The area's newest sports bar and restaurant - the Gridiron Grille and sports bar - will open Friday, March 2, 2012.
Located at 5650 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, the Gridiron Grille will serve lunch and dinner as well as full-service cocktails and a variety of beer and wine. The menu features an array of sandwiches, burgers, pizza, salads, appetizers and Mexican dishes. A kids' menu offers a choice of burger, grilled cheese, pizza or macaroni and cheese.
The Gridiron Grille is operated by locals Tony McGuinnis and his sister-in-law, Audra Jackson Powers. McGuinnis is a huge sports fan who roots for all of the Denver teams. His first love, however, is basketball. He played for legendary coach Byron Brookhart at Aurora Central.
Powers played volleyball at Smoky Hill High School and basketball in recreational leagues, and she was raised in a house full of athletes. Her two brothers were drafted by the National Basketball Association's Kansas City Kings and Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals, respectively. Brother Danny Jackson spent 15 years in the major leagues and was best-known for pitching the Royals to victories in 1985 in both the League Championship Series and the World Series when his team was one loss away from elimination.
The owners expect a solid lunch business from the many office complexes in the immediate vicinity. Emphasis will be placed on fast and efficient service for customers on limited lunch breaks, and menu items are very reasonably priced with sandwiches starting as low as $5.
The dinner and evening crowd will be a mix of families and sports fans. "We want this to be a friendly - and family-friendly - establishment where people can get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere," said Powers.
Sports fans will appreciate the eight high-density televisions that are already installed and operating. The grille subscribes to DIRECTV, and McGuinnis said that if a game or match is being televised anywhere in the country, they will be able to find it.
Major sporting events will be emphasized year-round, and the initial buzz centers around the upcoming college conference basketball tournaments and the NCAA basketball tournaments. McGuinnis regularly travels with a group of friends to as far away as Miami to watch the first weekend of the tournament. This year, however, he will watch the games at the Gridiron Grille.
The staff is also looking forward to events such as the NFL draft, and it will welcome NFL fantasy draft parties and local and traveling sports teams. A pool table and Golden Tee machine currently round out the sports offerings.
The Gridiron Grille accommodates up to 135 in its main room. In the warm weather a patio will seat up to 45 more people.
Formerly the Royal Gorge Tavern and, before that, Bayou Bob's, the Gridiron Grille is located on the Greenwood Plaza Boulevard circle north of Orchard Road, south of Belleview Avenue, east of Quebec Street and west of Interstate 25, just south of the Landmark area.
The Gridiron Grille will be open daily from 10:30 am until 2:00 am with happy hours from 4 to 7 pm. For more information, call 303-688-0844 or visit gridirongrille.weebly.com/index.html.
The Gridiron Grille is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/home.php#!/gridirongrille.