign. Everyone raves about the signature pizza called Gilroy Special. Get a pizza for the face off or the first pitch of the game at this old timer, which opened its doors in 1971. Of course, the television screens aren’t vintage, so no worries. There’s a good choice of local beers on tap, pitchers of craft beer and nice, fattening curly fries. Pop-up raffles and gift card giveaways, as well as pizza and pitcher discounts, take place during many of the games.
12175 Saratoga Sunnyvale Road
Saratoga, CA 95070
Arrive early if you want to get a seat when a big game is on. This is the original home of the Gilroy garlic pizza. Large-screen TVs, good pizza, family-sized booths and a local presence since 1981 mean that a couple of generations of locals think of Jake’s first. It’s a family-friendly sports bar formula that works, so bring the kids along. Patio seating out back is where heaters get fired up for late-night games. Jake’s is open until midnight.
895 Villa St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
This is Silicon Valley’s spot for after work, hanging with a group from the office, talking tech. After a pint from the mega-menu of craft beers on tap, the heavily guy-dominated crowd starts talking sports instead. Big TVs litter the space above the bar and even bigger TVs are suspended from the high ceilings in the cavernous hall, which is way too upscale to be compared to your college Rathskeller. Play hooky from work or school for the happy hour that runs Monday to Friday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The big patio with communal picnic tables is a glorious retreat for non-sports enthusiasts.