If you’re like me, then there are two things that will continue to be true about you for the rest of the foreseeable future: you love the Huskers, and you don’t have cable television. There are few things more unifying in Lincoln than Husker football. It is a tired cliché, but is perhaps still worth mentioning, that a sold out Memorial Stadium is the third largest city in Nebraska, and that a little more than five percent of the population of this state occupies it's confines on game day.
Nebraska football really is a spectacle worth taking in, and while the voices of Greg Sharpe and Matt Davison paint an admirable picture via the airwaves of the Pinnacle Sports Network, there are times when a person just needs to see what’s going on.
There are a number of quality establishments to which fans can go if they want the next best thing to actually being there. My time in Lincoln has given me the opportunity to vouch for fine sports-watching experiences from:
But, today I am going to be focusing on a place called Randy’s Grill and Chill.
Located just behind the Burger King on 48th and Holdrege, Randy’s is comfortably out of the way for anyone looking to avoid the downtown scene. Don’t get me wrong, watching games downtown is great, but Lincoln’s peripheral neighborhoods have merit that is all their own. Not the least of which is the ability to find a good parking spot as well as avoiding, once the game is over, the unenviable experience of sharing five city blocks with 91,000 of your closest friends.
Randy’s has drink specials every night of the week in addition to Keno, pool, and a poker table. It’s more than just a place to watch a Husker game, and with six televisions in the dining area, there really isn’t bad seat in the house.
My latest excursion there was last Monday night to take in some baseball and rouse my football appetite with some NFL preseason action. The place had some nice energy without being overly crowded—not to mention $2 Busch Light draws—which makes it great if you’re just looking to get out of the house on a weeknight. But when does it really comes to life? On Saturday afternoons in the fall.
My experience there last season—which was only for an 11 a.m. kickoff against Illinois, so hardly a high-tension game—showed a tremendous amount of promise. The dining area was nearly full of scarlet-clad onlookers who were perfectly comfortable hooting and hollering with the same enthusiasm as if they were watching the game in their own living room.
The quality of both service and food is about what you’d expect from a place where the staff knows what it’s doing. And, like any self-respecting sports bar, Randy’s serves a pretty decent bacon and eggs cheeseburger which will only set you back $8.50.
My verdict is that Randy’s passes with flying colors as a place to take in a Husker game, or just go grab a beer during the week. The dining room is spacious, the chairs are a normal height (I have a thing about bar stools, but I digress), and if you’re wearing a Nebraska shirt, you’re family. And if the sport of watching sports ever becomes more complicated than that, well that’s the day I retire.
Photo Credit: Eric Langhorst