The epicentre of New York, Manhattan is the home to Madison Square Gardens, the iconic sporting arena that hosts NBA and NHL games throughout the season, and if you are planning to watch your favourite team anytime soon, here is a guide to the chic bars nearby where you can sample pre-game drinks and perhaps celebrate after.

Rock Reilly’s

Irish pubs are popular in downtown Manhattan, and none more so that Rock Reilly’s rooftop bar. The bar sports an impressive collection of draft beers and fine whiskeys and with a great view of the Manhattan skyline, you really couldn’t find a better place to have a pre-game drink or drown your sorrows after a loss. MSG bars are too many to give a full account in this article, but Rock Reilly’s stands out from the crowd and is definitely a hit with the locals.

The Pennsy Bar

The Pennsy is a small plaza is literally next door to Madison Square Gardens and is the home to a few bars and restaurants that offer a comfortable place to get ready for the game. The Pennsy bar is perhaps the pick of the bars in MSG, with an extensive list of beers, wines and cocktails, and the décor is awesome. They also have a great menu if you should decide to eat, and being so close to the arena, you won’t miss the start of the game.


The classy cocktail bar is located at Penn Station, which is almost on top of MSG, and the long 56ft bar is perfect if you happen to be in a group and are looking for a drink before or after the game. Craft beers and cocktails are the speciality here, and if you fancy a bite to eat, they have an impressive menu at affordable prices. Happy hour sees many locals flocking to this establishment, and it is the ideal place to relax before the game.

Stout NYC

This is a classic bar located within walking distance of MSG, with cobblestone floors and a high ceiling and a very spacious seating area. As one would expect, the beer is first class and with an extensive list of fine wines and a great cocktail menu, there is something for everyone. This bar is ideal for large groups and when your team wins, it is the perfect place for a celebration, or a pre-game appetiser.

American Whiskey

The place to go for whiskey connoisseurs, with more than 350 different blends of the famous spirit on offer, and with a very large restaurant, it’s a good place to eat after watching your favourite team win at the Garden. Even if you’re not a whiskey drinker, they have a fair range of beers and wines to choose from, and being only a block away from the arena, it is ideal for a pre-match drink.

Madison Square Gardens is surrounded by a range of bars and if you have the time for a little exploration, you might find a few gems that are not listed here.


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