Friday, February 05, 2010
Good Sports Bar & Grill Has "Soft Opening"
Post and photos by Jeff Skrenes
Last night, the Good Sports Bar & Grill had its "soft" opening. This is a term we're learning in Hawthorne as more and more exciting new business pop up in what used to be nuisance areas. A soft opening is when a business opens their doors without much fanfare in order to iron out any wrinkles and get a feel for how the day will run. If last night is any indication, Good Sports Bar & Grill will be a huge success.
In the second picture, I'm enjoying a Cuban cigar with Realtor Charmaine Wahlstrom Schodde. I was thinking back to the days when a Cuban cigar was smoked to celebrate a victory against Citimortgage. Except this time around, we were celebrating that a business has been built up instead of a house being torn down. I'm sure that helped make the cigar taste even better.
In the next picture, Alexandra Jasicki, Director of Community Affairs for Hawthorne is talking with Val Levey (in the red), who is one of the co-owners of Good Sports. Val does excellent work in high-end general contracting home rehab. His brother Mike has extensive experience in bar and restaurant management.
When the Levey brothers first came to the neighborhood and to the city with their proposal, they were met with heavy skepticism. People wondered if anything good could ever come from a place that had been the source of so many problems in the neighborhood. Donny Dirk's Zombie Den answered that question already by turning around Stand Up Frank's just down the street. Val and Mike came to just about every Hawthorne community meeting they could for the better part of a year to garner support and take input from the neighborhood. Alexandra worked tirelessly to help the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council reciprocate the Leveys' effort, and we now welcome another new business to West Broadway.
It's also worth noting that West Broadway is the only commercial corridor in the country where development is proceeding without being hindered by the recession.
In the final picture, Hawthorne board member and blogger John Hoff enjoys what we're starting to call "The Jim Wentzell Special." There are all sorts of fancy statistics one could point to as indicators of economic vitality in our neighborhood. But longtime Hawthorne board member Jim Wentzell has for twenty years had a wonderfully simple way to describe economic success: the ability to sit down and enjoy a steak and a Manhattan on West Broadway.
And did I mention the food? That steak cost just $12.99 and it was AMAZING. I like A-1 sauce, but this was so delicious that to use any toppings whatsoever would have been an insult to the chef. Good Sports Bar & Grill, welcome to the neighborhood.