With the weekend upon us, March Madness 2019 is in full swing. For college basketball enthusiasts eager to cheer with beer — and a crowd — these New York hotel bars are serving up big screens, generous brews, burgers and a congenial backdrop for cheers and tears.
The Biergarten at the Standard High Line is a go-to spot for sporting events, from the Olympics and World Cup soccer to the madness that is March. Tucked under the massive iron trestles of the High Line, it’s big, crowded, noisy — and heated if it doesn’t feel like spring. An ideal setting for heavy duty sports watching, in other words. Settle in with $5 Brauhaus (available at that price only during the games). Round it out with sausages, pretzels and, if the games lag, Ping-Pong.
The Standard Biergarten, 848 Washington Street, 212 645-4646
In Midtown and starved for hoops? Harry’s Bar at the Park Lane is an unexpected haven. Dark, manly and unabashedly retro, the wood-paneled lair named for Harry Helmsley, the 20th-century real estate mogul who once owned the place, buzzes with promotional specials that actually sound good — Tuesday night Makers 46 Old Fashioneds, Gin and Tonic Thursdays (choose your gin and your tonic) and Ryeday Fridays with barrel-aged Manhattans and Boulevardiers. For March Madness, you get a draft beer and a Wagyu cheeseburger on a brioche bun with bread & butter pickles for $26. Just what you’d expect at a well-groomed heritage hotel tower overlooking Central Park.
Harry’s Bar at the Park Lane, 36 Central Park South, 212 371-4000
Less than five miles south — and a world away — Arlo Soho, the chipper lifestyle hotel, offers a laid-back March Madness experience. The big screen in the hotel’s mid-century-inflected Living Room is tuned to the game. And if the communal table is largely populated with laptop users oblivious to the proceedings in the paint, fans can grab a beer from the Arlo Lobby Bar, aka A.L.B., settle into a club chair and cheer.
Arlo SoHo, 231 Hudson Street, 212 342-7000