Rating the Bar
As most of us get ready to start our next season of kickball, I thought I would do a review of some of the kickball bars I have frequented in my many seasons. Someone on kickball365 asked what makes a good sponsor bar, so this is where the idea comes from. Here they are in no particular order with ratings and comments:
The Exchange Saloon - If you play on the Monument grounds it is walking distance, which is nice. There is a large outside area which is cool when it's not blazing hot. The staff is okay, the owner is a little testy, but for the most part you do as you please. The bathrooms are not that great. Specials are nothing out of the ordinary. Overall: B
Kelly's Irish Times - Small upstairs area, the staff is fairly rude. They lie to you and tell you you can't buy pitchers at the bar. When you go downstairs it's a million degrees, but at least it's all kickballers. Bathrooms are gross. Food is blah and the specials are on the low end of the kickball spectrum. NOT easy to get to. Will NOT lest you split your bill! Overall D-
Mc Fadden's - Very large. Nice specials, the staff is very slow with food, but the bartenders are nice. Lots of flip cup room. Bathrooms are the best of all the bars on the list. They love football watchers more than kickballers, so it's not great in the Fall. Close to the Monument fields, Overall: B+
Tom Tom - Decent size, very close to the fields. Service is poor. Usually only one or two bartenders and they seem overwhelmed (with just half the teams playing on one night). Good specials. MAJOR DRAWBACK: If you make noise during flip cup they close off half the bar due to complaints. The bathrooms are nice but you have to climb through a maze to find them. Not great when drunk. Overall: C+
Bottom Line - Not far from the fields if you play on the Monument. Service is ok, specials are nothing great. Tiny bathroom, small bar. They have an ice luge during the week which would be awesome for kickball. Overall: D+
The Ugly Mug - Staff is the friendliest around, however the food takes a long time and is not great. Specials are average. Bathrooms are the WORST! One of the women's toilets is broken every week! A little too small for a full compliment of players. Separate flip cup room which is pretty cool, though small. Not a bad drive from the fields. When they let us DJ that's cool too. Allows for each person to have own tab. Overall: B-
Wonderland - By far, the worst bar on this list. They care more about Bohemian dance and Bring your Baby to the Bar nights than kickballers. We are an afterthought and annoyance there. Specials suck. Staff is rude and slow. Really, it's not a kickball bar in any way. Overall: FFFF
Angry Inch - Very small, tough two levels walking distance from the fields though. Flip cup friendly. Specials are okay. Staff tries to be helpful but is slow. Bathrooms reek pretty badly. Overall: C
Asylum - Okay specials, walking distance from the fields. Really, it's a biker bar, not a kickball bar. Bathrooms are not great. Staff is okay, but seemed overwhelmed. Specials are ok. Not a lot of flip cup room, but nice for a small group. Overall: B-
Adam's Mill - Lots of levels, walking distance from the field. Upstairs gets a bit cramped and VERY hot. Flip Cup friendly. Staff is nice. Food is not great and specials are average. Bathrooms are decent. They have an outside area which is nice. Overall: B
That covers 'em all for me I think. If you have others, please feel free to add.
What makes a great sponsor bar? A lot. If I was designing the bar it would consist of this: cater ONLY to kickballers on the nights/days they play. Have a large area that is just for flip cup. I'm talking four long tables for people to play on. Lots of tvs for football, etc. A dj or equipment that someone can use to dj for the kickballers. Decent sized bathrooms (three stalls for women, two urinals and a stall for men) that are CLEAN! More bartenders than waiters. Maybe 4 bartenders, 2 waiters; people can order food through the bartenders. Fast food turnaround. Decent menu (sandwiches and salad specials plus a percent off entrees). $2 beers, $6 pitchers. A $1 shot special. Owner or bar manager there all the time to make sure everything runs smoothly and respond to concerns.
I know it's a lot to ask, but the benefit would be LOTS of money, loyalty to the bar, and a "that's our bar" feeling that will make people want to go there even if they're not playing kickball. That's what makes a great sponsor bar.