Please excuse the clumsy paraphrasing of a Jimmy Buffet lyric in the title. This is NOT a prospect article. It is the promised review of a new restaurant. It is specifically targeted toward readers who travel to Clearwater for Phillies’ Spring Training and Grapefruit League games and those who live in the Clearwater area.
After the Phillies left Clearwater last spring, the Tilted Kilt closed two of their area locations. The Kilt on Drew Street across from Bright House Field was one of the two. As early as mid-April, the location was being renovated to reopen as Jimmy’s Sports Legends Bar and Grille. Recently, they had their much awaited “soft opening” on November 20th as Sports Legends Bar and Grill. Their web page is still under construction. It announces their upcoming Grand Opening, a coupon offer, and that they are hiring. They have an active Facebook page.
The establishment is under the same management, but underwent a complete renovation of the interior and exterior. Gone is the former rustic interior. It has been replaced with booths and a much brighter ambiance. Also gone are the the clever limericks that were on the ceiling beams.
We opted for bar service and sat at the new bar. Our bartenders were Larry and Tia. Larry had the distinctive sound of a displaced Philadelphian. The 15-year Florida resident, is originally from Kensington. He was very helpful, providing suggestions regarding the menu and answers to the few other questions we had.
Foremost among his suggestions was the Philly Cheese Steak. We all lamented the South’s necessity to include provolone and peppers as key ingredients of a Philly Cheese Steak. Larry told us they had Whiz in the kitchen. So, after perusing the menu for 30-40 minutes, we decided to get a couple cheese steaks, one “wit” and one “witout”. (True story: While travelling the Midwest for work a couple decades ago, I saw a Philly steak sandwich on a restaurant’s menu. I ordered it with cheese. I thought I noticed a funny look from the waitress. Later it became clear that she did give me a queer look as I was served a rib eye steak on a kaiser roll with a slice of American cheese.)
Now, down here, there are very few places to get a decent cheese steak. Delco’s on Main in Dunedin comes closest to a real cheese steak. You probably have had one at Bright House. Well, Sports Legends’ cheese steak has vaulted to the top of my list of sandwiches in the Clearwater area. Remember you have to ask for the Whiz.
(Update, 12/3: Returned for another cheese steak with my wife and friends Baseball Betsy and Baseball Ross. My wife got her cheese steak with American cheese (I didn’t know she was like this when I met her). She prefers Delco’s. I ordered the same as yesterday. Must have been a different cook. A local probably. He over-loaded it with Whiz, like he was prepping cheese fries. So, not as good as yesterday’s. Told the waitress to let the cook know so that they can correct this before more Philadelphians arrive.)
The menu is standard sports bar fare. A couple of interesting additions are the green Bay Brat, the New Orleans Shrimp Po Boy, and a Sausage and Peppers Sub. Some of the sandwiches are served on an Amoroso’s roll, like the cheese steak and the sausage sub.
Our sandwich came with fries. We opted to upgrade to very good onion rings for a dollar surcharge. Most of the sandwiches are in the $10.99 range. They have wings with 9 different heat intensities.
Sports Legends has 24 beers on tap. One was Yuengling, praise the lord. Victory Headwaters was also on tap. Drafts are $2.75 a pint which is reasonable for a non-happy hour price. (Later it occurred to me that they might have different prices for some of the beers they offer.)
Like any self-respecting sports bar, the interior includes dozens of flat screen TVs. Tables along the walls have been replaced with booths. Tavern tables have been added in the bar area replacing the video games that used to be there. You can still sit at the bar while on the deck. And the long counter between the bar and restaurant has been updated.
The current menu is available for download from their website, but Larry told us that a new menu is being drafted and is being finalized. This updated menu will be introduced at the Grand Opening on December 16th. Daily specials and happy hour prices and duration should be established by then.
Here are two shots of the exterior. The picture on the left is the deck on the Drew Street side of the restaurant. The other is of the main entrance.
The hostess station is the same as before, but the restaurant’s main dining area is very different. Notice the booths on the left and right.
The bar and the new tavern tables. The tables replaced a golf video game and one of those basketball shooting games. They helped block the windows and added to the old dark interior. That’s my friend Dave in the red shirt. Pete Rose is resting his chin on his head.
Part of the back dining area. That’s Pete Rose sliding into the waitresses’ head. And the main restaurant area from the bar. The surface in the foreground is the replacement for the former wooden divider between the areas.
The deck bar on the Drew Street side.
I enjoyed the cheese steak so much, I’m going back tomorrow with my wife.
Afterward, we stopped at the gift shop at Bright House. The picture below is an indication that we are getting closer to BASEBALL! It’s the sign posted at the bottom of the steps at the West Gate.
And finally, a reminder that we are experiencing a changing of the guard – the new face of the Phillies!? Aaron Nola.
Hope you enjoyed this puff piece. I’m having surgery this weekend. I’ve created next week’s open discussion and have updated it daily so that it will be somewhat current when it posts. I’m setting it up to post automatically. I haven’t tried this before, hope it works.