Endzone Pub & Grill
2859 University Ave. (North Park)
Happy Hour: 2 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday
By Dr. Ink
Hipsters beware. Endzone Pub & Grill eschews all things trendy, except for giving patrons a steady diet of sports splashed across 11 flat screens accessible to every seat in the house.
The beer selection during happy hour is pretty basic, meaning that pints and pitchers are refined to the usual domestic brands while the craft selection holds no surprises. We’re talking Stone, Sculpin, Shocktop and Stella, if you dare place the latter into that category.
The refreshing thing about Endzone is that it makes no bones about being anti-hip. Aside from a couple of interior faux brick walls and sports décor, the L-shaped space looks like a page out of the 80s or 90s, before neighborhood bars started relying on themes and rustica to attract customers. Compared to when it was the beatnik-style Foundry, it’s brighter and considerably less snobby.
Take a close look at the top of the food menu. It reads: “We are a Tater Tot free zone.” Finally, somebody has the wits to call out these munchies as hackneyed and overrated.
Located in the heart of North Park, the exterior is unmistakable, given its big, bold yellow sign in front using a font that could easily lead you into thinking you’re entering an arcade. And in some ways you are if any sports leagues happen to be playing. Expect standing-room-only crowds at those times.
Endzone’s growing popularity is mainly due to its fast and friendly service and down-to-earth atmosphere. The price breaks during happy hour are additional draws, considering that you can drink down pitchers of domestic beer for $5 and pints for $2.50. Or if you’ve graduated from Bud Light, the better stuff runs $10 a pitcher and $4 a pint.
The nachos are ridiculously cheap, selling for $2 a basket. They’re nothing fancy, but you get a fair amount of chips piled alongside nacho cheese sauce, brined jalapenos and salsa.
While drinking our Stellas and Shocktops, we also ordered a handful of wings, priced at 75 cents apiece. We requested half the amount Buffalo style and the other half teriyaki. Both were over-sauced, and the teriyaki sauce was exceedingly viscous and sticky. In addition, the wings weren’t crispy. Yet with enough cold beer and napkins on our table, we managed to wolf them down.
Endzone also services breakfast on weekends. And we’re told that on Sundays, the place starts springing to life around 10 a.m. with football enthusiasts gearing up for a day of beer and shouting.
The drink menu for happy hour comprises pints and pitchers of everyday domestic beers and a few familiar craft names such as Stone, Sculpin and Shocktop.
Chicken wings were over-sauced and the ballpark nachos were basic but expectedly beer-friendly.
Prices on beer and food are among the cheapest in town, with domestic pitchers selling for $5, and a basket of nachos available for only $2.
The bartender who doubled as our table waitress was efficient, informative and very down to earth.
Though weekends are excluded, the deals for happy hour on weekdays start in the afternoon and carry through until early evening.