Cheers! Best Naples Bars for Rooting on the Home Team

Much like the rest of the sports crazed United States, Naples and its surrounding area have seen an influx of bars where not only is the game on, but every game is on. Every game, match, race, meet and other athletic competition. The sports bars began as casual but serious drinking and cheering establishments, where beer poured freely and chicken wings and burgers fueled the loudly cheering fans.

Today a number of chains have coopted the concept, and as a result the sports bar has grown more so0histicated and more food oriented. Televisions have grown bigger, flatter and more plentiful. Beer has evolved into craft brews, booze and even wine to cater to more diverse tastes. Menus too have grown exponentially.  Wings, pizza and burger remain standard fare, but in Naples’ modern sports bars, you can find everything from fine aged steaks to pasta, raw bar goods and Maine lobster.

Many of the sports bars pledge allegiance to specific sports teams around the country, such as homegrown Pelican Larry’s, headquarters for the Green Bay Packers and Florida State University Seminoles; and Foxboro Sports Tavern, to where New England fans head.

This list visits the best local, one of a kind Naples area sports bars as well as some of the franchises worth mentioning. So whether you prefer neighborhood joints or so0histicated scenes with oversized TV screens and extensive menus, look here for the most informed recommendations.


Mulligan's Sports Grille
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

A warm, personal welcome and sports televisions from every angle bring the drinking crowd to Mulligan's. It is owner operated with a congenial, sophisticated atmosphere and karaoke or open mic nights a couple of times a week. The sports bar is equally known for its well crafted cocktails, cold beers and nicely executed food menu, including kids items - so the whole family is welcomed here. Some kitchen specialties include the Mulligans' Salad with apples, cranberries, almonds and blue cheese; angel hair with meatballs; mahi taco; Philly steak sub; and hot pressed Italian sandwich. Its pizza is baked in a brick oven.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: It has "sports" right in its name, yet Mulligan's is also popular with families and non-sports fans.

Chelle's expert tip: Unusual for a sports bar, the salads at Mulligan's are prime fare.

Read more about Mulligan's Sports Grille →

Beach Tavern
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

It didn't bother the owners of this bar that they could not afford real estate seaside. They grabbed a strip mall property and made their own beach with the water view of a fountained retention pond. Inside the pleasant and well lit bar, sports televisions attract fans. A tiki bar on the screened patio has more TVs and outside of its door you will find the sand beach, complete with beach umbrellas, corn hole game boards and a pass through window for ordering drinks. A small but well designed menu offers bar and beach flies everything from Lake Michigan fried smelt and fried baskets to authentically Italian pasta dishes and burgers.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: Game watchers can gather indoors with air conditioning or around the screened tiki bar.

Chelle's expert tip: You may want to wear your beach clothes underneath your bar attire to this place.

Read more about Beach Tavern →

Rusty Bucket
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

This Midwest chain opened its first Florida bar and restaurant in Naples summer 2014. With vast dining areas indoors and out, it exudes a happy bar-fly atmosphere, where the game is on everywhere you look. Like so many restaurants these days, it touts its selection of craft beers, plus pours nearly 20 drafts, including a local Ft. Myers Brewing beer. Rusty Bucket offers one of those menus that makes you wonder how they can possibly cover so many bases with any proficiency. It seems to succeed, nonetheless, in creating all the American favorites from wings and hand-pattied burgers to pizza, meatloaf and steak and ale.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: Although dining is a primary focus, the indoor-outdoor bar also is a natural magnet for sports fans.

Chelle's expert tip: Try the local craft beers from the Fort Myers Brewing Company.

Read more about Rusty Bucket →

Weekend Willie's
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

In the heart of Naples' home construction and design commercial district off Pine Ridge Road, this place is a favorite of the local working class. Regulars come for sports TV, pizza, wings, burgers, deli sandwiches, shots of Fireballs, cold beer and nightly live entertainment. It is one of those "where everyone knows your name" kind of neighborhood places. Happy Hour runs daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Most people sit around the bar, especially at the end of the work day. But starting around 7 or 8 p.m., folks gather around the musicians' corner. There's also outdoor seating.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: A number of TV screens bring locals in to watch sports events.

Chelle's expert tip: Check the web site for special parties and events.

Read more about Weekend Willie's →

Boston Beer Garden
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

This has an obvious appeal to Boston expats, snowbirds and tourists, and it's not the only sports bar in the region that packs in Boston fans, thanks to the close proximity of the Boston Red Sox spring training facility in Fort Myers. The true bar flies populate the outdoor bar and beer garden, indoor is for people who want to order off the extensive menu while they drink their beer and watch the game. Of course there's New England clam chowder on the menu, plus a slew of bar food dishes wuch as wings and burgers. The white truffle mac and cheese and chicken pot pie are signature. Nearly 50 different beers on tap and in bottles earn the place the "beer" in its name, including three rotating draft beers.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: Sports televisions indoors and out - including a billboard-sized screen inside - broadcast all the games and races.

