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SportsZone Bar and Grill: A Cornucopia Culture of Downtown

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The SportsZone Bar and Grill:

A Cornucopia Culture of Downtown

By Barbara Greenbauer

The SportsZone Bar and Grill on the Square in Downtown Tyler is now a go-to spot to eat, hangout and get your fill of sports- themed fun and entertainment.

Josh Collins, local owner and operator, wants everyone to know that “Downtown has a new lunch spot” and it’s a great local bar and grill that is all about community with a “Cheers-type mentality, where everyone is welcome.”

The place is light, bright, and filled with sports memorabilia, with a great-looking bar and high tabletops galore. With a brand new revamped menu, the SportsZone is ready to bring you great food in a space with a different vibe than your regular sports scene. It’s never a loud, in-your face crowd, there’s plenty of parking Downtown, and plenty to do inside.

While you try your hand at the pool or foosball tables, you can chow down on a great burger with a side of waffle fries. You will really get your fill of sports, as the restaurant is lined with 10 big screen TV’s. The view from any seat in the house is stellar. There is always a Texas team on the screen somewhere in the restaurant. There’s even TV’s in the restrooms because they don’t want you to miss a second!

Dart aficionados can try their luck at the dart boards or try your hand at a game of beer pong.

“We really support the Downtown culture,” says Collins. “We can be the spot to go to before or after a show at Liberty Theater. I don’t think folks in Tyler realize how many people live and work Downtown and the community continues to grow.”

The Bar and Grill supports local events like Red Dirt BBQ and Music Festival, Hit the Bricks 2nd Saturdays, and the Rose City Farmer’s Market, “to support and spread the word about the great things happening Downtown,” said Collins.

Step inside the bar and grill and you will want to hang out, use the free Wi-Fi, watch some TV, and taste what the kitchen has to offer.

The edible options at the SportsZone are fast and healthy too. Lunch variables include an out of this world chipotle black bean veggie burger, seared tuna salad, and a grilled chicken salad. Lunch is served Monday-Friday 11am-2pm.

The bar and grill, open 7 days a week, features a great mixture of fare, from “Beginners” like onion rings, pickle fries, frito chili pie, chili cheese waffle fries, “Not your Mamas’s Churros,” humus and naan bread, and battered corn bites.

For more hearty appetites, try the ultimate BLT, fried chicken sandwich, chicken fingers, or their spectacular wings. Their wings are uniquely double-baked with choice of BBQ, lemon pepper, flaming hot or special Zone sauce. The new chickenless wings are so good that you won’t even realize that they are vegetarian! They can also handle to-go orders, but guarantee fast and efficient service during the peak lunch hours. “We want to be known as the new Tyler lunch destination,” said Collins.

The “Out of the Oven” pizzas include margarita, Hawaiian, or the much requested, “Build your own” with toppings including pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, Canadian bacon, black olives, mushrooms, jalapenos, and roasted tomatoes. You can get a super lunch special with a slice of pizza, side salad and a drink for just $8.

The bar is a fully-stocked cornucopia of Texas liquors and beers and the bartenders are super friendly and accommodating. From Lone Star, Shiner, Deep Ellum and ET Brewery, and True Vine – you’ll find it at SportsZone. Every Tuesday, if it’s made in Texas, it’s on special. And if you are looking for something more exotic, the bar can handle almost any drink imaginable, all you have to do is ask!

There are always specials and giveaways going on – from Happy Hours to buckets of beer. Check their website and Facebook regularly to see what’s happening. “A lot of our patrons are regular customers, but by word of mouth and social media, we’ve begun attracting a new group of folks who love being Downtown and taking advantage of all we have to offer,” said Collins.

Come grab a drink, see a game and have a great meal at The SportsZone Bar and Grill, located at 115 E. Erwin, Downtown Tyler on the Square. Like them on Facebook at SportsZoneTyler, or Sportzonetyler.com. You can contact them at (903)266-9132. They are open Sundays 12pm-12am, Monday-Friday 11am-12am, Saturday 12pm-1am.

