TVs in Taproom

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MerryTapster, Oct 6, 2015.

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  1. CaptFrothy

    CaptFrothy Zealot (520) Dec 9, 2006 Maryland

    My favorite taproom, Max's in Baltimore has multiple TV's behind the bar with the sound off. They up high so not distracting when you're talking to anyone and easy to ignore if you choose.

    Sometimes on the weekend it's nice to see multiple Baseball games, world cup soccer and other events if you want, if not just keep your eyes down. See the webcam on their website for what I'm talking bout Willis.
  2. Giovannilucano

    Giovannilucano Devotee (422) Feb 24, 2011 New Jersey

    Ok I am considering a move to Asheville:

    Coffee shops: check
    Breweries: check
    Soccer on tv: check

    I am missing anything? lol
    NCMonte likes this.
  3. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania


    Fresh mountain air: check
    Great hiking/biking trails near by: check
    Four seasons of the year (but none of them extreme): check
    Giovannilucano likes this.
  4. CDRSchafer

    CDRSchafer Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2008 Texas

    I love watching sports but am irritated by the distraction of a TV in a public place. The worst are news channels, my vision of hell is being stuck in Newark underneath a TV blaring CNN.
  5. FightinIrish88

    FightinIrish88 Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2014 New Jersey

    I would put a tv or two.
  6. brother_rebus

    brother_rebus Savant (935) Jul 28, 2014 Maine

    I am an advocate of bar/restaurant TVs only being on things that don't need volume.
    Sports. Poker. Jeopardy. Planet Earth / nature documentary. old cartoons. even iTunes visualizer synced with music.
    but shitty crime dramas, sports center (or any post/pre game show), Duck Dynasty, etc. is ridiculous.
    news is the one gray area. if there's an indelible force of nature coming through, or a public safety concern, sure. otherwise leave it off.
  7. Providence

    Providence Crusader (704) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I prefer bars without TVs. Although, about a month ago I was at the Scurvy Dog where they were playing Hellraiser 2 on one of their TVs and Kindergarten Cop on the other. It was an unreal experience and one I will never forget. It was all happening whilst I had multiple pints of Jack's Abby brews.

    But back to the question. TVs will be increase the likelihood of some people coming to your bar and staying at it. They will also decrease the likelihood of others coming to your bar and staying at it. The question is whether the area and population around your bar, or likely to travel to your bar is more in the first category or the second. If you're just trying to build a bar that is a reflection of your values (kind of, if I build it, they will come approach), then just go with your gut, nix the TVs and move forward.

    If you've got a small space, then I'd say you have one flat screen up above the bar somewhere. However, don't always turn it on. If there's something specific people are interested in, then put it on. If there's no requests, leave it off. People's eyes are drawn to TVs regardless of what's on. I am not a fan of TV much at all. I don't even have cable at my house. However, if there's a TV on in a bar, I will strategically place my view away from the TV, because it will draw my attention nonetheless (and therefore draw my attention away from whomever I'm with, which is far more important than what is on TV, or, if I'm there solo, it'll draw my attention away from my thoughts and personal peace and quiet, both of which I prefer to what's on TV, save for when the Giants are on, which trumps all. But I've got to watch them at home, that way I don't get arrested if I decide to chuck something at the screen when Eli throws a pick-six, but I digress).
  8. MerryTapster

    MerryTapster Zealot (594) Mar 6, 2010 Pennsylvania

    So consensus seems to be one or two tv's, Well enough,
  9. chcfan

    chcfan Zealot (568) Oct 29, 2008 California

    You'll have a hard time finding directors/movies that everyone likes. In fact, it's not possible. 90% of movies worth watching are rated R, especially cult movies, which work well silent in bars. Kung Fu movies are good in that format, too, since they're mostly action. You have to be 21 to drink...I hope someone that age or older can handle some violence or bare skin every once in a while. I could see not wanting to have movies that are too gory since you'll have food, but that's about it.

    OP, as mentioned, you can always turn off the TV but you can't turn something that doesn't exist on. Good luck!
  10. NCMonte

    NCMonte Aspirant (248) Jan 28, 2014 North Carolina

    One of the greatest beer drinkers on the planet lives there: check!
    Giovannilucano likes this.
  11. fearfactory

    fearfactory Aspirant (296) Aug 12, 2012 Massachusetts

    Right, but the main points seem to be content and volume, especially in a small space. Keep it clean, keep it quiet, and me personally, I wouldn't even turn them on until someone asks.
    And remember, all those sporting events will be running ads for beer you don't serve...continuously.
  12. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,603) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    I can't stand TVs at any bars, restaurants or taprooms unless they are playing a specific game or movie. To have it on with ESPN or CNN or whatever is not why I came out, I can drink at home and watch that crap.
  13. Flashy

