Alfred Anderson had a hard time getting his girlfriend to go to sports bars with him. Most were too seedy, served greasy or fried food and were uninviting to women, he said.
That lack of universal appeal and comfort is what became the basis of Anderson and co-owner Chris Sterker’s new restaurant, .
“We wanted to create a sports bar where our girlfriends would want to go to and hang out also,” Anderson, 29, said.
Located at 29200 Kohoutek Way, Chaplin’s Sports Bistro opened Jan. 22 and will hold its grand opening Feb. 4.
The restaurant is “a sports bar meets lounge,” Anderson said.
Both veterans of the restaurant industry, Anderson and Sterker wanted a place to call their own and implement their own ideas.
“We loved the industry, but we always wanted to change certain things at the places we worked at,” he said. “We wanted a family connection, that Cheer’s vibe.”
The result is “a classier type of sports bar,” Anderson said.
Gone is the loud music, overabundance of sports memorabilia, girls in skimpy outfits and obnoxious patrons (i.e. “the bros”) found in traditional sports bars.
Instead, the 4,200-square-foot Chaplin’s features a laidback atmosphere, stylish décor with a wall done by San Francisco artist Reyes78, ample dining space for 99 guests, personal service and unique menu offerings.
“I was tired of going to corporate places where the drinks and food were the same,” Anderson said. “I wanted something my style.”
Drinks include craft beers, fine wines and Korean soju, along with food items such as lumpia, calamari, fish tacos, Panini sandwiches and turkey burgers.
The prices are reasonable, too, with beer at $5 a glass, most wines starting at $7 and entrees starting at $8.
And if you’re wondering where the sports element in their name is, you can find it on any of their nine 60-inch TVs.
After four months of scouting locations and spending five months remodeling themselves, Chaplin’s Sports Bistro opened last weekend in the former Miyako Sushi building, just off of Union City Boulevard and across from Kaiser Permanente.
While it’s not in the Union Landing entertainment hotspot, Anderson is sure their homegrown approach will draw regular visitors, he said.
With only one week in business, Anderson said traffic is picking up in the evenings due to word of mouth.
Adding to the appeal, Anderson said, is the name, a nod to silent film legend Charlie Chaplin and his legacy in the Tri-Cities area.
“We wanted a timeless name that will carry out,” he said.
The name also isn’t too hip or trendy to exclude patrons, he said.
“We welcome anybody from any age,” Anderson said.
Chaplin’s Sports Bistro is open from Monday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit them on Facebook.