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Here's your guide to watching March Madness on Franklin Street

lotsa duke watch party

UNC fans compete for seats at bars and restaurants as close to Franklin and North Columbia where as many as 50,000 people come to celebrate UNC wins. UNC students watch the men's basketball game between UNC and Duke on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 at Lotsa on Franklin Street. No.8 UNC beat No.1 Duke 88-72. 

The North Carolina men’s basketball team received a No. 1 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Here’s what you need to know about watching any potential tournament matchups in popular bars and restaurants on Franklin Street. 

Watching UNC games at restaurants and bars on Franklin Street is a timeless tradition for Tar Heel basketball fans. But, each establishment offers a different and unique experience for watching tournament games. 

Sup Dogs

If you’re looking for an experience that’s all about the game, General Manager Claire Perry said Sup Dogs is the place for you. For the duration of the tournament, Perry said Sup Dogs will try to have an interactive environment that is focused on basketball.

“During the NCAA (tournament), we try to run specials and create an environment that really feeds off of the basketball,” Perry said.

Perry said they’ll have beer specials running through March Madness, and they’ll serve drinks in reusable UNC-Sup Dogs cups that customers can take home with them.

She said they are planning to have brackets available for Sup Dogs customers to fill out and are working on displaying a large white board bracket to track the tournament.

The Pizza Press

The Pizza Press is one of the newer restaurants on Franklin Street, but General Manager Andreas Handrinos said their recent watch parties have been packed with customers. If you like pizza and beer, Pizza Press might offer a viewing experience fit for you.

“We are a little bit new to the game on Franklin Street here,” Handrinos said. “But so far, people have been appreciating the TV views as well as the seating and the pizzas and the beer.”

Handrinos said the restaurant will be open for every game and, with over 100 seats available, there will be plenty of room. During the tournament, their three 75-inch TVs will be on and playing whatever games are requested — with UNC games taking priority, of course.

As far as specials, Handrinos said The Pizza Press will be offering 20-ounce pints for $4 and discounted pizza on game days.

Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery

During the tournament, Sequoia Howell-Crider, Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery floor manager, said TOPO will be serving their regular daily drink specials and won’t take reservations for UNC games. She said it will show the games in their main dining room.

Howell-Crider said there’s a closeness that comes with viewing a UNC game at TOPO.

“Sometimes we have family-style seating and that can be fun for everyone,” Howell-Crider said. “You’re not only hanging out with your friends, but you’re hanging out with your community and your fellow students.”

Linda's Bar and Grill

If you’re looking for a more relaxed viewing experience, Linda’s Bar and Grill might be best for you. Justin Haithcox, a shift manager at Linda’s, said there probably won’t be any drink specials for the game, but it might have food specials. 

Haithcox said Linda's will have UNC games on the TVs at the bar and customers can view if they please. 

“We keep it pretty low-key,” Haithcox said. “Not a ton of people come here to watch sports, the tournament just happens to be the one time when they do.”

He's Not Here

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Fleming Fuller, general manager of He’s Not Here, said there’s nothing like watching a game at its bar. 

“It’s an awesome, surreal experience,” Fuller said. “The energy is high, people yelling in unison at the TVs and singing chants … it’s just truly an awesome experience.”

He’s Not Here won’t have special hours during the tournament, but they will be projecting any UNC matchups in their courtyard and offering their famous “Blue Cup” special on game days, Fuller said. 

“Just come ready to watch a victory,” Fuller said.


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