BarView – 108 Sports Lounge

BarView The 108 Sports Lounge By Kate Serpa Photos by Philip Johnson

Two quick matters to address before we begin– Firstly, I sincerely apologize to anyone I might have offended with last month’s article in regard to the venereal disease matter. Secondly, I am amazingly flattered so many of you read me! I’ve met more ModestoView readers in the past month than I have in the four years I’ve done the article. I guess the trick is I need to put lowbrow in here more often. Moving on–

During this past month I kept hearing bar people buzz about this place in Riverbank. Amazing beer and enormous liquor selection, they said. Giant T.V.s and pool tables and poker nights, they said. Great atmosphere and cute bartenders, they said. “In Riverbank? Are you sure?” I said.

And you know what? They were right.

The 108 may look unassuming from the front, but in the inside is… I’m going to use the word magical for the hell of it. Over 500 bottles of the most beautiful alcohol sit on lofty glass shelving and over 35 rotating beer tap selections. Picture BevMo with a bartender, if you will.

This is apparently the reaction the 108 is going for. “People get overwhelmed when they come in. We want to offer the largest selection of alcohol in the Central Valley here,” says bar manager Laura Burke, who has been bartending at the 108 since day one. They are currently winning by my standards. The shelving boasts every variety of Johnny Walker (including the King George label), a collection of moonshine, a frightening amount of tequila, and enough whiskey to make you swoon. Taps include, but are not limited to: Arrogant Bastard, Stone IPA, Hoptimum, Werewolf, Bigfoot, Goose Island…you get the general idea. Did I mention 500 liquor bottles? Just making sure.

I am generally uncomfortable in sports bars. It is a completely foreign social circle to me and my knowledge of who’s-playing-who is usually boiled down to what colors the opposing teams are wearing. This being said, the 108 is a sports bar, but not in the most traditional sense. There are pool tables, dartboards, shuffleboard, and ten flat screen TV’s all playing different events at all times, yes. But they play everything, says Burke, from UFC, MLB, NBA, GIN, NFL, MLB, NHL, to Shark Week (order a Shark Bite cocktail, includes fun blood effect). And there’s so much delicious alcohol it would be hard for a nun not to have fun.

Now, despite being painfully Irish (I get sunburned under a 20-watt light bulb), I always seem to get sick on St. Paddy’s day and am unable to go out. I have figured out it’s likely my liver’s built-in defense mechanism from preventing me from finding out how many car-bombs I actually can handle (answer: 7). I am upping my Vitamin C regiment, however, so there isn’t any worry I won’t be able to attend the 108’s St. Paddy’s event. There is literally a St. Paddy’s countdown clock on the 108’s wall; it’s a big event. The Sunday the 17th event will feature a variety of merch girls from various Irish labels (read: Guinness, Baileys, Bush, etc.) doing give-aways, free corn beef and cabbage, Irish music, and (duh) green beer. It’s basically going to ensure a Monday call-in sick day. Just forewarning you.

I was pre-prepared to be bored for this ‘sports bar’ interview, but with Laura and bartender Christina Gonsalves serving out amazing drinks and feeding me knowledge about the amazing array of bottles, the goings-on of 108, and generally just being lovely people, I will willingly admit that I was nothing but impressed and that the 108 was an amazing new find for me. I was almost hesitant to do a write on up it because I thought it was such a find and I didn’t want to share, but I decided to be nice, just this once. But that means if you ever see me there the least you could do is buy me a “thank you for telling me about this place Kate” drink. Fair is fair, people. Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Kate and Phil!

Tuesday- Poker and Pint Night Wednesday- Karaoke Thursday- Dollar Beer Night Happy Hour- 12-7 Weekly

108’s Liquid MJ -2 count Malibu -2 count Capt. Morgan -2 count Midori -1 count Blue Curacao -Sweet & Sour -Shake and strain into a tall ice-filled glass

3119 Atchison St Riverbank, CA 209.869.2456 http://www.108sportsbar.com

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