Bars

ETX Brewery: July Super Fun Time at ETX

There’s a lot going on at the Brewery Downtown. ETX Brewing Co. is located at 221 S. Broadway, Downtown Tyler, etxbrew.com, facebook.com/ETXBrew, (903)630-7720.

ETX Brewery offers onsite quality craft beers. Alongside it, The Porch at ETX offers wonderful food and a relaxed atmosphere.

They are open Monday-Tuesday 11am-2pm, Wednesday-Thursday 11am-10 pm, Friday 11am-11pm and Saturday 11am-12am.

There is live music every Friday and Saturday starting around 8pm.

Don’t hesitate to come by, have a drink and BE{ER} HAPPY! This month’s events are:

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Hit the Bricks August 10th: Auto & Cycle Show

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On the second Saturday of every month, people from all over converge on Downtown Tyler for Hit the Bricks. Downtown Tyler will be bursting with family fun, entertainment, music, food, history tours, art, and of course, the chance to check out a great locally-owned restaurant, bar, or retail establishment.

This month features ETX Brewing Co. Cart Derby with adult and kids races right down Broadway Ave. Enjoy this fun event as a spectator or participant.  

Other events going on for Hit the Bricks are:

  • ● 7am-5pm: Cafe 1948 will be mixing up freshly squeezed lemonade.
    ● 8am-12 noon: Rose City Farmer’s Market brings all that’s fresh straight to you including veggies, bread, herbs, pasture-raised beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and turkey, free-range/non GMO eggs, goat cheeses and tons more.
    ● 9-11am: Saturday Morning Cars & Tacos at ETX Brewing Co.
    ● 9am-pm: Hit the Bricks Auto & Cycle Show; car show around the square as well as food trucks to enjoy.
    ● 10am-10pm: PopUp Shop at Heart of Tyler, 108 S. Broadway; various artists and live art demos all day.
    ● 10am-4pm: Scavenger Hunt at The Goodman-LeGrand House & Museum.
    ● 10am-4pm: Celebrate Veterans at the City of Tyler. There will be special guests, resources, artists, and refreshments for veterans and their families.
    ● 10am-5pm: Treasure Hunt at Ye Olde City Antique Mall – find gift certificates hidden around the store.
    ● 12 noon-4pm: 110@110 at Gallery Main Street; Celebrate 10 years of this annual fundraiser and take home a unique piece of art.
    ● 2-4pm: Makerspace: Solar Printing at the Tyler Public Library
    ● 2-6pm: “Cats on Broadway” at ETX Brewing Co. A real cat show with adoptable cats from O’Malleys Alley Cat Rescue. Dustin Becker will be performing.
    ● Anytime: The self-guided walking tour of the Half Mile of History is an outdoor, half-mile loop around the square that commemorates significant people, places, or events in Tyler. A digital brochure for the self-guided tour is at ow.ly/s8iD30czlpb.Live Entertainment
    ● 9am-12 noon: Live music at the Rose City Farmers Market. No cover and all ages are welcome.
    ● 8:30-10:30pm: Jake Odin and the Marching Band at ETX Brewing Co. No cover and all ages are welcome.
    ● 9pm-1am: Live music at The Garage Bar – No one under 21 after 8pm. There is a cover charge at the door.
    ● 9pm-1am: Live music at Rick’s on the Square. 21 and older only after 9pm. There is a cover charge at the door.

    Free parking on the square or in the parking garage all day!
    Ride the free open-air shuttle around Downtown, sponsored by Tyler Innovation Pipeline. (Shuttle is weather permitting.)

    Download the EGuide Magazine, Tyler TX App to stay-up-date on everything happening: https://bit.ly/2BzDN4x

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Bars

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: What to do in Tyler on a Cold Winter’s Day

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By: Holli Fourniquet

There’s a saying, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas just wait a few hours.” That has certainly been true of our winter so far this year. So it’s understandable if you haven’t exactly prepared for cold weather when it hits. Not to worry; here is a quick guide to fun things you can do in Tyler even in cold weather if you happen to find yourself unprepared.

