The Houndstooth Bar Is One of the Strip’s Top Bars But the Game Day Place to Party Is The Quad
When it’s tailgate time in Tuscaloosa, the Tiders roll over to the Quadrangle – the Quad, for short – to set up tents, to party in the tents, or just walk around and enjoy the scene. (And scenery, for this is a Southern school, gentlemen.)
As the name implies, the Quad is a large, open grass area that is a place to hang out and relax for students. Except on eight fall Saturdays a year. That’s when it turns into a campus party scene with alumni for Crimson Tide football games.
There are so many tents, it’s like a maze walking among them, and they range from full-bar parties to big BBQ grills. These spots are actually reserved in advance (at a cost) and are sold out before the first football is kicked in the air, so it’s not possible for anyone to just plop down your own tent and tailgate.
But that’s okay, you can have your own mobile party; the Campus Party Store is among the bars on University Ave., that serves beers to go, and that’s a five-minute walk to the Quad.
There are tens of thousands of people on the Quad, and anyone you pass or see, simply give them a “Roll Tide” comment. Yes, it’s actually just like that ageless ESPN commercial.
One one side, standing tall at the center at University Blvd., is Denny Chimes, the school’s campus landmark. Legend has it that whenever a virgin walk by it, a brick falls out, so male students always be sure and take first dates on a stroll by Denny Chimes just to check out their chances of late-night romance.
On the other side is the Ferguson Center, the campus student center and bookstore (it also has an air-conditioned lounge, of sorts, showing other college games on flat-screen TVs; this is free and open to the public. Call it Southern Hospitality).
About 90 minutes before kickoff, the band, cheerleaders and “Big Al” mascot gather at the steps to the library for the start of the “Elephant Stomp,” a march directly into Bryant-Denny Stadium (which is across the street from the Quad).
For those who want a little pre-game flavor of the bar scene, or to check out the games of rival schools (any team ranked anywhere near Alabama in the polls is considered a rival in these parts), the place to party is the Houndstooth. It’s a big bar with a large patio serving up BBQ. Inside it’s almost like a large cave with TVs everywhere.
Another good place – in fact, it’s my favorite spot after the game – is Buffalo Phil’s. It’s know for its wings, but of course PubClub.com goes there to party!
So Roll Tide Roll with this party guide to football Saturdays in Tuscaloosa!
• Complete College Football Guide
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