Brentwood Mall, on the corner of 44th Street and Breton Avenue, has been the home of many things, a fitness center, retail shops, and restaurants.
And as of May, it is also the home of the 616 Sports Bar & Grill, a place I joked with Mike that we should come back to when we visited Tokyo Grill and Sushi at the beginning of August.
Walking in, I felt like I was entering a “Cheers” episode with the only thing missing was the bar and someone shouting “Hey Joanne.” After a couple of minutes of waiting, our host/server came from the back and encouraged us to sit in that area which is where the bar is located. Actually it appears that the 616 Sports Bar is broken into two distinct spaces, a restaurant in the front and a bar area in the back which I thought was a nice concept. The dark tones gave the place that almost “where everybody knows your name” feel. I say “almost” because it could have had a little more Sparty green to offset that glaring gold (Editor’s Note – It’s MAIZE!!! Joanne: It’s corn to me) and blue, but I digress.
Ever the bargain hunter, I spotted the sign for the $4.99 lunch special which had several options: cheeseburger, turkey panini, gyros, fish sandwich, three chicken strips and two coney dogs all served with homemade chips and a pickle. Our server quickly told us that it was $5.99 the day we were there as the restaurant was substituting fries. The extra dollar was worth it as the handmade fries had the perfect crispness with me savoring every single one.
After a short debate — Me: Turkey panini or coney dogs? Waiter: Well that depends, do you want to go healthy or do want something really good to eat? —I went with the Coney dogs because there was two and I could save one for my lunch tomorrow. Our waiter heard that and brought one out with the fries and had the other one in a takeout container — bonus points!
The Coney dog had all the ingredients of a Coney dog: chili, relish, mustard, onion, cheese on top of a beef hot dog wrapped up in a steam fresh bun. It was messy, which made it all that much better and the second was just as good the next day.
In the end, 616 Sports Bar reminded me of those old neighborhood bars where people hung out over a beer, burger and fries celebrating team victories or just together. Since the bar has only been open for a few months, I did ask our server why the Brentwood location. “Why not?” he said, pointing out that 616’s current location had been a Chinese restaurant for 25 years until the owners decided to retire. So cheers to 616 Sports Bar & Grill and here’s hoping it’s around at least as long as the former tenant.
Going Local has taken Joanne and I through a gauntlet of cuisines and delicacies. We’ve had the opportunity to enjoy Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean, Southern BBQ, Thai bubble tea, Mexican, and a hometown favorite pizza joint. However, one glaring omission has tested the true patience of my taste buds… Hot, greasy, fatty, and delightfully tasty American bar food.
Unfortunately for my heart and arteries, 616 Sports Bar & Grill was drawn out of the hat.
My arteries and my taste buds have been frenemies since as early as I can remember. It’s a true love-hate relationship. If the food tastes great and is also healthy, they’re best buds. If the food tastes great while also clogging the major highways for red blood cells throughout my body, it creates some understandable tension between the two. I’m happiest when the taste buds win.
On the walk in to 616 Sports Bar, their $4.99 lunch specials posted on the door immediately jumped out. Let me say that again – $4.99 FOR A MEAL! And we’re not talking about a salad or soup here. No, the lunch specials are actually legit items like a cheeseburger, 2 Coney dogs, beef burrito, turkey panini, BLT, 3 chicken tenders and a gyro. Oh, and they come with chips.
Sign me up everyday of the week and twice on Sunday please! (Note from Michael’s arteries – He didn’t actually mean that, right? RIGHT!?)
As we were seated at our high top next to the bar, my eyes couldn’t help but drift to the arcade games lining the walls. They looked awfully enticing, but I was a man on a mission. That lunch special was begging to be signed, sealed, delivered and devoured.
There was no debate once I was seated, it was the cheeseburger and nothing else. The bar was out of chips and offered fries for a dollar up charge. I’m going to get this out-of-the-way right now, order the fries. Oh my gosh you need to order the fries. They are absolutely incredible. I don’t care if the up charge is $20, you need to order the fries.
The burger came out stacked high with lettuce, onion, and tomato. This was not a skimpy burger either. It had quality size and girth to properly fill the stomach. Along with the incredible fries, it made for a lunch well worth the trip. The other positive? The higher concentration of Maize and Blue than Green and White.
Go Blue forever, Joanne!