Flawed list of country’s best sports bars fails to include Portland’s real MVP

Father and daughter give each other a high five

Vida Fleischauer, left, cheers on Princeton women’s basketball with her father, Seth Fleischauer, middle left, at The Sports Bra in Portland, Oregon on Friday, March 17, 2023.Vickie Connor/The Oregonian

Every day, we (the folks at The Oregonian/OregonLive) get multiple emails about how Portland and Oregon land in the top 10, top 20, top 100 of this or that. Portland is seventh best city on the West Coast for potato bugs! Oregon is the state with the 15th most-vegan animal shelters! Who knew?

A lot of times, the data and reasoning behind such lists are sketchy at best, but recently, I was sent one that was so wrong, I stopped deleting emails and sat for a moment in shock thinking, “How could you make a list of the best sports bars in the country and fail to include Portland’s true No. 1?”

According to a report from BetUS, one Portland bar ranks in the top 100 sports bars in the United States.

Close your eyes. (OK finish reading the next sentence, then close your eyes.) Picture your favorite sports bar in the city, the place you like to go to be with friends, feel welcome, share some drinks and watch people play games with balls on TV.

Now, open your eyes. Say the name of the place you were imagining out loud.

Did you say, “McGillacuddy’s Sports Bar & Grill”?

Of course you didn’t!! Unless maybe you live next door to McGillacuddy’s Sports Bar & Grill, which is apparently located at 11133 N.E. Halsey St.

Look, I am sure McGillacuddy’s is lovely. Maybe someday I will even drive by it and think, “Oh, there’s McGillacuddy’s, the 61st best sports bar in America according to betting website BetUS.”

But I know it isn’t the best sports bar in the city, even if, according to BetUS, it has the best Google reviews and the cheapest beer and burger prices.

There is only one answer to the question, “What is the best sports bar in Portland?” and that is: The Sport Bra.

First, and honestly all you need to know, is the name. Has there ever been a better named sports bar than The Sports Bra? Unequivocally, no.

Beyond that, it was the first ever sports bar in the world that played women’s sports all day long. Since opening two years ago, it has paved the way for other women’s sports bars like Seattle’s Rough & Tumble.

The Sports Bra, at 2512 N.E. Broadway, is both a revolution in women’s sports and a great neighborhood bar, serving delicious food and creative drinks alongside an impressive collection of sports memorabilia.

Is a beer and a burger more expensive than it is at McGillacuddy’s? Yes, by about $2.75. But should we be judging best sports bars in the country by the cost of their cheeseburgers? No. That doesn’t make sense, especially not in a state with so many vegan animal shelters.*

*I made that part up.

Lizzy Acker covers life and culture and writes the advice column Why Tho? Reach her at 503-221-8052, lacker@oregonian.com or @lizzzyacker

Our journalism needs your support. Subscribe today to OregonLive.com.

If you purchase a product or register for an account through a link on our site, we may receive compensation. By using this site, you consent to our User Agreement and agree that your clicks, interactions, and personal information may be collected, recorded, and/or stored by us and social media and other third-party partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy.