Series Clincher

Our spies-about-town tell you -- the non-ticketed majority -- the best party spots for World Series watching

G I A N T   E X P E C T A T I O N S
If, like us, you aren't willing to take on a third mortgage to score tickets to the World Series, you can still get whipped into a baseball frenzy at any number of sports bars around town (including one floating pub). Here's where to hang with like-minded enthusiasts -- and watch the Giants spank the Anaheim Rally Monkey.

Bayside Sports

1787 Union (at Octavia), 673-1565, www.baysidesportssf.com

For a sports bar, this Marina hangout is shockingly gender-balanced and boasts a full menu (from buffalo wings to Philly cheesesteaks), a cheap happy hour, and a whopping 41 TVs.

Bus Stop

1901 Union (at Laguna), 567-6905

Catch the game on one of 17 screens at this Cow Hollow institution. Happy hour prices from 4 to 6 p.m. include $1.50 domestic beer, $2.50 imports, and half-price cocktails.

Connecticut Yankee

100 Connecticut (at 17th St.), 552-4440

This neighborhood sports bar has a heated outside patio and good burgers, plus big-screen TVs in the dining areas.

Double Play

2401 16th St. (at Bryant), 621-9859

Across the street from the Giants' first home, Seals Stadium (now a Safeway), this historic bar is full of team memorabilia.

The Dubliner

3838 24th St. (at Church), 826-2279, www.thedublinersf.citysearch.com

Like the neighborhood itself, this Noe Valley Irish bar is relaxed -- bring your own food, hoist a beer with one of many regulars, and catch the game on any of several TVs along the back wall.

Greens Sports Bar

2239 Polk (at Green), 775-4287, http://greenssportsbar.citysearch.com

For a small watering hole, Greens is well designed: Its 15 televisions (plus two big screens) are strategically placed, so there isn't a bad seat in the house. Take it all in with one of 18 draft beers or something from the full bar.

Kezar Pub

770 Stanyan (between Waller and Frederick), 386-9292

Though the joint is called the "home of the 49ers" (the team used to play across the street at Kezar Stadium), this week its 17 TV sets will be tuned to Major League Baseball.

Knuckles Historic Sports Bar and Grill

555 North Point (at Taylor), 749-6161, www.knucklessportsbar.com

Located at Fisherman's Wharf, this game-watchers heaven features 28 TVs, a 122-inch giant screen, a 61-inch big-screen television, local microbrews, and memorabilia for sports-crazed out-of-towners and locals alike.

Mad Dog in the Fog

530 Haight (at Fillmore), 626-7279, http://maddog.citysearch.com/1.html

The tellies at this authentic U.K. pub are usually tuned into soccer, but Giants fans can watch the Series on the big screen; you'll get a kick out of the rowdy atmosphere, drink specials, and traditional grub like bangers 'n' mash and shepherd's pie.

The Metro

3600 16th St. (at Market), 703-9750

This Castro bar shows the game on a number of screens -- watch baseball andyour favorite sports fans simultaneously. An in-house Chinese restaurant caters to that seventh-inning moo shu pork craving.

Northstar Cafe

1560 Powell (at Green), 397-0577

This North Beach gem serves 11 drafts and well drinks for $2.50, with free popcorn, pool, and the game on five television screens. (Note: Northstar accepts cash only.)

Pat O'Shea's Mad Hatter

3848 Geary (at Third Ave.), 752-3148, www.patosheas.citysearch.com

Don't let the sign above the door -- "We Cheat Tourists & Drunks" -- scare you off. With 21 TVs and more than 25 beers on tap, Pat O'Shea's welcomes visitors, imbibers, and sports fans of all stripes.

RJ's Sports Bar

701 Geary (at Leavenworth), 440-8827

There's nothing fancy about this Tenderloin dive bar -- except top-notch service, comfortable pleather sofas and chairs, and the most impeccable bathrooms in the city.

Royal Exchange

301 Sacramento (at Front), 956-1710, www.royalexchange.com

The Royal Exchange is the perfect pit stop for Financial District types who want to avoid traffic and watch the game after work on one of seven TVs. The bar also features a full menu and 32 beers on tap, but it's not recommended for the Wednesday night game due to the watering hole's annual Block Party.

Shanghai Kelly's

2064 Polk (at Broadway), 771-3300

This intimate neighborhood bar packs them in to watch the game on one of four televisions (and to enjoy its outstanding jukebox). Get to know the regulars and you might end up with a free round of drinks.

Union Square Sports Bar

232 O'Farrell (at Powell), 398-5665, www.unionsquaresportsbar.citysearch.com

A surprisingly well stocked sports bar in the heart of Union Square, with 27 TVs, $3 cocktails until 7 p.m., 17 beers on tap, and authentic pub grub like nachos and hot dogs.

World Series Cruise Aboard the San Francisco Spirit

Boarding at Pier 9 at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 -- ship departs promptly at 4 and returns after the game; 788-9100

Watch the game on multiple TVs while bobbing along in McCovey Cove, the waterway into which Barry Bonds hits his homers. Ticket price of $40 per person includes tax, gratuity, port fees, and one free drink; cash bar and ballpark food are pay-as-you-go.

Zeke's Sports Bar & Grill

601 Third St. (at Brannan), 392-5311, www.zekesbar.com

If the Giants weren't in the World Series, they'd be watching the game here. Zeke's features a full menu with great chili cheese fries, cold pitchers of beer, and 16 sets. Plus, it's close enough to the ballpark that you might hear the crowd cheer.

 
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