Dive 75 will be showing the games.
By Maya Mau
For the second time in NBA history, two New York City teams have qualified for the postseason, and it’s not just fans who are pumped up. Sports bars on the Upper West Side are hoping the good vibes from the teams’ success help them rebound after a tough year too.
The last time both teams qualified for the playoffs was in 2013, when the Knicks were the second seed in the Eastern Conference and the Nets, who had just moved to Brooklyn from New Jersey, were the fourth seed.
In the first round, the Nets, the second seed, will face the seventh seeded Boston Celtics. The first game of the series will be at the Barclays Center at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. The New York Knicks, in the fourth seed, will face the fifth seeded Atlanta Hawks. Their first game will be at Madison Square Garden at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.
New York City teams’ success in professional basketball comes at a time when Upper West Siders are increasingly eager to enjoy all that New York City has to offer. As such, many bars plan on showing both Knicks and Nets playoff games.
Dive Bar has four locations on the Upper West Side (96th & Amsterdam, 101st and Broadway, 75th & Columbus, 106th & Amsterdam) and typically shows whichever games are in demand.
“We will probably show both games, since they are big games,” an employee at Dive Bar said. “If a lot of people are watching and interested, we will turn the sound on.”
Emerald Inn (72nd between Broadway and West End), an Irish-style pub, said that they were “definitely” going to show both New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets games. When asked if they had seen enthusiasm from patrons about either team’s success, an employee said, “The Knicks.”
Bodega 88 (88th & Columbus), which serves Latin-style small plates, also noticed enthusiasm among customers about the playoffs.
“We will be playing both games,” an employee at Bodega 88 said, “On Wednesday, there were a few fans watching the [Western conference play-in] game, and they were really excited.”
Lion’s Head Tavern (109th & Amsterdam) is at the nexus of Morningside Heights and the Upper West Side and is looking forward to taking advantage of NYC open streets on the weekend.
“We have a couple of television sets, so we’ll definitely be showing the playoffs,” an employee at Lion’s Head Tavern said.
Across the street, Amity Hall (109th & Amsterdam) is also planning on showing games from both series.
“Between restrictions being loosened and summertime, the fact that there are two teams in the NBA playoffs from New York that are not usually there is exciting to people,” an employee at Amity Hall said.
With loosening pandemic restrictions, warmer weather, and successful New York professional basketball teams, bars on the Upper West Side are optimistic that this summer their establishments will be significantly busier than they have been this past year.