The Best (And Worst) Places To Watch Football In Lawton – Mike’s Sports Grille
For week 2 of the NFL season, I chose an establishment that was the complete opposite of Buffalo Wild Wings, a national chain that prides itself on its catering to the football crowd. I chose a local establishment, Mike's Sport Grille on Gore, to counter the allure of a national chain.
They call themselves "the best bar in town," and after my experience Monday night, I find it hard not to agree with them. They have everything you could ask for in a football experience and maybe something you might not think to ask for. From pricing to selection to viewing, this may be the best place in town to watch the games, at least the best I have seen so far (yeah, I know, its only been two weeks).
I want to start off with the negatives I found on my Monday night visit to Mike's to watch the Colts take on the Eagles. The crowd was a little more sedate than the crowd I was with the previous Sunday afternoon. Though it was a packed house in both the restaurant and bar areas, I didn't see or hear a lot of loyalty to either of the teams on the screens. I have to give a bit of benefit of the doubt in this regards though, Monday night crowds tend to be more of the drink-after-work type crowds as opposed to the blood thirsty, jersey wearing, shouting and cheering crowds you would normally get on a Sunday for games. After speaking to several employees I felt assured that indeed, on Sunday's, the joint is rocking.
The only other negative I found was the seating, which was a little stiff and the tables in the lounge area that were a little close together for my liking. But again, it is a business, and it is understandable that the more tables they have to seat, the more money they will have the opportunity to make for not only the business, but the staff. Basic business economics 101.
Now onto the positives: everything else. The service which was cheery, attentive, efficient and yes, attractive. Unlike the first week where every member of the wait staff seemed to be cut from the same (blonde) cookie cutter, the staff at Mike's, while attractive also were individuals. It was easy to pick my waitress, Chelsea, out of the pack. There were even members of the wait staff that would appeal to the female football fan's eye. Touchdown!
The food was delicious and the portions were more than ample. I ordered an order of my biggest weakness, chili cheese fries and an order of Garlic-Parmesan "Wing Zings" boneless chicken wings. The best part though, was the pricing. Mike's standard pricing was definitely acceptable, but the bonus is that on Sundays and Mondays during football, appetizers are all 1/2 price. Double the food at less than half the price than the competitor. A definite touchdown drive there.
The beverage part of the evening was also a definite win for Mike's. They have a good selection of tap beers, but the best part, if you don't mind beer in the bottle and you don't mind drinking beers not called Bud, Coors or Michelob, there bottled beers are just $1 each.
Viewability was a plus on the evening with several 55" or larger screens throughout the restaurant and bar sections. There were more than 30 screens throughout the building, none smaller than 38" and showing not only all of the pregame shows before the contest, but also a repeat of Saturday's OU/Tennessee match up. Good viewing all around as you couldn't look in any directions and not have a great view.
The final aspect of the evening was pricing. This was a complete, over the top blow out win for Mike's Sports Grille. For basically the same items I ordered the previous week, I paid LESS THAN HALF of what I had spent a week before at the national competitor. My final bill, with tip was $24.00, whereas I paid $51 a week earlier. 1/2 price appetizers and $1 beers were a championship combination at Mikes.
In the end, Mike's came away with a surprise 47-6 upset. And to be fair, they weren't hitting on all cylinders, so I will be going back later in the season to see what it's like on Sunday's at Mike's.