    Flashy Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2003 Vermont

    I remember the first place I went that didn't have a TV in the taproom was the old Thompson Street Brewery in NYC. It was great, people talked and interacted. That came to an end when they put a screen in. A local Brewpub had no TV, then a TV for special events and that was great. Now it's on all the time and people (including me) stare at it.
  14. twb0392

    twb0392 Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2014 Wisconsin

    There is a nice feel to a bar without a tv.
  15. Hrodebert

    Hrodebert Aspirant (278) Sep 2, 2013 Michigan

    T.V. is one of the biggest wastes of time there is.
    Jaycase and OldManMetal like this.
  16. JackRWatkins

    JackRWatkins Defender (675) Nov 3, 2014 Alabama

    i'd say on a basic level no, but if college football or any sport is particularly huge where you live might be a good idea to roll it out during the given season, better without but in certain circumstances understandable
  17. peteboiler

    peteboiler Initiate (147) Dec 16, 2010 Florida

    I am still on a mission here in Melbourne, Florida to find an awesome craft brew bar that carries the NFL ticket. I don't need sound, but I love to watch the Colts while enjoying some good brews!
  18. pro100

    pro100 Initiate (106) Oct 12, 2014 California

    Up your sales brotha.. NFL, College Football, MLB playoffs, and the NBA coming up- get some tv screens up!!
  19. AdmiralOzone

    AdmiralOzone Poo-Bah (2,114) Jun 26, 2014 Minnesota
    Society Trader

    I would say you should have TV's but no volume.
  20. ncusatis

    ncusatis Initiate (146) Dec 22, 2014 Wisconsin

    This isn't a simple question to ask. What is your brand? What type of establishment do you want to be known as? Who is your target clientele? How large is your space? What businesses are in direct competition with you? Does the local community have a large interest in sports?

    Gotta think outside the hyper craft beer nerds that we are. Because yes, we all love and enjoy places without TV's, but there is a huge demographic that enjoys watching a game and enjoying a craft beer.
  21. chrisjws

    chrisjws Champion (873) Dec 3, 2014 California

    It'll make a significant difference in your sales numbers. You can position them in a way to not have them take over the space, and you can also turn them off when there's no games on.
  22. Boverhof3

    Boverhof3 Aspirant (270) Dec 25, 2006 Michigan

    I'm pro TV myself. I've always wanted to open a bar and play ridiculous old WWF PPV's, 80's MTV Music Videos, Late Night Info Commericials, Dumb Old TV Sitcoms and Saturday Morning Cartoons without the sound. Things to catch your eye and start a conversation without being too heavy. But I'M random like that.
    BaseballNBeer likes this.
  23. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (5,222) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    More than enough responses, but can't resist putting in my $.02:

    There seems to be varied opinions, some of which assume the extremes: having TVs immediately means the place will be swamped with screaming BMC fans, and no TVs means it will be a thoughtful, soul-changing place where we'll solve all the world's problems.

    Most others offer the reasonable solution, a few discrete TVs, probably in locations you need to make a little effort to see, will allow for a distraction during slow conversation, and perhaps even a topic for. They can also be easily ignored. I don't understand the people who would say no to TVs because they can't control themselves from watching even things they aren't interested in.

    I also agree with others that say, if you want to try without it, do so but consider the option if you find your clientele prefer it.
    BMitch likes this.
  24. DrumKid003

    DrumKid003 Aspirant (245) Aug 10, 2013 Oklahoma

    I would absolutely put TVs in. The college and pro football seasons are in full swing, the playoffs are just starting for baseball, the NBA & NHL will start in the next couple of months. If someone wants to come in to grab a drink and watch a game, and you don't have TVs they will find some place else to go for said drinks.

    Bonus points for TVs because if I'm out at a bar or tasting room and someone tries to start a conversation about something I'm not interested in, I turn and watch the TV while they talk to themselves until they realize I don't give a fuck about what they're saying and they finally shut up.
    #144 DrumKid003, Oct 7, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  25. Lonestar9

    Lonestar9 Initiate (187) Apr 27, 2008 South Carolina

    One or two tvs is about right. You just need to have on a few select games or movies..etc. Those that don't like TV can just ignore it and enjoy their beer.
  26. mig100

    mig100 Meyvn (1,241) Aug 3, 2014 Texas

    I'm with you there. @scottyg354 I think it's what sets apart the hardcore brewpubs and brewery taprooms from the more casual. Not to say TV's in a taproom or brewpub are bad... but having sports on TV in a bar will attract some of a certain audience, one that in my opinion, can be more rowdy and belligerent overall than your typical beer enthusiast. Your dad, while I respect his opinion, is from a different generation. Go no TV's, keep it classy.
  27. mig100

    mig100 Meyvn (1,241) Aug 3, 2014 Texas

    Oh wait sorry man @scottyg354

    I just saw that you're in Pennsylvania (I've got fam there)... yea you need TV's lol
  28. SensorySupernova

