Sure, you can watch the Green Bay Packers at home, but everyone knows the game is best enjoyed at a Packers bar—unless you’re at Lambeau Field, that is.
Packers bars are back, Wisconsin.
It’s been a long time since you could watch a Packers season opener with anyone but your household (The Packer Centennial year of 2019 seems like a lifetime ago). But when the Delta surge subsides, it might be safe to venture out to a Packers bar or an outdoor venue when the Packers open against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 12. Just remember your Packers mask if you’re in Dane County or other places now requiring face coverings indoors.
You can find Packers bars on a website site called packerseverywhere.com, but it can be out of date since so many places didn’t survive the COVID-19 epidemic. So be sure to call ahead or check the websites to make sure that they’re still in business and haven’t been purchased by Vikings fans.
Packers Bars in Titletown, aka Green Bay
Many of the formerly modest homes around Lambeau Field have been revamped into weekend party palaces. You can rent them for a small fortune when the Packers are in town. But the same places, with their big screen TV and hot tubs, are available for a fraction of the price when the Packers play away.
Why go to Green Bay when the Pack is elsewhere? Because you can have a great game-day experience by renting one of these homes and walking over to Lambeau and watching the game with other fans at the 1919 Kitchen and Tap located inside the Lambeau atrium. Just outside the stadium, in the Titletown Entertainment District, you’ll find a wealth of options, including Hinterland Brewing and 46 Below.
Nearby, the venerable Kroll’s West and Stadium View Bar have a rowdy atmosphere, a throwback to the days when Lambeau was considerably less posh. Check out the original Kroll’s, now known as Kroll’s East, for a more traditional-Wisconsin-bar feeling. Kroll’s East is known for lake perch and also for being the place Barack Obama stopped for onion rings on a campaign swing in 2008.
Packers Bars in New Orleans
It’s not advisable to go inside a tavern during Louisiana’s COVID surge, but good news: Many of the NOLA sports bars have outdoor screens, and since the local Saints will be playing, you can watch the Packers safely outdoors. We once watched at an outside joint on Magazine Street, along with a NOLA police officer who had pulled over his squad.
Another fun outdoor venue is the Saints’ fans tailgating scene below the freeway ramps adjacent to the Superdome. They set up huge barbecue smokers, sound systems, and even living room furniture. And they’re hospitable to visiting Packer fans, unlike fans in that other Mississippi River town (see below).
UPDATE: The Packers versus Saints season opener has been relocated to Jacksonville, Florida due to widespread damage in New Orleans caused by Hurricane Ida.
Packers Bars in Winnesota
Whether you call it Minnesconsin or Winnesota, you have to feel for Packers fans who live in Wisconsin, but who are in the Duluth and Twin Cities television markets. If the Pack is playing at the same time as the Vikings, they have to find a bar that has the Packer game on or they’re stuck listening to the “skol” horn.
In Hudson, Packer fans flock to the Village Inn, which features the Packers’ G logo, and jerseys from historic Packer greats Brett Favre and Reggie White. Kozy Korner Pizza, also in Hudson, is known as the Northwest Home of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band, so it’s a great spot for both Packers and Badgers Viewing.
Further north in Ashland, part of the Duluth media market, you can find the Pack on TV at the Neighborly Bar. Just don’t wear a Bears jersey, or you might get tossed off the ore dock that sticks out into Lake Superior. They’re not that neighborly.
Packers Bars in Viking Territory
It’s really not safe to wear a Packers jersey in some places in Minnesota, and despite the existence of many “mixed marriages” between Packers and Vikings fans, it has been tough to find a Packers Bar in the Twin Cities since Herkimer’s, a brewery in the Lyn/Lake neighborhood, closed during the pandemic.
Packers friends recommend the Park Tavern, a bowling alley in St. Louis Park as a reasonable place to watch.
Packers Bars in Buckeye Country
Once when the Badgers played in Columbus, Ohio, we were looking for kindred spirits to watch the Packers play the next day. We found them at the On Tap Pub, located in a strip mall on Bethel Road in suburban Columbus. This place is the real deal, with bartenders in Packer shirts and a cheese wedge festooned with a buckeye in its logo.
Good Bloody Marys, too.
Packers Bars in the Big Apple
Back in the beatnik era, the Kettle of Fish in New York’s Greenwich Village hosted writers like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg and musicians including Bob Dylan. Then it was bought by some Sconnies, and now it’s a great place to watch the Packers.
The bar struggled during the pandemic and launched a GoFundMe to stay afloat. Aaron Rodgers himself gave the fundraiser a boost when he retweeted a photo of himself in the bar, accompanied by a link to the campaign.
Packers Bars in the Desert
Plenty of Sconnies have abandoned the Lake Michigan fog for the warmth of the Valley of the Sun, and so there are plenty of Packers bars in the Phoenix metro area. One longtime favorite is the Buffalo Chip Saloon in Cave Creek. It’s got bull riding, beef brisket, and Packers and Badgers news on its website. What else do you need?
In Scottsdale, Clancy’s Pub at Camelback and Miller roads has green bar stools and is a Packers bar on game days. During the NBA Finals, it transformed into a Bucks bar—pretty sporting of them since Milwaukee had to beat the hometown Suns to get there.
Packers Bars in Milwaukee
Speaking of the Deer, we’re guessing that the new Deer District around Fiserv Forum will offer many awesome places to watch the Pack. Nearby, Major Goolsby’s has long held the title as one of Wisconsin’s premier sports bars.
If you like a more neighborhood feel, we had a blast at Maverick’s Bar on Howard Avenue near General Mitchell International Airport. It draws a fun crowd and gives out free lemon and lime jello shots for every Packer touchdown.
Packers Bars in Wisconsin
Every bar in Wisconsin with a TV is a Packers bar on game day!
Some favorites include Burly-N-Bucks in Osseo, which has outdoor viewing in nice weather; The Ticket Sports Bar in Platteville; and Glory Days in La Crosse, where the theme is “Every Day’s A Tailgate.” Don’t dawdle, though, because Glory Days is for sale, so the glory days may be numbered.
Packers Bars in New England
Are you kidding me? There are more Packers bars in Alaska. Oh sure, you can find a lot of sports bars in Boston, but they’ll have the Pats on every single screen. We once spent a sad Monday night in Vermont trying to find a bar that was open, had a TV, and would show the Packers on Monday Night Football. If you’re in New England on game day, buy some beer and hole up with your phone. You’ll wish you were in Weyauwega.