The contrast between the two areas is striking, but they’ve coexisted in harmony for 3½ years under the ownership of Bob and Darlene Meckes. While they’re still king and queen of the establishment, newly hired general manager Jim Shoemaker is ushering in a new era for the popular Discovery Bay restaurant, beginning with a revamped menu.
“As soon as I came in, customers were asking when the menu would be changed,” Shoemaker said. “They were ready for something new. There haven’t been any dramatic changes, but we’ve added some new things and taken away things that weren’t selling well. We’ll continue to evaluate the menu and change things up throughout the year.”
Shoemaker, who came on as general manager in July, said the menu would change on a quarterly basis as local produce comes in and out of season.
For example, the new heirloom tomato and crab salad, which features homegrown tomatoes from local farms, will remain on the menu through October, but once the tomatoes are out of season, it will be time for a new culinary creation, possibly a beet salad. Shoemaker said incorporating as much local produce as possible has become a priority, and the availability of produce will help mold the seasonal menus.
Shoemaker is already consulting with the chef to design the autumn menu. Each seasonal menu will see the addition of a new salad, pasta entrée and appetizer.
Of the six new additions to the menu, the fish tacos have been most popular – even outselling the burgers, which used to reign supreme. The new spicy oriental pasta with prawns sautéed in a hot and spicy chili sauce mixed with garlic, peppers, onions, snow peas and cilantro and served on Asian noodles has also been well-received by Sports Bar & Steakhouse regulars.
Shoemaker also added a kids’ menu to reinforce the restaurant’s family-friendly atmosphere and cut the prices of some of the dinner menu items to make them more accessible to families dining out.
And the changes don’t stop there. The new early dinner special (5 to 7 p.m.) offers guests their choice of prime rib, chicken, salmon or fusilli pasta with an organic field greens salad and a glass of wine for $19.95.
As Shoemaker works on fine-tuning the menu and dinner specials, he’s also preparing for the upcoming fall sports season, finding ways to get his customers the best deals around. As the football season begins to switch into high gear, Sports Bar & Steakhouse will be offering breakfast for $1.99 on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For “Monday Night Football,” guests will be able to get all the ribs they can eat for $15.95.
“In this economy, people are more hesitant about eating out, but they still want to go out and have a good time, so we’re doing what we can to help them out by adjusting prices and offering more specials,” Shoemaker said. “No one ever leaves here hungry. You get your money’s worth here.”
Sports Bar & Steakhouse, located at 2477 Discovery Bay Blvd., is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 925-513-3435.