NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Most folks don’t usually think sports bar when they think family-friendly restaurant, but one New Fairfield eatery says the combo is scoring big points with the community.
Icons Sports Bar & Grill, which opened its doors in April, is housed in the former Carriage House Café on Route 39. It is not the only bar in the rural town, but it is the only sports bar/restaurant.
According to Daniel Fogarty, who mans the kitchen along with Drew McCallum, Icons’ owners Dave and Brittney Bernardini saw a need in the small town for a place where parents could take the kids for mac and cheese, hot dogs and chicken fingers while sports fans could munch on pub grub such as fried dill pickles, wings and loaded nachos while watching the game.
The menu also has something for grown-up foodies: New York strip steak, mushroom ravioli, Kale salad and sesame-crusted Ahi tuna.
Up until 8 or 9 p.m. in the evening, it’s the younger set that definitely rules the roost, Fogarty said. Kids eat free – with the purchase of an adult entrée – on Wednesdays.
“Honestly, sometimes it’s the dining-room side that gets the loudest,” he admits.
Afterward, around 9 p.m. or so, the last of the families have filed out and the bar patrons are starting to come in for Icons' nine TV sets, NFL games streamed live, pool table, dart boards, craft beer and whiskey.
The big sports nights – it being football season now – are Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays, Fogarty says.
Being just 15 minutes from the New York border puts Icons in a unique position.
Some patrons lean toward the Jets or Giants, while others are solidly behind the New England Patriots, Fogarty says.
Of course, since the tavern has an NFL “ticket” it can put any game on at any time.
So if a guy, or gal is really itching to see the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Green Bay Packers, they can.
Icons also has Game Day specials such as 50-cent wings, open mic nights, karaoke, trivia contests, live music on Saturdays, happy hour, and, something new, whiskey tastings.
There are other advantages to being located near a large city like Danbury. For instance, if a patron has had one too many and needs to catch a ride home, there are plenty of taxi services to call.
"And," says Fogarty, "there's always Uber."
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