The Alumni House Sports Grill, situated in a bustling section of Ridgeland, is not your typical sports bar.
Yes, they are definitely a sports-themed bar and grill, but they go the extra mile with over 100 television and projection screens throughout the building, so there is literally nowhere you can stand and no see the action. They offer daily drink specials, have plenty of video games, and also have a karaoke night every week.
The Alumni House, as far as sports bars go, is like the Cowboys or the Yankees—a top-tier dynasty—proved by the fact that they have recently expanded to new locations in Hattiesburg near the USM campus and inside the Holiday Inn by Trustmark Park in Pearl.
The drink: If you like to drink it, they’ve probably got it, and usually at a great price—they have nightly specials like 2 for 1 or discounts on beer or mixed drinks depending on the night.
They feature martini specials on Mondays and other nights you might find margarita specials or beer discounts. They are a full service bar and offer up just about any libation you are craving. Their beer specialties include a “goal post” tubular container that holds up to 120 ounces of iced cold beer of domestics or imports for around $20 or their smaller 82 ounce “pylon” that is a carafe of your favorite beer $10-12.
A wine or liquor lover? Then you won’t be disappointed with their offerings either, or their expansive menu of mixed beverages and frozen treats.
The décor: Surprise: sports memorabilia is the primary decor here, though the building itself is a bit more upscale than the average sports bar.
A huge bar area is situated in the middle of the building with plenty of seating around it. You will find a wide variety of booths and tables for large groups to sit back, relax and enjoy your favorite sport on their numerous flat screened televisions situated in every possible spot.
The large projection screens are surrounded by smaller flat screens so there is no possible way to miss a single play, shot or hit of the sporting event being featured. Their great stadium seating area, complete with high backed plush leather chairs, is perfect for enjoying the latest game or sporting event in extreme comfort and chair side service.
They have a connection to CBS Sports and have an up-to-date sports ticker in-house and online where you can see the latest sports information and vote for your favorite team or player.
The crowd: All ages can be found with lots of families and friends gathering to cheer on their teams. We noticed many in the crowd wearing sports-themed caps and shirts letting everyone know exactly the team they are rooting for. At lunch time you will see many coworkers and business diners as well as plenty of moms and children. At night you won’t find a raucous bar crowd so it is still fine to bring the kids.
The service: They have a friendly staff that is eager to make your experience enjoyable however sometimes the crowds might create a bit of confusion. They do try extremely hard to please and do a mighty fine job of getting your food and beverage to you as quickly as possible.
The sounds: Bustling is an understatement as this is a sports bar and grill and with all the televisions you will definitely be hearing a lot of screams and hoorays when team rivalries heat up. It is not uncomfortable at all and is an enjoyable dining and drinking experience. There are definitely a lot of people watching opportunities, as you know Mississippians love their local sports heroes and don’t mind letting you know if they’re a Bulldog, Rebel, Eagle or Tiger fan. Then when it comes to karaoke night, arrive early and stay late and let the crowd hear your musical talents that you can brag about all week.
The food: Good food and plenty of offerings are what you will find. Appetizers to entrees are all great and most have a sports-themed name. Appetizers are great for sharing, and those that are watching their waist line will enjoy a nice array of salads and wraps, while the hungry eater will find plenty of sandwiches, burgers and poboys. At lunch time they serve up some pretty mean specials during the week to bring in that business diner. Their menu is quite extensive and mid-priced.
The damage: Depending on your taste for adult beverages you will find their prices quite reasonable and you can have a few drinks and a nice meal for under $30. If you stay all night or start buying a round or two for your friends you can bump up the tab a bit. Their 2 for 1 and half price offerings are certainly easy on the pocket.