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Beer O'Clock GR

It's 11.10am On Saturday January 23 And It's Happy Hour Right Now at 4 Bars In GR

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Bob’s Sports Bar: Not a place to bring your kids

Well kids, it’s that time of year again. I’ve been trying to make the best of it but one can only lie to oneself for so long. What’s that they say about kidding a kidder? Well Jack, you can’t fool me. Fall sucks. And what’s worse? All these smug bastards that say any different. “Oh but the leaves… The crisp cold air…Putting on a warm sweater and snuggling up to a fire…” Yeah, yeah, yeah, right… Not buying it folks. It’s too damn cold out there, and none of us normal types have a fireplace to snuggle up to.

I guess I’ll concede the leaves but let’s not forget, all of that yellow and orange ends with a whole hell of a lot of raking. And that ain’t been fun since I was knee high to whatever the hell they say… So let’s draw a line in the sand and call it good. You go your way and I’ll head to the bar, it’s been a rough week and it’s time to forget reality and move on to television, football and alcohol abuse. 

And speaking of football and TVs, and reality, have you seen these high-definition television sets they’ve got these days? It’s not exactly sub-reality with those things around. I don’t find it a coincidence that John Madden retired about the same time all of these HD TVs hit the market. And who could blame him? Imagine being eighty years old, behind all those crazy lights, wearing makeup, and knowing that they were zapping a live feed of your deflated, droopy old self out to every home in America in high definition…Yeah folks, me neither…But anyway, enough about that, let’s get down to it and kick this review to the curb…

So, on the fly, I think I might do a series on Michigan Street bars, and off the top of my head I’ll start with Bob’s Sports Bar. I guess I should begin by saying that I really, really like Bob’s Sports Bar. The reason I want to start with a glowing endorsement is because, by today’s standards Bob’s isn’t exactly a cutting edge, top tier, high definition sort of sports bar, and thank God for that. Bob’s is a throwback, a little piece of the past frozen in time. It’s a bar where you can get drunk and curse without worrying about offending somebody’s mother. Which is good for me because I am an emotional person when I watch sports, I tend to drink heavily and spit venom, and the last thing I need is some suburban track-suit giving me the stink-eye because she brought her kids to the bar and expects everyone to act accordingly. This is not a place to bring your kids.


Bob’s is a place to drink. With mismatched furniture, splashes of neon, video poker and a slick little pool table, it definitely sends me back to the days of sucking down smokes and pounding tall cans till two a.m. at some off the grid dive. And you won’t find row after row of meticulously placed and matching HD TVs here. It’s more of a collage of flat and not-so-flat televisions that never seem to be programmed with any real purpose… I mean I recognize volleyball as a totally legit sport but I have never met a person who was out to the bar to watch a volleyball match.

Not to mention there’s usually a pole to peak around, or some random drunk in the way who doesn’t give a shit that you’re watching the Oregon, Washington State game because, “if it aint the Wings or the Tigers, no on gives a shit”. And that goes for the Pistons too. The first time I went into Bob’s was to watch a Piston game. I had just returned to Michigan after 12 years on the west coast. I walked in, sat down at the bar, ordered a Pabst and asked the bartender if she could turn up the volume on the game. She responded with “sure thing”, and then went about her business as if I’d never asked. And although it was kind of rude, I get it, and for me, it adds to the charm. Bob’s isn’t a place where you walk in off the street and start making demands.

Like every great neighborhood bar, it belongs to the neighborhood and the people within it. Cred isn’t given out, it’s earned. So if you’re the type who upgrades your phone every few months you might want to skip this one over. But don’t worry you can always head down to Buffalo Wild Wings, where you can huff Lysol fumes off the tables, dry your hands with the newest jet-powered-(doesn’t-do-fuck-all)-hand-dryer and try and figure out how 40 employees can’t seem to get you a beer. Rest assured, you won’t be missed.  But if your skin’s a little thicker than the average then head on over and test the waters at Bob’s Sports Bar, you might get bit, but at least you’ll have a story to tell.  

Bob’s Sports Bar is located at 725 Michigan St NE, Grand Rapids, MI ‎

Happy Hour at Bob’s is Monday-Friday from 7:00-10:00 AM and 4:00-7:00 PM.  Specials include $1.00 off any domestic bottle.