1st and 10 sports bar and grill makes its opening pitch
Sherman resident Chuck Tilson dubs himself a "sports guy."
The Indy 500, the Daytona 500, Super Bowls, National Football League games -- he has attended them religiously over the years.
Drawing on his trips to these high-profile athletic events, Mr. Tilson has taken the experiences and developed a business model he hopes will become a local success.
In tandem with business partner and fiancee Lorraine Sauer, Mr. Tilson opened the 1st and 10 Sports Bar and Grill in June in the 507 Plaza on Danbury Road (Route 7 South) in New Milford.
An official grand opening is scheduled for Aug. 21, starting at noon.
The 1st and 10 has turned a plaza that had sat vacant for five years into a destination spot in New Milford, said the town's Economic Development Supervisor, Vin Nolan.
"The challenge at the 507 Plaza has been to establish a destination site there," Mr. Nolan said. "With the meridian down the middle of Route 7, having traffic heading south makes the cross over a challenge."
Mr. Nolan said a resolution was found when the 1st and 10 Sports Bar and Grill opened there.
With 20 TV screens of 60 to 65 inches in breadth, the establishment features sports events on TV all day long.
Mr. Tilson and Ms. Sauer opened the site the week of the National Basketball Association finals and plan to make major sports events focal points in 1st and 10's offerings.
"I know a lot about food. I know a lot about beer. And I know about sports," said Mr. Tilson. "This is a good fit. I liked the space with its high ceiling, and the raised, 65-foot long bar gives a wide open effect that helps include everyone and generates excitement and energy when a big game is on."
The bar and grill offers an ESPN sports package, all the college football games, an NFL package of games, and more.
If it involves sports, the 1st and 10 will have some involvement with the event be it national or local, Ms. Sauer said.
"We donate to the New Milford sports calendar," she said. "There's a New Milford Bulls' Pop Warner team-signed helmet in the bar. We're trying to get involved with the local sports teams."
The bar and grill has a cafe license, which means patrons have to be 21 or older or in the company of a legal-aged spouse or guardian. It offers a banquet room and a business meeting room.
At next weekend's grand opening, I-95 radio will broadcast from the site for three hours that day. There will be drawings for University of Connecticut tickets and tickets to other sporting events. A Miller Mountain Bike will also be given away.
"I don't think anyone will leave without something," Ms. Sauer said.
The 1st and 10 Sports Bar and Grill in the 507 Plaza on Danbury Road (Route 7 South) in New Milford is open Sundays through Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
For more information or to reserve a room, call 860-354-1800.