By Maia McCannNNew York sports bars are often a little rough around the edges. Best-case scenario: a menu that boasts better than average wings and maybe a drinkable Pinot Grigio, like at West Third Common and Croxley’s. Worst-case: a dusty den with little more to do than stare at a few static-prone television screens. Or maybe squeeze in a round of Erotic Photo Hunt on a grease-smudged 1990’s bar top touch console. They’re a way station, a place to catch the game and then move onward.
Then there’s Bounce Sporting Club.
Bounce entices New Yorkers to hunker down and stay a while. Shiny new flat screens show the games (in fact, NY Mag says that they have more flat screens than Best Buy). The atmosphere and attitude is that of a nightclub, even during the day. You’ll be greeted at the door by a couple of bouncers and maybe even a girl with a clipboard, because as the games wind down, the party picks up.
Go-Go dancers, often in sports themed outfits, dance on Bounce’s leather banquets while enormous gyrating mascots move through the crowd. If you’ve been watching the game and drinking all day; if your team won, or; more importantly, if your team lost, it just might make sense to spring for a bottle if you haven’t already.
If you’ve hopped on the Paleo Diet bandwagon then you’ve likely discovered some things that ostensibly shouldn’t go together actually mix beautifully (like bananas and bacon). Similarly, when you mix bottle service with (insert “base-,” “basket-“ or “foot-“) _______ball, the result is surprisingly satisfying. People are starting to get on board, and the ones who’ve tried it can’t stop talking about it. The bottle service sports bar: currently, the Paleo diet of nightlife.Bounce sprung from the minds behind Brandit Hospitality Group. With locations on the Upper East Side and in Flatiron, they seem to know how to brand it so their desired clientele, the under-forty set with disposable income, keep coming back for more.
Basically, they’ve taken the mundane and injected it with a healthy dose of sex appeal. The bar is backlit, busty bartenders don little black dresses, and the design drips with sultry sixties sports nostalgia reminiscent of the days when NBA players wore those little short-shorts. Not to mention the bottle service. $5.00 beer/shot combos, be gone. Make way for lady-friendly amenities.
Sure, plenty of women enjoy watching sports; some even like a solid dive bar – funny smelling and full of beer-plastered bros. However, most fantasy football rosters read like the cast of recurring male characters on “Cheers.” The average group of single girls simply chooses to pass on a night out at O’Hanlon’s.
Even if you hate that curmudgeon Jon Taffer and his insipid “Bar Rescue” series, he makes a valid point: women are an important demographic, a bar owner’s best friend even, because they simultaneously spend money while inspiring men to spend money on them in an attempt to get laid.
If you’re a sports-themed bar that wants to attract the lady folk who are, perhaps, not 100% interested in football, you definitely need:
A) A decent glass of wine and some light cocktails, preferably one with some sort of combination of cucumber and mint because that’s on the tip of everyone’s tongues these days. “Something refreshing maybe with cucumber” is the 2013 progression from “I’ll have a Cosmo.”
B) More than one healthy option to nibble on, beyond a Caesar Salad with dressing that comes in one of those sad little plastic cups. Or, something that at the very least fits into the current hot diet trend.
Bounce found a way to include these two key components into their recipe for success without losing their masculine “sporting club” edge. It helps that fellow Brandit-owned bar Vero specializes in wine offerings, which translate somewhat onto the Bounce menu. ADANAI had the chance to catch up with one of Bounce’s managing partners, Cole Bernard, who told us about their emphasis on elevating classical sports bar fare.
“Our chef Sean Olnowich has upgraded the traditional sports bar menu and replaced typical items like wings and mozzarella sticks with inventive dishes like 10 spice Koreatown wings, pigs in a pretzel, grilled cheese bars and a roasted forest mushroom flatbread with white truffle oil.” The gourmet food also includes lighter apps for the physique-obsessed members of your crew, like charred spicy shishito peppers and poached jumbo shrimp cocktail. That’s totally Paleo.
When asked what else he sought to do to include the non-sports fanatics in the mix, Bernard said, “The great thing about Bounce is that there is so much more going on than just the games. We have…amazing craft cocktails, a robotic laser show, complimentary massages and the general atmosphere is just a really fun party.” Arguably, one of the best Sunday parties right now.
Come prepared to spend though. Since the venue offers bottle service, the drinks predictably ring in at normal bottle service prices. A well vodka-soda costs $10.00. This isn’t your typical three-for-one shot bar.
Also, for a price, a separated section called the Living Room “offers a different vibe that some customers love,” says Bernard. “We do all kinds of parties back there, from celebrities hanging out to corporate parties to groups of friends who just want to have their own private space.”
Good thing for the hypothetical group of single ladies. Men drinking at this sort of establishment likely earn a gainful living. While money certainly isn’t everything, male peacocking wouldn’t exist if it didn’t work. In other words, seeing someone drop a few thousand dollars on a banquet or a cordoned off wing allures (perhaps a lot of) women.
And the best part, guys at Bounce potentially save money by killing two birds with one stone. Not only can they fit in their bro time, but also – if they so desire – to impress an eligible bachelorette they only need only saunter a few steps over and offer to buy her a cucumber mint martini.