Not one of the 18 commonly acknowledged Los Angeles Rams fan or booster clubs is anywhere near Georgia, but Rams fans will still be welcomed by local bars when they play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl Feb. 3 at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
As for places that will greet this low-ranked NFL fan base with extra warmth, there are a couple. Two have a pre-existing relationship with Atlanta-area Rams fans dating back to the time before the St. Louis Rams moved back to L.A. in 2015. Two others have been more focused on the NFL overall and filled every barstool and booth during the playoffs, so they've got a growing Rams fan base that's likely to return to watch the Rams.
And there's also a wild card spot for Atlanta residents or some of the crushing wave of visitors expected in the area for the game: Athens, Georgia, a mere hour and 16 minutes away from the ATL city center.
Between these extra Rams-friendly spots and the bevy of Super Bowl 53 watch parties scheduled for fans of either team (and fans of Super Bowl mayhem in general), Rams fans are covered. But they still might want to give these five bars a little extra consideration:
248 Pharr Road, Atlanta. 404-231-3308, www.elbowroomatlanta.com
Literally the only bar in Atlanta to show up on Rams fan sites, the Elbow Room is friendly to all but partial to Rams fans. It's got 28 flat-screen televisions and is rife with "in case the commercials disappoint" activities from darts to Georgia Lottery Keno. The food is a whole separate draw and includes super fresh scratch-made BBQ, wings and pizza.
4719 Ashford Dunwoody Road NE, Dunwoody. 770-804-8288, www.thebirdatlanta.com
Also a longtime friend to the Rams fans dating back to their St. Louis Rams days, The Bird offers standout rotisserie and a neighborhood welcome for game watchers. It's in Dunwoody, so while it's not that far from the maddening Super Bowl crowd, it should be fairly accessible on game day.
2920 Old Norcross Road, Duluth. 770-921-5556, www.sweetwaterbarandgrill.com
Ever popular for poker, live music, karaoke and pizza and beer, Sweetwater is also a devoted provider of the NFL Sunday ticket. The two-bar eatery attracted a good mixed crowd of different team fans each week during the regular season that started to streamline to playoff team fans in recent weeks.
With a solid crowd of Rams fans to view the last win, they'll be packed with Rams fans on Super Bowl Sunday. A really nice aspect of the bar: It's 32 miles outside of Atlanta in Duluth, which is a little easier to reach than some of the downtown spots with an extra couple hundred thousand people in town Super Bowl weekend. And if the action onscreen slows down, the Sweetwater boasts nine professional eight-foot pool tables, 12 dart boards and a full-service kitchen.
3280 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. 404-254-4468, www.industrytavern.com
With its "first come first served" motto that allows whoever sits there first to tune into the NFL game of their choice on any television in the place, Industry Tavern knows it's got a burgeoning crowd of Rams fans in its current mix. It's got the neighborhood bar vibe, televisions galore and a staff that can show either team's fans how Southern hospitality works in a bar. Some people would travel from Cali just to eat the lobster nachos.
830 W Broad St., Athens, GA. 706-363-3351, www.saucehouse.com
The best reason to take a brief detour (about an hour and 15 minutes) over to University of Georgia's hometown of Athens to watch the Rams play? Rams stars running back Todd Gurley and linebacker Ramik Wilson both played for UGA and it will be extra fun to watch the game with fellow alum. Any Californians in the crowd can also get a great introduction to Southern barbecue at the Saucehouse, and the sports bar plans to have its fire pit and large outdoor TV in action for the big game, along with nine televisions inside.
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