Lehigh Valley sports fans will have another restaurant to watch the Eagles, Phillies and other teams when Tocci’s Tailgaters Pub & Grill opens in Bethlehem in a few weeks.
The 85-seat upscale sports bar and restaurant, featuring a dozen big-screen televisions (11 65-inch and 1 75-inch) should hold a soft opening mid-November at 1313 Center St. (near Moravian College's track), according to Bethlehem’s Thomas Barker, who owns the establishment with his wife, Jama.
Menu highlights will include “Batter-Up Starters” such as homemade hummus, Irish nachos, lump crab dip and pierogies; "Kick-Off Wings" in sauces such as garlic parmesan, honey barbecue, mild and hot; "Sideline Salads” such as Caesar, grilled chicken and seared tuna avocado; "Ballpark Burgers" such as bacon, onion and portabella varieties; "Slamdunk Sandwiches" such as California cheesesteaks, grilled chicken BLTs and shrimp po boy wraps; and "Crowd Pleasers" such as crab cakes, fish tacos and New York strip steak.
Desserts will include cheesecake and homemade crème brulee and a “Minor League Menu” for kids will include selections such as grilled cheese, mac and cheese and chicken fingers.
No menu items will be more than $20.
An 18-seat refurbished oak bar, which was once housed in the former Windsor Hotel in Center Valley, will feature purse hooks and outlets for charging electronics.
The full bar will offer 14 draft beers, three wine taps and signature cocktails. Happy hour specials will be offered on weekdays.
According to manager Joe Tocci, live acoustic and other music acts will perform in a designated area near the entrance with 10 new speakers distributing the sound evenly throughout the restaurant.
The Barkers, Tocci and a few friends have been working on the pub since April.
The space, which was previously the office of Dr. Arnold Traupman, an ophthalmologist and the Barkers’ neighbor, was overhauled to include new brick and corrugated metal on the walls, wood-look tile flooring, industrial fans and lighting and a mix of high- and low-top tables.
“We already promised [Dr. Traupman] that we’ll serve him the first beer,” Jama said.
Ceiling beams were exposed, walls were knocked down to implement an open-concept feel and a “Coaches Corner,” featuring booths and pictures of local athletes and coaches, was established near a front window.
A 20-seat outdoor patio will debut in the spring.
The restaurant, featuring a digital jukebox and NFL SundayTicket, will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday; 7 to 10:30 a.m. (for breakfast) and noon to 2 a.m. Saturday; and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Sunday mornings will be reserved for local fundraisers.
"We really want to give back to the community, especially local youth sports organizations," Tocci said.