Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Linebacker Lounge

The next best thing to having a bar on campus is having one across the street. Welcome to The Linebacker, which has been serving thirsty patrons in South Bend for 45 years.

On football Saturdays, former Notre Dame players and coaches mingle with the faithful, and a beer tent serves customers who can't fight their way inside. No wonder locals affectionately call it "The Backer."

Talk Four Horsemen or Ara Parseghian all you want, but what sets this establishment apart is a stripper's pole erected in the middle of the dance floor. As legend goes, the spirits flow and women decide to go for a spin as they vie for attention.

The inside is described as a "plethora of '70s-style wood paneling and a low-tiled ceiling." More than one online reviewer describes the Long Island ice teas as "potent."
Other reviews are generally favorable, but one visitor from San Francisco didn't care for his experience. "This place sucks. ... The music is pretty bad. If you like it, then you have bad taste in music. The floors are also disgusting while people are dancing; if you're wearing jeans, when you get home you'll think you spent your night mucking out a stable or wading through a shallow swamp."

Running a joint as popular as The Backer can be a royal pain in the rear, and owner Greg Delinski was asked in 2005 about visiting fans. Specifically, which ones present the biggest headaches.

"Ohio State is the worst," he told "I could go one and on about their fans, but they are the worst. Michigan and Michigan State fans are always bad. They stir up trouble. I think it is due to the close proximity of the schools to each other."

Have you visited The Backer? We'd like to hear about your experience. Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Previous reviews: Esso Club (Clemson); Dirtbag's (Arizona); Bash Riprock's (Texas Tech); The Original Varsity Club (Ohio State); Walk-On's (Louisiana State); O'Connell's Irish Pub & Grille (Oklahoma); Top Of The Stairs (Virginia Tech).


Anonymous said...

The backer is the bar you go to once you're already drunk! I dare you to lick the pole!

Anonymous said...

as a person who generally does not like going to bars, i gotta say i love me some backer. it is an experience like no other and always fun. if you think the music sucks then you probably should just avoid the backer and head to some sleazy club playing nothing but garbage hip-hop music with the rest of the gel-heads. the music is a classic selection of the last 4 decades. there is hardly room in the place for everyone so the dancing becomes more akin to the flow of a wave as you are crammed up against no less than seven other people.

chem said...

The backer is a great place to go in the dead of winter in south bend when you want to feel like you are in a sauna.... HOT!