Looking to catch the big game? Try these local favorite sports spots
By Arcenio J. Trujillo
In the mood to nibble on some distinct stadium food or local cuisine while you cheer on your favorite sports team? How about trying a locally brewed beer while you enjoy a game or two on a big screen surrounded by sports aficionados and foodies alike?
If you like to watch sports this way, there are three friendly and welcoming sports bars in the Taos area dedicated to providing a steady stream of high-definition sports action and a unique customer experience. Despite the fact that there are no professional football, basketball or hockey team based in New Mexico, there are geographical alliances that exist here. Anecdotally, most bartenders would admit that a majority of locals are either Denver Broncos or Dallas Cowboys fans, but none claim their establishments as the “headquarters” of any particular team. And if you’re into other sports like basketball, hockey, boxing or soccer, these multiple-viewing establishments can help satisfy your competitive sweet-tooth with just a request to change the channel.
575 Sports & Co.
Located on the south side of town, the 575 Sports & Co. establishment is full of surprises. Along with its unique sports memorabilia collection and ambiance, its themed menu is sure to please a hungry group of sports fans. Perhaps you’ve heard of famous stadium favorites such as the Halo Dog from Anaheim, a BBQ Stuffed Baked Potato from Houston, Gilroy Garlic Fries from San Francisco, Corn off the Cob from Chicago (White Sox) or a Juicy Lucy Slider from Minneapolis? It’s here that you can get those specialty dishes that aim to replicate that hometown taste. Not claiming loyalties to any particular team or sport, the 575 has five big-screen televisions with at least one or more of them always showing games in real time. During the National Football League (NFL) season and playoffs, the 575 has an all-day happy hour on Sundays. During halftime or commercial breaks, patrons can toss darts at the two boards hanging on the wall. The 575 Sports & Co. is located at 1109 Paseo del Pueblo Sur in Taos. (575) 779-8486
Taos Mesa Brewing Tap Room
The newest of the sports bars, the Taos Mesa Brewing Tap Room, is conveniently situated near the Plaza in downtown Taos. Well-lit and spacious, the Tap Room features an all-day happy hour on Sundays for the NFL crowds. There are six flat-screen televisions inside the multi-room restaurant and lounge that includes a recreation area with a billiards table, foosball table and a Vogelpiks (Belgian dart game) board. Known for its exceptional, locally crafted stouts and fruit beers, the Tap Room is just the place to try something new this season. The Taos Mesa Brewing Tap Room is located at 201 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in Taos. (575) 758-1900
KTAO Solar Center
If you find yourself on the northern part of town and want to avoid a trip into town, the KTAO Solar Center offers all the Sunday amenities — full bar and restaurant — for sports fans as well. The Solar Center offers a spacious lounge with gigantic windows that allow unobstructed views of Taos Mountain and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. If patrons wish to step outside for an even better view, all-weather speakers pipe the sounds of the game out to the courtyard for an uninterrupted play-by-play broadcast of the action. Happy hour is all day Sunday and brunch specials are available when the Solar Center opens at 11 a.m. The KTAO Solar Center is located at 9 State Road 150 in El Prado. (575) 758-5826
Whichever spot you choose, and no matter your loyalties or team colors, know that everyone is welcome to share in the local viewing experience. So come on in, and enjoy the game amongst friends.