Normally, the return of football would also herald a fresh season of 50-cent wings and drink specials, Sunday afternoons spent idling at the bar with fellow fans.
But as with everything in the COVID-19 era, going out to watch the game isn’t the same. The beer is still cold and the wings are still hot, but customers can’t belly up to the bar — and many aren’t ready to sit inside yet.
In response, bars have brought TVs outside, putting flat-screens on poles, on exterior walls, in window boxes. They’re bundling food, drink, and seats with prime views into package deals.
Here are more than 20 spots for watching the game outside. Many recommend reservations, so plan ahead, check the weather, and don’t forget your mask (or your manners).
12 Steps Down
How does a smoky basement bar survive a pandemic? By going upstairs. The Italian Market dive has pulled it off admirably, with colorful seats, lights, and umbrellas, plus a flat-screen under its awning.
831 Christian St., 215-238-0379, 12stepsdown.com
Old City Beer Garden
The seasonal sister bar to Sto’s (a couple doors down), this festive Market Street lot boasts eight large flat-screens on which to watch the game. “Tailgating” starts as early as 9:30 a.m., and reservations are encouraged.
240 Market St., 267-687-8653, oldcitybeergarden.com
Yards Brewing Co.
With the airy interior of its Callowhill brewery off-limits during the Flyers' playoff run, Yards launched a game-day program for outdoor diners to reserve tables with views of its flat-screens. The $45-per-person package gets you a Bavarian pretzel, an entree, open bar, and a reserved table for 2½ hours. The brewery has since added 14 more tables overlooking the projector screens on its back patio. Staffers recommend reserving early — the tables have been booked solid the past two Sundays.
500 Spring Garden St., 215-525-0175, yardsbrewing.com
A short walk from Eastern State Penitentiary, this Spring Garden watering hole at the corner of 20th and Green Streets has incorporated LCDs into its window-box displays.
1940 Green St., 215-241-6776, greenroomphiladelphia.com
This Packer Avenue pub, named in honor of Philly’s stadiums, is prepared with firepits when it gets cold out. It’s got a spacious sidewalk setup with views of two TVs.
1631 Packer Ave., 215-271-2337, philadium.com
Center City denizens can fan out at picnic tables at the corner of 19th and Chestnut to watch the game at this Rittenhouse bar. If you go inside to use the bathroom, check out the wall of forgotten credit cards.
1903 Chestnut St., 215-564-0914, drinkersrittenhouse.com
This corner bar has rolled its flat-screens outside and turned them toward the windows so that customers can enjoy them (and some cheesesteak eggrolls) from picnic benches on the sidewalk.
1549 Spring Garden St., 215-563-6990, facebook.com/KelliannsPhilly
O’Mare’s Irish Pub
This old-school Irish pub in the Northeast brings a few TVs outside for games and keeps customers satisfied — no matter the score — with free hot dogs and all-you-can-eat boneless wings for $15.
10253 Bustleton Ave., 215-676-7282, facebook.com/omaresirishpub
The twin Center City bars sporting a nautical theme have TVs on their patios so you can enjoy the game with a side view of skyscrapers.
1511 Locust St., 215-732-5797; 1801 JFK Blvd., 267-928-4297, misconducttavern.com
Goose Island Brewhouse
The Fishtown outpost of this Chicago-based, Anheuser-Busch-owned brewery has converted its lawn into an outdoor tasting room, complete with pop-up projector screens. Reservations for Eagles games are $50 per person and include a round of appetizers every hour, four drinks, and happy hour prices thereafter.
1002 Canal St., 215-560-8181, gooseisland.com/brewhouse-philly
The cozy back patio at this tight-knit watering hole off South Street has outdoor TVs (and 50-cent wings and discounted drinks) whenever the game’s on. On Sundays, breakfast sandwiches are served until 10 p.m.
611 S. Third St., 215-574-9495, onealspub.com
Not one to be kept down, the network of Irish sports bars has set up outdoor TVs in the back patio at Headhouse Square, under the tent at its Delaware River deck, and under the shade trees at its Sansom Street spot. (Reservations are encouraged.) The University City location brings them out, too, during Eagles games.
119 S. 39th St., 215-386-4889; 421 S. Second St., 215-928-9307; 1823 Sansom St., 215-665-9500; 417 N. Columbus Blvd., 215-629-7400
It’s a package deal at the Delaware River hot spot: For $75 per person (plus tip), you’ll get a seat with a good view for the entire game; chicken wings and onion dip; open bar on beer, wine, and “call-level” drinks (i.e., Tanqueray and tonic, Jack and Coke). Tables are available for parties of two, four, and six.
221 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd., 215-279-7134, morganspier.com
You can’t watch the game in the Linc, but you can still watch it nearby — on the billboard-sized television on Xfinity Live’s patio. Reserve a table for four or six (the maximum, per city guidelines) ahead of the game.
1100 Pattison Ave., 267-534-4264, xfinitylive.com
This low-key spot in the Ludlow neighborhood, created by a longtime Fergie’s Pub bartender, has outdoor seating in front and on its back patio. Make a reservation to get a prime view of the TVs.
1706 N. Fifth St., 267-534-4151, suttonsphilly.com
Catahoula Bar and Restaurant
Snack on gumbo, Louisiana hot wings, and hush puppies while watching the game on this Queen Village patio, which has two flat-screens for a small, socially distanced crowd.
775 S. Front St., 215-271-9300, catahoulaphilly.com
Grab a seat on Juniper Street Thursday through Sunday and catch a game on Tradesman’s 20-foot projector screen. There are three outside TVs, too. Call ahead to reserve a table.
1322 Chestnut St., 267-457-3994, tradesmansphl.com
The Plough and the Stars
Old City shuts down Second Street Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening, allowing this Irish bar to spread out and mount its flat-screens high above the crowd for unobstructed viewing.
123 Chestnut St., 215-733-0300, ploughstars.com
JD McGillicuddy’s Manayunk
Daily drink specials are part of the draw at this watering hole off Main Street. During Eagles games, enjoy $3 Bud Lights and $4 Goose Island IPAs.
111 Cotton St., 215-930-0209, jdmcgillicuddysmanayunk.com
The usual crowds may have been curbed at the two Pennsylvania locations of this Baltimore-born bar, but game-watching there is no less festive. Kick back and order an orange crush.
582 S. Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-948-3329; 307 Horsham Rd., 267-282-5508, magerkspub.com
Chickie’s & Pete’s
The Philly sports bar empire that started in Mayfair screens the game inside and out at all of its locations. You’re obviously ordering some Crabfries.