While many students may be more familiar with places like The Linebacker Lounge, Club Fever or Corby’s Irish Pub, it was another local bar that recently gained national attention in ESPN’s Search for North America’s Best Sports Bar.
Although Between the Buns, a South Bend hotspot on Notre Dame home football Saturdays, was not voted as the No. 1 sports bar on the continent, ESPN did select the 25-year-old establishment to be a part of the top eight finalists.
“We do a lot of stuff a good sports bar should do and we do it right,” Dave Pestrak, corporate representative for Between the Buns, said.
Pestrak, who was responsible for entering the bar into the ESPN contest, said he submitted a one-page essay explaining why he thought Between the Buns should be crowned the best sports bar in North America.
“We have TVs in every booth, so you can tune in and listen to your game of choice,” he said. “For being a local sports bar, we do have a quite a bit to offer.”
Notre Dame has students from all over the country and at Between the Buns they can come and support their local teams from back home, Pestrak said.
“If you’re from New Jersey you can easily come down and tune in to the Giants game,” he said. “We have a full NFL package, so you’re guaranteed to see any game you want to at our bar.”
When March Madness comes, Between the Buns will have every game along the way, Pestrak said.
Between the Buns is also famous for its build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, which starts at 8 a.m. on home football Saturdays.
“The bartenders pour the vodka and the customer does the rest,” Pestrak said. “The place is one hundred percent packed when we do this.”
The ESPN contest has led to a noticeable increase in sales, especially during the first football game this weekend, he said.
“We’ve gotten a lot of local, and even some national, publicity,” Pestrak said. “This past week Between the Buns was featured on WNDU’s morning show and WSBT did an evening news piece on us.”
According to Pestrak, Between the Buns is also very family friendly.
“There’s a specialized kids menu,” he said. “We also have a seating section for families that’s separate from the rowdiness of the bar.”
He said the sports bar is grateful for the community.
“If you were to look up sports bar in the dictionary, there would most definitely be a picture of Between the Buns,” Pestrak said.