Co-owner Patrick McCarthy promises "an alternative to the Canton Square scene."
He and his business partner, Christopher Petrie, bought Sports Cafe nearly two weeks ago to re-open as "a place where you don't have to have someone screaming next to you," as is the norm at the Square, he says.
They're planning 10 draftlines to start — focusing on craft beer — with an eye towards 15. McCarthy says he anticipates an extensive list of craft beer by the bottle.
There will also be a dining menu specializing in "upscale bar food." For McCarthy, that means gourmet burgers and high-quality meats. He has not decided if they'll have kitchen managers or an executive chef, though he has met with candidates.
McCarthy and Petrie have a full renovation planned for Sports Cafe, located at 1226 S. Clinton. Before they bought it, the cafe was "a low-rent bar."
"It looked like a liquor store," McCarthy says.
Over the last 10 days, McCarthy says the bar has gotten a full face-lift — the Formica bar counter was replaced with a wooden bar top; the fluorescent lighting is also gone; and a wood floor was installed. The layout of the bar was also re-arranged. The bar's color scheme will be modeled after a pint of Guinness. The bar, which has a capacity of 85, will also have outdoor seating.
McCarthy says there's still a week and a half left of work. He anticipates an opening in two weeks, at the earliest.