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Venue requirements for B/R Writers Meet-ups

Here’s what we look for in a venue for the Bleacher Report Writers Meet-ups. These are general requirements, not specific to any city.

A place with food and a full bar or at least beer/wine. The place should be able to do party platters or some other communal style food presentation—pizzas, for example—so that individual people don’t have to order their own food. The food needs to be stationary, not “pass-around” style trays carried by wait staff.

The venue should be centrally located and/or easy to get to for people in various parts of town. That is, not so far north, say, that people in the southern suburbs would go, “Ah, no way I’m going way up there.” Downtown and/or near sports arenas or other major attractions, where people from all over are used to going, is usually best. If the city has a subway or other transit system that people actually use, then proximity to a station is a good thing.

The place itself should have a private room or something at least semi-private (a balcony or patio, for example) where we can be removed from the general noise and traffic of the bar and can hear each other in a group discussion without amplification. There should either be a bar dedicated to that space or waiter service.

Sports bars often meet all these criteria, but the place does not have to be a sports bar. Prices should be reasonable, but we don’t look to do meet-ups on the cheap. We’re not interested in dive bars. On the other hand, we don’t want the place to be too fancy. We’re sportswriters. We like to get comfortable.

If the venue has a website and there is no link on the home page for something along the lines of “Private Parties” or “Private Events,” it’s likely not the right place for us.