The average American sports bar is a place where you can go after work to take the edge off, talk to buddies, watch the game — a place where, to quote the TV theme, everybody knows your name.
Darby Radmanesh is hoping that she’s provided just such a place for Somerset now as well.
Radmanesh is the woman behind The Pub 311, Somerset’s first real sports bar of the town’s post-”wet” era.
The bar’s location is 311 West Mt. Vernon Street in the Vortex Corner area — it’s hard to miss the giant barrel on the outside of the building — and its grand opening will be today.
“I think Somerset needed it,” said Radmanesh. “It’s a nice place where you can come and sit down and enjoy some sports and socialize.”
Former managers of Video Palace, located in the same commercial complex, Radmanesh and her husband Dr. Mark Radmanesh owned the building and were trying to renovate it in order to maximize its business potential.
Once Somerset went “wet” last June, the idea became clear: the property could be turned into a high-end drinking establishment. It wasn’t something Radmanesh, a New York native, necessarily imagined doing for a long time — it was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
“We decided to go ahead and apply (for a bar license), and we got it, and then we thought about a nice sports bar,” said Radmanesh. “The opportunity came up. I didn’t always want to run a bar.”
That said, she’s gone into this one with gusto, putting in a unique outdoor patio, fully-stocked bar, and top-of-the-line televisions — and even an internet jukebox.
“We had to completely renovate the building and get it up to state codes,” she said. “It was almost like a new building.”