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Most Spirited Bar in Which to Watch the Game 

Golden Bear Sports Bar

Here's a place where recent California transplants can be comfortable rooting for their old football teams. The drink servings are generous, the atmosphere convivial -- although we haven't been there for a Raiders game -- and the first rule posted on the door reminds patrons that urinating in public is frowned upon. Natty waiters from the Chinese takeout next door buzz in and out during the games, delivering heaping orders of chow fun, and autographed jerseys of local sports legends adorn the walls -- apparently some can be had for the right price. Last time we were there, along with a crew clad unabashedly in Jets jerseys, a Pittsburgh woman in a Jerome Bettis jersey jumped off her stool and shouted SONOFABITCH! when the Jets scored. Real bleacher seating adds to the ambience, as does the open vent above the bar, which makes it feel like Lambeau Field in December (a jacket is wise). Along with the entire NFL ticket, the Bear also shows big prizefights and the NCAA basketball tourney. Theresa the bartender gladly changes the channels on the TVs to suit the nearest patrons -- just don't ask her for a drink, or anything else, while her beloved Cowboys are in the red zone.

Readers' Pick:
Crogan's Sports Bar & Grill
1387 Locust St., Walnut Creek, 925-933-7800

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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