Duffy’s Sports Grill officially opens tomorrow, March 31, in the old Forte space on the corner of Olive and Clematis in downtown West Palm Beach. It’s prime property – but not the first the company scouted, according to general manager John Smith.
“We looked at the old Tommy Bahama space, but there were the issues of the library demolition and construction. We also looked at CityPlace. We’ve been looking for a while, but when the Forte space became available, it was perfect. We felt that being right there on the corner is right for our concept – being seen by the 50,000 vehicles driving past a day.”
He’s not sure where that statistic came from, but having sat on the sidewalk taking applications for staffers at the new sports bar seemed to confirm it for him.
New at this Duffy’s
Unique at this branch of Duffy’s, the 23rd in the chain that has plans to grow exponentially, is the late-night service. “We’re open till 2 a.m. – I don’t think other Duffy’s are open that late,” Smith said. He recently came from the Duffy’s on Village Boulevard in West Palm Beach, where he says sales grew there 20 percent in a year.
There are 71 flat-screen TVs around the room, and 50 seats outside – still a compact venue compared to other free-standing Duffy’s found from Melbourne to Hialeah.
They also offer delivery – a first for any Duffy’s. “We’ve partnered with the bike taxis – they know the area so well,” Smith said. Delivery is available in downtown from Australian Avenue to Flagler, and from the Okeechobee bridge to Poinciana bridge. “We want to be a partner in the downtown community,” he said. They’re also offering delivery at the World of Beer – their new neighbor down the street at the old Tommy Bahama locale. “They don’t serve food, so we teamed up to offer their customers delivery from our restaurant. It’s a good partnership,” he said.
Duffy’s doesn’t offer the huge selection of international beers that World of Beer has, so there’s no real suds competition. Wings, chili, burgers, sandwiches, steaks and salads are their mainstays.
Several nights a week, they’ll have live music – another first for the chain. “A DJ will be here three nights a week, and we’ll do give-aways,” he said. Live bands will appear occasionally and they’re working now on a plan to do a tie-in with Thursday’s Clematis by Night event on the waterfront. “We’ll be down there in some format – maybe giving away free food or offering discounts – something,” he said.
Happy Hour advantage
Despite the fact that there are dozens of bars around, their Happy Hour is designed to draw in customers for two-for-one drinks from 4 p.m. till close, Smith said. “It’s a great value. We’ll be bringing all our other discounts – the Monday night $10.95 menu, and 40 percent off everything from 2 to 4 p.m. every day. We also are going to offer the $7.95 brunch menu on the weekends. Brunch is big downtown, so we think we’re going to do well with it – there’s a lot of food on the menu for $7.95 – it’s the lowest-price brunch around.”
Smith said Duffy’s prices and its familiar format for many diners will be a big draw. “We’ll prove you don’t have to be high-priced to succeed downtown.”
The grand opening is tomorrow, March 31; doors open at 11 a.m.
Duffy’s Sports Grill
- 331 Clematis St., West Palm Beach
- 561-371-6565; duffyssportsgrill.com
- Open from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily