The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Cougs can watch Apple Cup in ‘sea of crimson’ in Husky-town next weekend

Multiple Coug-owned bars for Cougs to watch, enjoy Apple Cup game Nov. 25
WSU+football+watch+party+at+Marco+Polo+Bar+and+Grill.
COURTESY OF MATTHEW MIERA
WSU football watch party at Marco Polo Bar and Grill.

The Apple Cup is almost here, and while the game is hosted in Seattle this year, there are multiple Coug-owned and friendly bars around town where WSU fans, students and alumni can feel the Cougar football environment.

Marco Polo Bar and Grill is located in Georgetown, the oldest neighborhood in Seattle, and opened in 1950.

Marco Polo owner Matthew Miera said he took over in 2006 after graduating from WSU in 2002 with a hospitality business management degree.

He was running restaurants around the time he graduated, and a couple of his friends opened Valhalla in Pullman that year before opening a second location in Seattle; when Miera and his friends found out Marco Polo was for sale, they took it over and made it a Coug bar.

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“We’re kind of rooted in the bar history, starting back in Pullman, and then bringing what we know from Pullman over here,” he said. “It’s a historic tavern, like 73 years old, and a lot of fun. Game days are crazy fun.”

Miera said Marco Polo has the longest-standing WSU-sponsored watch party the Alumni Association has had in Seattle, with 18 straight years under its belt.

Because of how busy game days are, Marco Polo does take reservations. Miera said while people do not need a reservation, it is highly recommended to have one to guarantee a table; reservations are taken until two days prior to game day.

“We always say if you can’t be in Pullman, the next best place to be is Marco Polo,” he said. “It is an atmosphere that will make you feel like you’re at the Coug or in Martin Stadium.”

Miera said there is a solid group of Coug regulars who have been going to Marco Polo since he took over, and as people talk and spread the word about the bar, it becomes more well-known that Marco Polo is where a lot of people go to watch WSU football.

The bar has 16 TVs, and every one is turned to the Cougs with the volume on. Miera said sometimes, it is almost like a college reunion; people bump into friends they have not seen since college because Marco Polo is full of Cougs.

“It’s a sea of crimson. We do the fight song before each game, we play the Back Home song before each game, every touchdown we’re doing the fight song, Fireball is flowing freely,” he said. “It’s just that atmosphere that we create … all the things that we would do in a stadium, we’re doing in a bar.”

Miera said he is big on being a member of the Alumni Association, and part of being a Coug is giving back; if a member of the Alumni Association shows their card, they receive 15 percent off their bill.

Marco Polo is a sponsor of the Cougar Athletic Fund, and Miera is a member of Cougs First and involved with Cougar Collective.

At the end of every month, he takes a look at the sales from the month and donates a percentage to Cougar Collective for the student-athletes, the Cougar Athletic Fund for facilities coaches and athletes, Cougs First for marketing and networking with business and the Alumni Association.

“That happens every month, not just college football season,” Miera said. “When people spend money with us, it’s actually going right back to the university.”

Miera said Apple Cup is the busiest day for Cougar football, and the two most sold drinks on game days are Coors Light and Fireball.

“There’s nothing better than when the Cougs score a touchdown and we get a bunch of tables ordering rounds of Fireball, and they’re ordering not just for them, but for anybody else in the bar,” Miera said.

Queen Anne Beerhall has been open for around eight years, but owner Justin Andrews took over in 2020 when the business was struggling.

“With the pandemic and a number of other variables … [the owners] were looking for a way out, so myself and my partnership team decided to move forward with it and we took over operations in August 2020,” Andrews said.

While the team had to shut down the bar in December 2020, they were able to reopen a few months into 2021, he said. By that point, there was a new team of people and the menu was revamped, and they were able to take a different direction with the bar than they had when Andrews first took over; Queen Anne Beerhall is now moving forward with a second location later this year in Kirkland.

Queen Anne Beerhall is a Coug bar, and every Cougar Football Saturday, it is packed with hundreds of fans, Andrews said. While attendance has trickled off the past few weeks, he plans for a full house during Apple Cup.

Andrews said he expects a fun watch party environment, and there will be an emcee hosting the event as well.

“There’s a lot of Cougs in Seattle. I think we’re a more passionate fan base,” he said. “We get to host all the Cougs. They all kind of come in and it’s their own environment, so it doesn’t feel like we’re in Husky town, we’re definitely in Cougarville and we’ve made it really apparent.”

The bar will not be taking reservations for Apple Cup, and it is first come, first serve, but there is seating for up to 400, so there will be space for a lot of people, Andrews said.

There are 36 beers on draft available from throughout the state of Washington, as well as some imports from Europe, he said. Some of Andrews’ favorite beers are local to Seattle, but the bar also serves some Pullman beers.

“One thing we do offer for Cougs on game day, which sounds silly but they love it, is Busch Light. We have 16-ounce cans of Busch Light for three dollars on game day” Andrews said.

Ozzie’s is located in Seattle as well and has been open for 18 years as of October. Owner Kathy Mahoney said the neighborhood has seen multiple changes, and the bar has changed with it.

When Mahoney’s sons went to WSU, the bar slowly but surely changed into a Coug bar without losing its local Husky love, she said. While the bar is in the middle of Husky territory, there are multiple Cougs in the area as well.

“Even though we’re in the heart of Seattle, I can have Huskies sitting at the bar side by side every day and it is what it is,” she said. “I can have Cougs sitting there, and if they have a Coug shirt on, every day they’ll scream ‘Go Cougs.’ It’s just the fun love, it means a lot to us.”

Ozzie’s has hosted Apple Cup watch parties for 17 years, and Mahoney said she loves being able to see everyone come together through wins and losses.

There are decades of love as well, including alumni and grandparents coming with their grandchildren, she said.

“That’s probably the best thing, coming together and the comradery,” Mahoney said.

Mahoney said it is up in the air if there will be another Apple Cup in the future, and she hopes WSU will come out with a win.

“Obviously the Huskies are looking great and we’ve had a tough season right now, but Apple Cup is always Apple Cup,” she said.

Ozzie’s will not take reservations and is first come, first serve for Apple Cup, she said. There will be some food and drink specials, including five-dollar Twisted Teas, as well as some giveaways.

Flatstick Pub opened its first location in Kirkland in 2014 and now has five of its six locations in the Seattle area, including Kirkland, Bellingham, Pioneer Square, South Lake Union and Redmond.

As a pub, it focuses only on local craft beer from Washington, and has games like mini golf as well as pizza, said owner Andy Largent.

Every game day, Flatstick hosts watch parties at each location through the Alumni Association, Largent said. This year, the pub has a partnership with Cougar Collective where they are donating a dollar for drinks sold during football games from all locations.

“Seeing the pub filled with Coug fans [celebrating] together brings a lot of good energy into the pub and makes the game that much more exciting,” he said.

Flatstick is not taking reservations for Apple Cup, but all the locations have large spaces, Largent said.

Joker Pub and Grill is located in Issaquah and has been Coug-owned for the past 31 years. Manager Shannon Wignen said there is Coug gear all over the walls and game days are huge.

Wingen said the pub has a few specials during game days, including shot and beer specials, but her favorite part of game days is the atmosphere of Cougs.

“For the most part, people get here early and it’s all packed. Every once in a while, there’s a few Huskies in here, but for the most part, it’s all Cougs,” Wingen said. “The big thing is the atmosphere … it just makes you feel like you’re back at WSU.”

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About the Contributor
ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE
ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Editor-in-chief
Alexandria started working for the Evergreen in October 2020 as a news reporter and eventually hopped around to the roots/life, opinion and culture sections. She was a copy editor for three semesters beginning in January 2021 and was the Life editor in fall 2022. She was the copy chief for the summer and fall 2023 semesters, and is currently the editor-in-chief for the spring 2024 semester. She is from Tri-Cities, WA, and is always writing in her free time.