Binga’s — it’s fun to say, and it’s also a fun place to grab a drink.

I met a friend at Binga’s Stadium Smokehouse & Sports Bar in Portland on a recent night to take a break from the hectic holiday shopping. When I arrived, my friend was already sipping on her margarita served in a pint glass. I sat down next to her at one end of the seemingly mile-long bar.

The bartender quickly informed me that the night’s beer special was Bass Ale. Binga’s offers a different beer every night, usually a local brew, at a discounted price of $3 for a pint and $4 for a 20-ounce glass.

Between the specialty of the night and 27 other beers on tap — plus everything from well drinks to top-shelf liquor — I was slightly overwhelmed. I decided after much deliberation on a 20-ounce glass of Woodchuck Hard Cider.

You can take advantage of the daily beer special or the $5 pitcher of Pabst Blue Ribbon on Monday through Thursday, and cocktails will run you at least $5.50. The price goes up from there, depending on the liquor you choose, the bartender said. All of the bartenders have many years’ experience, so they’re well-versed in mixing your cocktails and pouring the beer, he said.

I saw that firsthand in the prompt and friendly service from the bartender serving us. We even got a bit of sing-along with the music playing in the background, and some dancing between serving up drinks.

Once I settled into my bar seat and took a sip of cider, I realized why Binga’s is the ultimate sports bar. Everywhere you turn, there’s a TV within view.

Sports fanatics can park it on one of the bar stools, pub tables or booths and watch endless games and sports highlights. You can even request one of the seven booths equipped with personal TVs that you can control yourself.

But if you’re not into the sports scene, Binga’s knows how to throw a party, too. It hosts ladies’ night with dancing on the lower level from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Wednesday. It also hosts special events, like the Halloween party I went to back in October. The dance floor was jam-packed that night, and music kept people dancing until 1 a.m.

After we sipped on our drinks for a bit, my friend and I decided to order some food. Wanting to sample some of Binga’s famed wing sauces, but not wanting the mess of wings, we opted for the less messy chicken tenders.

I got mine smothered in the Jamaican Jerk sauce, which was absolutely delicious. My friend got the Thai BBQ version, which was equally delicious. She also insisted on getting the fried pickle chips side dish. I’m not as big a fan of them as she is.

I polished off my half order of tenders, though, washing it down with some hard cider. There’s nothing like wings and a good drink for a break from the bustle.

Emma Bouthillette is a freelance writer who lives in Biddeford.




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