March has always been one of my favorite months for one reason: college basketball.
Though my bracket predictably falls apart in the first round every year, there is nothing quite like an upset. I’m still talking about the time my alma mater, UMBC, defeated
top-seeded Virginia, and that was two years ago. But I also happen to be a lifelong Syracuse University basketball fan, so this month’s Treat Yourself was a no-brainer. One recent Saturday night, I ventured downtown to the PressRoom Pub to watch the Orange host Duke.
First opened in April 2018, the pub’s name (and décor) is inspired by the building’s roots – the Syracuse Herald-Journal was once housed there. There is free parking in front of the PressRoom Pub, but they will also validate parking up to $5 in the lots across the street. Owner Tom Hornstein recommends that fans arrive at least two hours early, more if it’s a big game (it was). We heeded his advice, and were able to grab a table with a prime view of a TV, but the pub filled up quickly as the 8:00 p.m. tip approached.
Though I attended a game at the Carrier Dome years ago, I usually prefer the comfort of my apartment to large crowds. This experience may have changed my mind. There are games – including shuffleboard and basketball – that you can play while you’re waiting for the game to start, or you can enjoy some appetizers, which is what we did (the pretzel sticks with maple mustard are a must-try). Once the game started, fans collectively cheered when Syracuse scored a point and groaned when it missed a shot or
turned the ball over, adding to the excitement of the game.
“It’s almost as good as being at the Dome,” Hornstein says.
I agree. It’s definitely more fun watching a game with fellow Orange fans.