First visit to Calhoun’s Sports Bar & Grill

I walked to Calhoun’s Sports Bar & Grill on GE Patterson Avenue to watch the Cotton Bowl this morning.  It is only the bar’s second day of operation, and they’re still putting finishing touches on, so I declined to take pictures.  However, I do have a full report about Calhoun’s.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was that they had five large flat-panel TVs, perfect for watching the game from any angle.  They have DirecTV, which is a good thing because Comcast Cable was out for part of the morning Downtown.  The three largest and most visible TVs have DirecTV HD.

At the time I walked in, about 10:45 AM, there were two bowl games on – the Cotton Bowl (Arkansas vs. Missouri) and the Outback Bowl (Tennessee vs. Wisconsin).  All five TVs were tuned to the Arkansas game.  NICE.  Eventually some people came in who didn’t have such good taste in football teams, and two of the TVs were switched to the Tennessee game, but the sound was kept on for the Arkansas game.

The layout is as follows:  5 tables in front; long bar that seats maybe 15; rails on the wall opposite the wall that could hold probably another 10.  They’re still working on the upstairs, but there will be more seating up there.

They sell beer only, with 7 draft beers, 8 premium bottled beers, and 12 domestic bottled beers.  My picks for the best beer values:  16 oz. draft pints of Guinness or Stella Artois for $3.50; any of the three varieties of Yuengling (regular, light, black & tan) for $3.  They have PBR in bottles.  John D will be happy to hear that they have Bud Light bottles.

There’s bar mix to munch on, and if you’re hungrier than that they have a menu of very basic bar food in the $3.50-$8.50 range.  The bartender recommended the hot and spicy drummies in particular, six large, meaty spicy drumsticks (legs, not wing drummies) with ranch or blue cheese for $6.

They’re getting Wi-Fi and were trying to get the router installed while I was in there.  Should be up within a few days, I would think.

They’re still working out the hours, but for right now they’re open 3 PM to 3 AM weekdays and noon to 3 AM weekends.  However, for important sports events such as March Madness, they’ll open early.  “We’ll probably open at 8 AM for the World Cup,” said the bartender.

They’re very interested in being a bar where the locals in the South Main area hang out.  In fact, the bartender said he’s looking forward to the Blue Monkey opening, because it will draw more people to the area.  “People can come down here and hang out at the Monkey for a while, then Earnestine’s for a while, then Calhoun’s for a while,” he said.

He also told me that they’re very interested in the “sports” part of being a sports bar.  “Say you’re a Packers fan,” he said.  “If you tell us that you’re going to bring in 10 or 15 friends, then we can run specials while that game’s on.”

I like the place.  It’s a good, basic little bar where you can go drink a beer and watch the game on TV.  Not fancy at all, but it doesn’t need to be.  Will keep it in mind as an alternative to the Saucer and McGuinness when there’s a sports event I want to see.

Slowly recovering from last night.  We started the evening at the Majestic Grille, where Patrick followed through on his promise to cook me a ribeye that would make me forget my bad experiences with Bonanza ribeyes from my childhood.  My $250 worth of Majestic gift cards are redeemable beginning today, so Patrick will be cooking me a lot more dinners in the months to come.  Next up on my list of steaks to try will be the filet au poivre, a peppercorn-encrusted filet with Dijon mustard brandy sauce.

From there we moved on to a private party at Number 10 Main.  It started off slow, with a bunch of dudes in blazers and frayed baseball caps standing around the TV watching the Auburn-Clemson game.  But as the alcohol started flowing, the party became more fun.  The gang ended up in my apartment and we watched the ball drop at the stroke of midnight on my TV.  That was the most people I’ve ever had in my apartment, and I didn’t realize how much heat people generate!  It got so warm in there I had to turn the air conditioner on.  We partied for about an hour after that and then called it a night.  Some of the gang headed in the direction of Hoop’s Bar, but I was already home and decided to stay there.

Home is where I am now too, having walked back in disappointment after the Hogs lost to Missouri.  Missouri really should have been in a BCS bowl.  Experimenting with my phone this afternoon, and have discovered that with WordPress I can post from my cell phone, something I couldn’t do with the supposedly new and improved Blogger.  That means I can once again drunk-post from the Saucer or anyplace I happen to be that has Wi-Fi.  Heh heh.   Almost 5… gonna clean up from last night’s party, then head down the street for an evening of beer, trivia, and waitresses.