Most of you know RJ's Sports Bar as that yellow-sinage watering hole you see while smoking on the patio at Rye. "What is that place," you ask yourself between drags. "It scares me a bit." Well, it's a bar. Obviously. And now it's been sold to House of Shields owner Dennis Leary and bar manager Eric Passetti. Brava!
Now, will the noted Canteen chef and expert bar manager turn Sports Bar into yet another reclaimed-wood-and-Edison-bulb bar of mixology? Hardly. In fact, they've reportedly had it up to here with the overemphasis on cocktailologyness. Inside Scoop, who has the titular scoop, has a great quote from Leary. Ahem:
“Eric and I have been talking quite a bit about the whole service/hipster/mixology conundrum and his opinion is basically that, as far as he can tell, service has suffered from an overemphasis on mixology, and, while we want to prepare excellent cocktails, our focus is on building authentic relationships with our customers,” notes Leary, pointing out that they want to aspire to the kind of service that the late Maurice Rouas used to provide, and that Greg and Shelly Lindgren provide now.
While the bar's next incarnation as yet to be named, its looks will be created by a New York/LA designer. Thank God.
Meanwhile, at Canteen: Leary is working on something daunting yet intriguing called "The 100 Menus Project."