Dean’s List: Top Places to Watch Downtown

When you can't make it to the game in Sanford Stadium, the Bulldogs are on the road or you want to escape the confines of your own living room? Downtown Athens has a lot to offer. So where are the best places to spend a Saturday in Athens?

1. Georgia Theatre

I mean, it has “Georgia” in the name; the perfect place to go support the Bulldogs. Georgia Bar, located right across College Ave., is another option based on that qualification but the Theatre has the Athens charm and identity that is unparalleled. I’m not sure if they open the main stage area or not for home game days, but the rooftop has great cocktails, good beer and is open to the good fall weather—perfect for late-season games.

2. Magnolias

If you get a little claustrophobic. Mags is a good place to hang out. It’s one of the bigger downtown venues that still has a true college town bar feel. And, if the Bulldogs are away and the town is a little emptier, Mags is a great place to play pool during halftime, watch the game and then walk—or stumble— to your next adventure in downtown Athens.

3. Allgood Lounge

All good has three key points that earn it a spot on this list: open rooftop, two stories and it’s location on College Ave. Overall, the atmosphere at Allgood is great, but on home game days, it’s going to be about the same everywhere you go. It usually isn’t diluted with Georgia freshman who have been drinking since 8 a.m. but fills with seasoned professionals at the gameday experience. And—Dean’s favorite part—it’s smelling distance from Insomnia Cookies.

4. Pauleys

Typically known for its infestation of sorority girls and other students attempting to finish their “beer card,” Pauleys is a solid gameday go-to for the beer selection and huge projection screen TV. Fair warning: gameday or not, this bar will be full of Greek life, making it a lot of fun and usually fairly loud (I’m allowed to say this because I am in a sorority).

5. Mellow Mushroom

This one’s for my friends who aren’t super into the bar scene but still want to be in the thick of the downtown Athens scene. That, plus plenty of TVs and, of course, ridiculously good pizza make this a top-5 Saturday in Athens option.. The biggest problem with Mellow is the wait. Most bars end up being one-in-one-out on home game weekends and it could be a hot minute before you sit down. If only they would buy the space across the hallway (affectionately known formerly as Herschel’s), we could really be working with a perfect game-watching spot.

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