Foodie Favorites from A to Z – Nick’s Sports Grill & Lounge
Nick Muscari always dreamed of opening his own bar and grill, but never in a million years could have predicted it would bear his own name. While working as a bartender at Stella’s Restaurant (also located in Lubbock), Nick was approached by two gentlemen wanting to know if he would be interested in running a new bar and grill. Recognizing this as his golden opportunity, Nick said he was on-board, but only if he could become a partner as well.
A deal was struck and the trio turned their focus to discussing a concept, and most importantly a name, for the new bar and grill. Initially, they attempted to play off of each of their initials. Then as a joke, Nick wrote his own name down. Two minutes later in a two to one vote (Nick against it), Nick’s Sports Grill & Lounge officially had a name.
The doors to Nick’s opened in September 2010, and the bar and grill quickly rose in popularity. The regulars say the atmosphere reminds them of the bar from the popular TV series Cheers. It’s no coincidence – Nick stresses the importance of calling customers by name and having their drink started before they make it to their seat. The restaurant is an open concept featuring 27 flat screen TVs rotating a variety of sporting events. The bar also has three curtained VIP areas that you can reserve to guarantee a spot for a big game or party with your friends.
Unlike other bar and grills, Nick’s is known for the freshness and quality of their ingredients. The menu features an assortment of pizzas of which the dough is made fresh daily. I tried Nick’s Special, a pizza that includes pepperoni, sausage, ham, chopped steak, green chilies, onions, bell peppers and mushrooms. Let me tell you ladies, the way to a man’s heart is through this pizza. I would put the cheesy goodness of Nick’s Special up against any pizza parlor around.
Nick’s is also known for their burgers, which once again are never frozen. The patties are mixed and seasoned by hand daily and served up on buns made from sourdough. Daniel, my trusty foodie blog photographer, tried out the Santa Fe Burger featuring green chilies and pepper jack cheese. He said the seasoning of the patty, mixed with the spiciness of the green chilies perfectly complemented the sweetness of the bread.
I must admit I have been to Nick’s a time or two (actually way more than that), and the one item I always order are the stuffed jalapenos. They are truly some of the best around. Wrapped in bacon and stuffed with cream cheese, these jalapenos, when dipped in chipotle ranch dressing, are a food miracle.
Due to the bar and grill’s popularity and success, Nick and his business partners will soon open a second location across from the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Lubbock. The second location will have the same concept and menu, but will feature an even bigger patio and boast more than 50 flat screen TVs.
If you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere, great food and a place where everyone knows your name, head down to Nick’s Sports Grill & Lounge.
- Restaurant: Nick’s Sports Grill & Lounge
- Location: 9806 Quaker Ave.
- Phone: 806.794.6425
- Hours of Operation: Open everyday at 11 a.m.
- Website: www.nickssportsgrill.com