    SensorySupernova Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2014 California

    I can watch TV at home. I can't play Foosball at home.
    SonictheBeerhog likes this.
  29. JaefromLA

    JaefromLA Initiate (0) May 19, 2015 California

    I like the idea of a tv in the taproom. A lot of people like myself go to places by myself and it can be a way to break ice with people for conversation or sometimes an important current event/natural disaster/car chase/sports event etc. may be happening and can add up to a good night with some good commentary. I say why not
  30. SonictheBeerhog

    SonictheBeerhog Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 New York

    We don't have any TVs or music at Abandon Brewing company and we are always busy. So.... I don't think TVs in breweries are necessary.
  31. MyThoughtsExactly

    MyThoughtsExactly Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2015 Virginia

    I say put one or two in and use them when you see fit. Maybe you have slow mondays, post on social media "We're playing X game tonight, come enjoy a beer while watching". Maybe you're busy everyday, post your tap list or upcoming events on the TV (or turn them off). TVs give you another tool to help your business.
  32. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (550) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    It's a funny split. Cos, the ball sport enthusiasts need it like a junkie needs a fix. The rest are pretty much, meh. But keep it on something I don't have to pay active attention to.

    We haven't asked the OP this question. Do you yourself like ball sports.

    Where I work, we have tv's in our taproom, and they are all tuned to sports channels. But my bosses are pretty much huge sports fans, so it's something I've made peace with. Cos I am not.
    I know if, and when I branch out on my own. I will keep them to a minimum and only show the kind of b roll heavy material they show on the side which serves food, with the very occasional ball sport. I'd rather entertain someone who comes in (maybe a bit blazed) with something goofy, than go after someone looking for their fix of the current game of ball sport. it's the little things, and not the big spectacle that count imho.

    I personally do not care for what TV's do to a room. Especially where sport is involved. I pity the servers who get stuck with campers at their tables who happen to be near a monitor during those shifts. Their day is shot, cos those people ask and are willing to wait for that table, and ONLY that table.
  33. BMitch

    BMitch Initiate (116) Jul 10, 2012 Virginia

    LOL... what defines a "typical beer enthusiast" in your eyes?

    This believe that having a couple strategically-placed TVs showing sports is suddenly going to turn the core demographic into a bunch of drunken frat boys chugging BMC and crushing cans on their heads is comical. Sorry that this seems to bother some of you here, but there are a lot of people out there who equally love both craft beer and watching sports. Look at this very thread, FFS. No one is suggesting to put up wall-to-wall TVs and turn it into a Buffalo Wild Wings, where the main purpose of going to a place like that IS to watch games. A brewpub/craft bar is always going to be about the beer first and foremost. Churchkey in DC is considered one of the better craft bars across the entire nation and even they have a few TVs along their bar.
    ecpho likes this.
  34. goldenhopdevil

    goldenhopdevil Initiate (97) Jul 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Yeah, but you also have one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen. So I'm not sure that's a fair comparison :slight_smile:
    SonictheBeerhog likes this.
  35. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (374) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I grew up watching plenty of television, as did most of my vintage, and when a TV's on it tends to draw my attention whether I like it or not, all Pavlovian-like.

    It's a bar for God's sake, not your living room.
  36. KSOZE

    KSOZE Disciple (350) Feb 10, 2015 Ohio

    I think you would discourage people from coming in and frequenting an establishment more by NOT having TVs than HAVING them. Take that for what it's worth. Personally I have self control and can interact with people around me, even with distractions present.

    I'd echo the sentiment that having something specific on is nice, rather than having inane shit like SportsCenter or CNN run across the screen. Put on the game or a movie.
  37. lester619

    lester619 Devotee (470) Apr 17, 2009 Wisconsin

    So if I understand what you're saying, and please correct me if I have this wrong, your point is you have no choice but to watch the TV, even when you don't care what's on, and this is such a distraction to you that they shouldn't be available to anyone?
  38. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (374) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Wait wait, first you explain why you find it so incomprehensible that someone might find TVs distracting, and then explain what "It's a bar" is supposed to mean with regard to watching television, and then I'll tell you all about our plans to have you relocated to a reeducation camp in the Far West, where through intensive training you'll become more like me.
  39. lester619

    lester619 Devotee (470) Apr 17, 2009 Wisconsin

    Incomprehensible is a little strong, but yeah I don't get it. If the TV doesn't interest you ignore it. Play darts, talk to the people you are with, fuck around with your phone, whatever. We are adults with a brain and a choice.
  40. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (374) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Okay. Be sure to take your own advice next time you go to a restaurant and find yourself seated next to a couple of squealing, scurrying children.
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