The owners of First Break Sports Bar & Grill turned a tragic fire into an opportunity. After the loss, they took time to update the space beyond its original condition, and today gleaming granite tops the bar and hardwood floors shine throughout. A typical night sees the latest sports events flickering on 25 HDTVs, while smokers retire to a separate lounge where they can throw darts through the smoke rings they blow. Players send billiard balls cracking at 9-foot Diamond Pro-Am tables, and on Wednesday nights, participants count their chips during Texas Hold 'Em tournaments. But whether they're spectating or playing, diners can fuel up with selections from the bar's menu with sandwiches, wraps, and pasta until 2 a.m.
Traditional pubs served as community hubs, places to see neighborhood folks and combine the flow of information with the flow of taps. Finnegan's Irish Pub aims to recreate that same setting for a modern audience, serving friendly sandwiches, burgers, and Irish entrees with plenty of beer.
Rather than depending on word of mouth for their stream of news, the pub's staff instead bedecks the dining room with flat-screen televisions and projectors. Outside, a television screens bathe the patio in its technicolor light. And some of the indoor booths come with their very own TVs, ideal for quietly feeding your curling addiction while pretending to care about football.
Since 1984, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with made-from-scratch dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable atmosphere. Amid sunlit dining rooms, diners seated at wooden tabletops can root for their favorite pixels on flat-screen TVs broadcasting live sports. In the kitchen, chefs prepare pastas with grilled chicken and roasted artichokes, pile buns with barbecued pulled pork and spicy buffalo chicken, and fill soft taco shells with grilled steak. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with wine and local craft beers on tap.
Delve into Vinifera's award-winning wine list to plumb the garnet depths, or peruse the menu and try the expert wine-and-food pairings of the sommelier. Executive Chef Bo Palker taps into fresh ingredients, some of which can be traced back to his patio herb planters. Diners can start dining on dinner with a cheese-board appetizer, featuring four specially selected cheeses, toasted Marcona almonds, and Muscat grape marmalade ($12). For the main course, try a pan-roasted sea bass with wild-mushroom risotto and wilted spinach ($30) and teamed with a glass of Whitehaven sauvignon blanc ($11), or enjoy the individually grilled lamb chops with pomegranate sauce, lime risotto, and fig marmalade ($29) with a Red Rock reserve merlot ($9). The celebrated Vinifera paella, with jumbo shrimp, scallops, mussels, free-range chicken, and chorizo ($28) pairs well with Bodegas Julian Chivite’s Gran Fuedo Rosado from Navarra ($9).
Warm hardwood covers nearly every inch of Backyard Grill Restaurant’s dining room, with flat-screen televisions sparkling like glittering jewels all along the crown molding. Through these pixel-painted windows, diners glimpse sports action and beloved commercials from across the globe, taking in scored goals, touchdowns, and home runs side by side. Several times a week, arena events give way to electronic trivia nights, live music, and karaoke.
A gargantuan menu holds its own amid the onslaught of entertainment. Chefs use the whole United States and several other corners of the world as their pantry, adding Asian sweet chili or Mediterranean olives to seafood, piling North Carolina–style pork atop a barbecue sandwich, tossing andouille sausage into spicy creole jambalaya pasta, and gently waving an American flag over a bacon cheeseburger. The tot-friendly, easily scrubbed interior is capped by a kids' menu that ranges from grilled cheese to steak.