Chelle's expert tip: Happy hour prices from 3 to 7 p.m. are $2.25 for domestic beer, $2.50 for house liquor and $3 for house wine.

Read more about Boston Beer Garden →

Tavern on the Bay
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

It most likely has the best natural view of any Naples area sports bar, overlooking Naples Bay in Bayfront Place shopping and entertainment complex. But despite its 130 inch HD TV and vast complement of other flat screens, its identity extends beyond the confines of sports bar. Its Wednesday trivia nights spark a different type of team competition live and cocktail fueled. Signature drinks include Strawberry Basil Lemonade made with organic vodka and the Tavern Rum Bucket with three types of rum. In the food department, redemption dishes for the near sotted include Fatty Patty Melt with honey roasted onions, Cuban Sliders and ribs.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: It claims to have the area's biggest HD TV for die hard sports lovers.

Chelle's expert tip: Happy hour runs from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Read more about Tavern on the Bay →

Sunset Grille
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Located at the base of the Apollo Condominium complex and adjacent to the access for South Marco Beach, it has the proper casual beach bar feel. It actually has two bars. The outdoor bamboo bar serves guests who prefer drinking and dining al fresco. But keep a close watch on your food: Seagulls like to zip through and help themselves. There's access to Sunset Grille right from the beach, so it gets a lot of hungry, thirsty beachers. Inside where it's cooler, the other bar encompasses sports televisions. Most people come for finger food, sandwiches, burgers and seafood baskets, but the menu also tackles seafood, ribs and pasta.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: This is first and foremost a sports bar, it just so happens to be conveniently located at the beach.

Chelle's expert tip: Take a break from the beach for a drink and to watch the game.

Read more about Sunset Grille →

Mangroves Bar
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort

On the lobby floor at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort in Bonita Springs, you will find one of the area's most upscale sports bars in a clubby, intimate setting that spills out onto two patios overlooking the resort's stunning fountain feature. A handsome billiard table occupies one of the patios and 60-inch TVs broadcast. Inside, a bank of 48-inch televisions surround the space above the circular bar. Highly suitable to the sports fan who wants to watch the game in relative quiet, martini in hand, Mangrove Bar scores a touchdown. The bar opens at 3 p.m. daily and serves a select menu of munchies such as flatbreads or conch fritters until midnight. Happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: For the discriminating sports fan, Mangroves Bar serves up cocktails, munchies and the game with class.

Chelle's expert tip: Mangroves' drink menu includes beverages made with fresh local ingredients and even "lite" cocktails.

Read more about Mangroves Bar →

Foxboro Sports Tavern
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

Named in honor of the late stadium for the New England Patriots, this East Naples bar comes as no surprise in its devotion to New England teams. The sheer number of TVs may come as a surprise â€" there are even individual TVs set into some of the booths. The taverns motto - "Wicked Food, Killer Cocktails, and Awesome Service" - doesn't lie. The long two-sided menu lists regional specialties such as New England clam chowder, Lobsterman Casserole, Lobstah Salad Roll, grinders, "Vermonsta" loaded nachos, cod 'n' chips, Ipswich clam roll and Boston baked scrod. The rest is typical pub fare â€" wings, pizza, burgers and chili plus salads, steaks and wraps. No real surprises in the beer department â€" mostly domestics and typical imports.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: The game is definitely on here - especially if you are a Red Sox or Patriot fan.

Chelle's expert tip: This is a good spot to stop after a visit to the Naples Botanical Garden.

Read more about Foxboro Sports Tavern →

Pelican Larry's Raw Bar & Grill
Photo courtesy of Chelle Koster Walton

You need not be a Green Bay Packers or Florida State University Seminoles fan to enter, but duly note that you will be in the minority here, where Packers and 'Noles memorabilia hang in between dozens of sport TVs. The two indoor and one outdoor bars pour more than 12 draft beers alone. Pelican Larry's, which has a spinoff in East Naples, wins awards for its raw bar and chicken wings. It is also proud of its seven varieties of burgers, sliders, fried baskets, Neapolitan pizza, grouper reuben, Philly cheesesteak and spicy taco queso dip. The three seating areas are spacious but crowded when the big games air.

Recommended for Sports Bars because: With sports paraphernalia decorating the walls and every sports event imaginable on TV, it is one of Naples' most popular sports bars.

Chelle's expert tip: This is one long happy hour: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

Read more about Pelican Larry's Raw Bar & Grill →


Meet Chelle Koster Walton

Chelle Koster Walton – the Local Expert for Naples, Florida and the Caribbean – has been covering the destination for 30 years. Her top-selling Sarasota, Sanibel Island, and...  More About Chelle