One of the most recent types of bars to appear are sports bars. There have always been televisions in pubs and whenever a major sporting event has taken place people have met with friends in bars to view the big events.
However, in the last decade spots bars have started to operate in the UK. They were first started in the States, but the idea has now spread into in the UK and now more and more sports bars are starting to appear. The major difference between a sports bar and a pub that shows some big sporting event is that the sports bar will have more screens and maybe even a large screen.
A good example of a sports bar is the Allstars Sports Bars that are located in the South West of England. There are branches in Taunton, Bristol. Exeter and Weston Super Mare. The Taunton branch has 2 large projector HD screens as well as 22 other large screens mounted around the bar.
The company has access to Sky Sports, BT, ESPN plus numerous other European channels. During busy times 12 separate sporting events can be shown at any one time. The normal opening hours are 10.00am until midnight but the times can be flexible. During the summer of 2017 the bar was open from 7.00am to cover the British Lions Rugby matches in New Zealand.
As well as covering televised sports there are a number of sports on offer in the bar. There are 3 full sized snooker tables, 15 English pool tables, 2 American pool tables, and 4 dart boards with electronic scoreboards. The major breweries are starting to catch on to sports bars. Carlsberg has opened the Carlsberg sports bar which is located in the Empire Casino in Leicester Square. The bar has 2 giant screens plus a number of other screens located around the bar.
It shows a wide variety of sports including premiership football, NFL, golf and cricket. The bar doesn’t sell just lager, as Cider and Guineas is also available. Food is also served, and this tends to be American styled dishes including burgers, hot dogs and nachos.
There are other sports bars in London who have a more extensive dining menu. The Sports Bar and Grill has 5 locations in Marylebone, Farringdon, Victoria, Waterloo and Canary Wharf. These bars have a variety of 55-inch viewing screens to watch the different sports, plus Victoria and Farringdon both have large mounted video screens. Sports bars are also being opened in other UK towns and cities. In Manchester the biggest sports bar is Shooters Bar with over 20 HD large TV screens plus a huge projector screen. As well as the screens there are pool tables and table football to keep the customers happy if they get bored from watching live sport. Shooters also has other bars in Birmingham, Leeds, Cardiff, Nottingham and Liverpool and it is certainly the case that more and more sports bars are spreading across the country.
In an era where it has been difficult to attract customers into traditional pubs it is not surprising that bar owners will use any tactic within reason, to get customers through the door. Using the popularity of sport is certainly one-way to insure that people will enter a bar.