When I moved to Louisville a few years back, I thought for sure I would find a gazillion other Bengals fans packing every sports bar in this town. I mean, we were in Cincy territory, right?
What I did find, however, were dozens of bars, each with their own personality, each attaching themselves to a particular NFL franchise. Colts, Steelers, Browns, Redskins...they are all represented at some location here in L'Ville.
This is the first in a series of articles about those locally owned hangouts.
When you're in JTown and looking for a place to put yourself into an NFL coma, most everyone will point you in one direction: Chubby Ray's (The Louisville Pizza Factory). This "Sports Cafe", located at 3910 Ruckriegel, is a neighborhood staple, and a pretty cool place to catch a game...or ten.
WARNING: It's a major Steelers bar, so if you're a Bengals, Browns, or Ravens fan, you may want to be prepared for some "polite" debate.
I watched the Bengals/Browns game there last week, disappointed of course in the outcome, but very pleased with the experience. When you walk into the joint, it's got that dark, sports bar feel. And that's good. When you're spending the entire day inside watching sports, you don't need any of that pesky sunlight reaching your eyes.
They have, however, opened up a new patio this year, complete with big screen TV's they roll out for the games. It's good for those nature lovers who like to combine both football and the outdoors (seems unnatural to me!).
The next good thing about this place: roomy booths. I'm a big guy, and can't stand a sports bar with booths that can only fit Derby jockeys. These booths are big enough to fit four comfortably. *BONUS* Each booth has a small TV monitor so you can watch your game up close!
Next, the TV situation. It's excellent, with three HUGE projection screens, and three more monitors under each of those, as well as monitors in other various places. A pretty good view from almost every seat. (The only minus: It took them about five minutes of gametime to get the Bengals on any of the screens. But, they were busy...)
Finally, the food. On a scale of 1-5, I give it a 4. Chubby Ray's is known for their pizzas, and everyone raves about them. I am very partial to their garlic breadsticks. Huge portion, and only $4.95. I also ordered the appetizer sampler, which was standard bar fare. However, the chicken tenders and the fried shrimp on it were worth the price! Now, if you're feeling froggy, you can order the "Fat Teddy" burger. It's five pounds of loaded burger, with a side of fries. If you finish it in the allotted time, it's free. If not, it's $39.95. But you get a TShirt either way!
And if you have kids with you that don't want to sit still for three hours, there's a cool video game room in the back.
My final thought...if you are anywhere near JTown, and want to barricade yourself in a booth all day rooting your team on, Chubby Ray's is an excellent choice.