Sometimes you just need to get our of your living room and revel with like-minded sports fans for the cheering, the camaraderie, the exhilaration, shared cries of disappointment and elated moments of hand-stinging high-fives.
Such is the case with the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
When gymnast Gabby Douglas sticks a landing, you just might need to hug the person next to you. When some break-out runner you’ve never heard of breaks a record in the 100 meters, you might need to buy the bar a round. When Michael Phelps stands on the starting block about to mine for gold in the 200-meter butterfly, the excitement will be palpable, and you’ll want to share the moment.
To help you carry your own torch of Olympics elation, we’ve rounded up some spots where you can watch the games on multiple TV screens and cheer on your favorite athletes and teams from the 206 nations who will partake of 306 events in 28 sports.
Opening ceremonies are on Friday night and the games continue through Aug. 21. Several of these places hinted at drink and food specials. Perhaps there will be the 100-Meter Martini? Or maybe the Modern Pentathalon Mojito? The Volleyball on the Beach? Here’s where you might find them:
2016 Rio Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony
8 p.m. Friday. Frontier, 14 Maine St., Brunswick, free. explorefrontier.com
You’ll see the moment the torch is lit on a big screen and cheer on athletes from everywhere as they parade into Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. You can count on the ceremony being a huge spectacle of colorful costumes, stunning visuals and mesmerizing musical numbers. Want to have dinner beforehand? Just give them a ring at 725-5222 to reserve your spot.
Rivalries Sports Pub & Grill
10 Cotton St., Portland. rivalriesmaine.com
Rivalries is going all in for the summer games and many of its 32 TVs on two levels will be tuned to the Olympics. They open every day at 11:30 a.m. and stay open until at least 11 p.m. and as late as 1 a.m., if die-hards are hanging around. You’re a die-hard, aren’t you?
Rí Rá Irish Pub
72 Commercial St., Portland. rira.com/portland
Rí Rá has eight TVs spread throughout all three of its bar areas. The upstairs bar has a large-screen one and, since tearing down a wall, there’s plenty of seating. The Victorian Bar is the main bar of the space and will have a giant drop-down projector screen set up. The Shop Bar (attached to the Victorian Bar) has two small and two large flat screen TVs. Rí Rá recently had a sound system installed that will allow TV audio to run throughout all of the bars or can be customized for each one. Rí Rá opens daily at 9 a.m. and stays open until 1 a.m. That means you could theoretically spend 16 hours a day at Rí Rá for complete immersion. Good luck with that.
77 Free St., Portland. bingasstadium.com
Everywhere you look you’ll see a screen, as Binga’s has 50 TVs hanging throughout its huge space. You might catch a rogue Red Sox game on a screen or two but expect a whole mess of summer games filling up their screens. Binga’s is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4 to 11 p.m., Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. It spends Sundays and Mondays recovering.
Buffalo Wild Wings
85 Western Ave., South Portland. buffalowildwings.com
With more than 30 flat screen TVs, some of which are gigantic, and a massive menu of chicken wings and other nosh-ables, Buffalo Wild Wings is a family-friendly spot that is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Not sure what sport you want to focus on? Just wing it.
Stockhouse Restaurant & Sports Pub
506 Main St., Westbrook. thestockhouserestaurant.com
Head to the ’Brook where searching for the giant python is almost its own Olympic sport. The Stockhouse Restaurant & Sports Pub has 18 TVs in its collection. It’s open from 11 a.m. to close on Sundays and Mondays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Keep an eye on its Facebook page for Olympics food and drink specials.
Thatcher’s Restaurant & Sports Pub
35 Foden Road, South Portland, 253-1808. On Facebook.
Thatcher’s is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. All told, it has 20 TVs. Five of them are massive wall-mounted ones that are about eight feet wide. It’ll be almost like being there if you use your imagination … and have a few beverages.
Need some Olympic-themed musical motivation?
Here’s 14 Songs in the key of the 2016 Olympic Games