The Niners have re-emerged as the football authority Bay Area natives remember well, and are already flying high in the playoffs—it’s time to stand up, cheer loud, and have a few cold beverages while screaming for our crimson and gold NFC West Champs. Die hard fans know we have been here before, and we’re all thinking about all the gridiron greats who are wearing a 49ers’ Super Bowl ring. What better way to pay homage to our boys at Candlestick than raising a glass in a bar fit for Niners legends of yesteryear?
Check out these fine Bay Area establishments, each in the spirit of our Lombardi champs from past decades of dominance, that will be full of spirit for our present day Super Bowl contenders.
Steve Young, The Competitor
Hours: Mon – Thurs 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m. – 10pm; Sun 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Ranking second in NFL history in career passing, Steve Young was never one to sit back and simply watch the game. Players is not only a bar with almost as many TV screens as Young had passing attempts, it also has more than 85 arcade games, as well as billiards, air hockey, Skeeball, NFL 2 Minute Drill, NBA Hoops, Dance Dance Revolution, and plenty of other games to prove your dominance over your friends. A full menu of classic bar food will keep your energy up, and if you want to get a taste of the islands a la Young’s seven trips to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, check out the Luau Lounge and Tiki Bar for a nice retreat from the noise and a great view of the Bay. And sticking with the theme of No. 8, Steve is a family man, and as such Players is family friendly. Also make sure to flash your ID, as San Francisco locals get food, drink, and arcade specials.
Ronnie Lott, The Hard Hitter
Hours: Mon to Fri – 11:30 a.m. to 2a.m.; Sat. and Sun.– 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.
As one of the most feared secondary players in the league, Ronnie Lott never pulled any punches, and neither does this fierce Irish pub. While not your traditional sports bar, The Kezar Pub offers no apologies for what is: Cold beer with no frills, good food, but a straight up menu of things like burgers and wings, and sports, lot’s of them. All Pro eight times, Lott wasn’t flashy, but he was effective. Kezars isn’t going to win any interior design awards, but it gets the sports viewing experience done right with none of the fluff.
Bill Walsh, The West Coast Classic
Hours: Mon – Thurs 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Fri – Sat 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Bill Walsh is the granddaddy of West Coast offense, and there are few places that scream of the Left Coast more than Wipeout Bar and Grill. A mainstay on PIER 39 since 2005 , the family owned joint is themed after classic beach restaurants, but bleeds with love for local sports teams. Celebrity-signed surfboards and world-famous beach signs adorn the walls, but don’t be fooled, as when the game is on all eyes are on the TVs. Like the iconic coach, style would never be substituted for substance. The Golden Gate Natural Angus Beef Burgers compete with paddlin’ pizzas for the food, and the drink menu is nothing short of spectacular.
Jerry Rice, The Dependable
Hours: Mon – Thurs 4 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Fri 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sat 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Sun 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
One of the greatest players in the city’s history is a perfect match for one of the greatest bars in the city’s history. Whereas Jerry Rice is legendary for most touchdowns scored (208), Harry’s is legendary for some of the best cocktails served. You are not going be beat over the head with TVs, but like Jerry, the bars classic approach with attention to detail is what sets it apart. Top shelf cocktails mixed with an amazing crowd makes it the perfect place to unwind watching the next round of Niners greats. But also be aware, the place is a favorite, so reservations are recommended.
Joe Montana, The All Star
Golden Joe was an MVP in every sense of the word, and Union Square Sports Bar is as well rounded of a sports bar as there is. The location is great, the drinks are quality yet reasonable priced, the service is good yet not overbearing, and the atmosphere is energetic without being over the top. The bar will be having loads of drink specials for 49er playoff games, with a special 49ers shot as well. Montana consistently had the highest passer rating when he was playing, and Union Square has one of the highest satisfaction ratings of sports fans.
Related: Best Bay Area sports bars.
Nicolette Glade is a freelance writer and photographer, food nut, dive bar hound, and has travelled from South America to Asia searching for her foodie fix. A Jersey native, she now calls the Bay Area her home and has found plenty of gastronomic toys to play with right in her own backyard. You can read more of her culinary adventures on Examiner.com.