I happened to be driving down 57th Street today around noon and noticed Starz, the new sports bar in the former Joey's Seafood location is now open. I know from intrepid research that Starz is billed as an old-school sports joint. Music from the 50s and 60s and old-school beers on tap.
Well, as I mentioned, the soft opening was today. So, what the fork, we stopped in.
The place looks good inside. Darker than Joey's (if you can remember back to then). There is dark brick on the walls, a good parcel of TVs and sports memorabilia all over the walls. A lot of it is comprised of covers of old sports magazines from the 50s and 60s. Pretty cool looking joint.
Nice parcel of beers on tap, including several that you just don't see around, like Hamm's, PBR, Old Style, and Schlitz. And, of course, the standards that no bar should be without, like Miller Lite. It's easy to poo-poo beers like Schlitz and Grain Belt, but seriously, if you haven't tried them lately, especially on tap, you are missing out. Give them a try.
Menu is interesting. Exciting? Not to me, but interesting. The good news is, it's not the same old same old that you will find in almost any other sports bar joint. The bad news is, you aren't going to recognize the stuff. Yes, there are burgers, available in single, double and triple patty form. With fries (not as good as the Coalinga) or potato salad. Baskets of fried potatoes or tater tots, even made into nachos, if you think your arteries can handle it. Appetizers that include gizzards. Winner! Then it gets kind of off the path. There are hot dogs on the menu, which is something I do not think of ordering when I go out to eat. There are also interesting combinations of things like pot roast with cheddar on Texas toast. Or a meatloaf sandwich. Amazingly, I think thee guys managed to really nail the whole old-school thing. If I hit a joint in 1962, I'd expect exactly these goods and exactly these beers.
So, Starz managed to defy the sports bar mold here in River City. The questions I have are these: (1) Are people gonna go for it? (2) If so can Starz make it in this goofy, hard to get into location. I am excited to find out.
P.S. For weeks, I have thought that the whole Starz logo is pretty much a trademark rip off of an old, long defunct beer label: Storz. I know this only by virtue of a bottle opener that my beer-drinking grandparents owned during the hey day of such beers.