The TCS NYC Marathon is this Sunday, November 5th, which is a good thing to know if you plan on being in New York City this weekend. Why? Because the whole city shuts down as 50,000+ people run 26.2 miles between the five boroughs. You have two options: stay at home to avoid the madness, or join in on the fun. Since you’re reading an article called “The Five Best Bars to Watch The NYC Marathon,” my guess is that you’re not one to hide in your apartment. That’s good news because while all those runners are dying on the streets, the rest of the city is drinking copious amounts of light beer and having an awesome time.
Yes, there roughly a million* bars in NYC, but since the Marathon takes place on a set course (and you want to be at a bar on the course itself), that lowers the number of bars to only a couple of thousand. The catch is that not all Marathon Sunday bars are created equal. In fact, there are five bars we would suggest visiting that are guaranteed to be going absolutely bananas during Sunday.
And for those of you reading this that are actually running the Marathon, like me, when you visit the Javits Center beginning Thursday, you can take a picture using the #LiveULTRA hashtag for the opportunity to have that image become part of a NYC-themed photo mosaic that will be sent to you following the race.
**As an added bonus, some of the bars listed here will have Michelob Ultras available to buy at a special price. In addition, Michelob Ultra will have some giveaways for people that stop in to say hello.**
Session 73 (Manhattan – Upper East Side)
Address: 1359 1st Ave (Southeast corner of 73rd Street)
There is no more fun bar on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on Marathon Sunday than Session 73. In my opinion, that is not up for debate. I grew up around the corner from this place and it’s packed with young people who decided to spend their Marathon Sunday in some ways more productively than the runners. My suggestion is to get there early to secure a spot, eat brunch, throw back a couple Michelob Ultras (the official beer of the TCS NYC Marathon), and then head out to the streets to cheer and support.
Session 73 is normally known for their live music, which they’ll provide with The Characters & DJ Zenski.
Banshee Pub (Manhattan – Upper East Side)
Address: 1373 1st Avenue (westside of street between 73rd and 74th)
Banshee Pub, like Session 73, is also located right at the 17 Mile Marker–right around when the runners are going to need your energy. The bar has a really great, relaxed feel to it most of the year, but come Marathon Sunday the place turns into an awesome party. I’m particularly fond of the Banshee, since again I grew up in the hood, but go there on November 5th and you’ll feel the same way–There’s an undeniable energy.
O’Flanagans (Upper East Side – Manhattan)
Address: 1215 1st Avenue (Westside of 1st Avenue between 65th and 66th)
Many people who’ve lived on the Upper East recognize O’Flanagans from the eye-catching red paint on the long exterior of the bar. That makes it an great place to be if you know a runner or two taking part in Marathon Sunday. O’Flanagans is definitely a raucous time during the race, but just a little further north somehow get crazier, making O’Flanagans an even better place to see your friends and family.
Lock Yard (Brooklyn – Mile 2)
Address: 9221 5th Ave
Full disclosure, I’ve never been to Lock Yard but I’ve heard about their phenomenal food from my cooler Brooklyn friends. In addition to great drinks, Lock Yard serves an American brunch on steroids. Chicken and Waffles, Bloody Mary’s, etc, and apparently they’re to die for. But the real reason we suggest going to Lock Yard is because of it’s location–right at Mile 2. Considering that the only part of the race before this is the Verazzano Bridge, you’ll literally be among the first people to cheer on the Marathoners.
As an added bonus, Lock Yard is located right on a turn, so you’ll get a great view of the atmosphere and the runners.
Mott Haven Bar and Grill (The Bronx)
Address: 1 Bruckner Boulevard
You probably don’t know this, but the New York City Marathon is tough, and it’s right around the northmost end of First Avenue that things begin getting very difficult. Which is why you will get serious, significant bonus points if you can meet your friends/family who are running at Mott Haven Bar & Grill. The section of the run in the Bronx is very short, but it’s fortuitous that the minimal portion of the course goes right by Mott Haven Bar & Grill.
If you can make it there, check out their bottomless brunch. You’ll get infinite mimosas, plus a choice of sweet potato sliders, steak & eggs, and some other awesome options. If you’re a fan of Killian’s Irish Red, you should also try their own Mott Haven Lager.