Possibly the last thing you’d expect to see at a sports bar called Bottomzup (344 Third Avenue) is a raw bar, where sushi is rolled before it’s delivered promptly to tables. Barely dressed women hawking wings and beer seems more likely, but the only scantily clad thing here is the shellfish. The game and food are the focal point of Murray Hill’s newest spot, the sibling of a Long Island sports bar and a place that attempts to strike a balance between the food-sparse dude-filled dives and the fancy eateries that show games, where patrons might be more into their martinis than the ruling on the field.
Management also has a strong technology focus: You’ll find smartphone charging stations at each table, which give any fantasy football fan the chance to check up on a team without draining the battery. Portable wireless speakers allow you to switch to any game broadcast inside the bar, and a whopping 45 60-inch flat screen TVs line the walls, giving every seat in the house access to any game on the tube. The bar will even showcase pay-per-view events free of cover charge in an attempt to create a fan-friendly atmosphere. And if a member of your group doesn’t like sports, there’s a music video archive available that rivals most karaoke bars, allowing you to shuffle from Tom Brady to Tom Petty.
But back to the food.The restaurant’s menu reflects a huge tailgate party, and dishes channel America’s favorite game foods. Check out Minnesota’s Juicy Lucy sliders and Texan chili cheese fries. How do the sushi and raw bar come into play then? The same way the vegetarian options do: They’re meant to lure in health-conscious patrons that might normally avoid Sunday funday. Pair your meal to draft beers (you’ll find the usual big brewery suspects) or a cocktail that resembles dessert.
Oh, and you might have trouble tearing your eyes from the television, but make sure you check out the work of graphite pencil artist John D. Herz, which is prominently featured throughout the restaurant. You’ll also find photos of sports legends like Muhammad Ali and Wilt Chamberlain displaying iconic sports moments.
Bottomzup opens tonight. Take a look around the space on the next page.