As self-proclaimed foodaholics, our first thought when a cold front hits is where to find some comfort food to warm our bellies. Chili is typically a good go-to meal for when cold weather hits, and here in Tyler, you can get chili in a couple different forms. There is the traditional bowl of chili. One of our favorites is found at Rick’s on the Square located in Downtown Tyler. This chili will give you the answer to that age-old question: should chili have beans or not? At Rick’s, that answer is definitely yes! The recipe is also a little on the spicier side, which makes this the perfect bowl of chili to warm you up!

Or if you’re tired of the same ole’ bowl of chili, why limit yourself to a bowl when you can have it on top of a hot dog! At The Stand, located at 16700 FM 2493, you can choose from regular to jumbo sized 100% beef hot dogs or choose from a delicious list of sausages including andouille, bratwurst, spicy boudin, and more; then just add chili to the top to complete your cold-weather meal. If you’re feeling particularly inventive, you can even add Fritos and cheese to make it a Frito pie hot dog.

Another great comfort food during cold weather is gumbo. Try some of the best gumbo this side of Louisiana at The Catch, located at 1714 S. Beckham Ave., or Bud Jones Bayou located at 500 E. Erwin St. Both restaurants serve up this heavenly Cajun creation to satisfy your every craving.

Some people just like to stay in when it’s cold, and that’s ok. Stop by FRESH by Brookshire’s to pick up your cold-weather comfort food, made fresh by a chef and ready for you to heat and eat at home. Here you will find seasonal soups, chili, casseroles, and family packs of tamales. Everything you need to warm your belly from the comfort of your own home sitting in front of the fire.

Speaking of staying in on a cold day; you’re going to need a good book to keep you company. Head over to the Tyler Public Library where you will find books and more. The Tyler Public Library is not your typical library. Of course, you will always be able to check out that best seller you have been meaning to read, but you can also check out movies or participate in one of their many events. The Tyler Public Library offers everything from Family Movie Nights and Lego Block Parties to various classes such as sewing and career training to author meet and greets. It’s definitely a place you might want to get familiar with this winter.

To get your blood circulating on a cold day, you might go shopping. Whether you’re looking for a great bargain or something more high-end, Tyler has all the shopping you could want. Plus, if you stay in Tyler to shop, you won’t have to fight the traffic of a bigger city in this cold winter weather.

The typical retail therapy shopping, however, is not all Tyler has to offer if you are looking for some interesting cold-weather recreation. One of Tyler’s newest fun shops is El Guapo Records located at 257 S. Broadway Ave. in Downtown Tyler. El Guapo Records specializes in vintage and new vinyl as well as the occasional live entertainment. After that head right next door to Moon Rivers Naturals. Here you will find body products like soaps and essential oils using local, organic, and real ingredients. Or since you have a cold day and nothing to do, search through some of Tyler’s best antique, junk, and consignment shops to find your next treasure at Ye Olde City Antique Warehouse.

A cold day might be the perfect day to try out one of Tyler’s microbreweries: True Vine Brewing Company or the newly opened ETX Brewing Co. located at 221 S. Broadway Ave., Downtown Tyler. Before you protest that the weather is way too cold to sit outside and drink a beer, hear me out. Research has shown that beer can combat stress, boost your memory, makes skin more beautiful, and can even be used as a cold remedy. In addition to the health benefits, True Vine Brewing also points out, “Because it’s cold outside, your beer will maintain the same temperature it was poured at until it’s consumed.” Both microbreweries have semi-enclosed to enclosed spaces as well as heaters for the cold days. Plus, at True Vine Brewing, anytime the weather dips below 40 degrees, beers are only $4. So get out there and drink a local craft beer!

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to stay in. If there’s one thing Tyler is known for, it’s for the area’s natural beauty year-round. Bundle up and take a hike to explore the nature in the area. Tyler State Park is a great place for a hike. Tyler State Park’s trails vary from easy to challenging, but each trail promises beautiful scenery amongst some of the largest pines in East Texas. The Trails cross several different forest types and offer amazing views you can’t see anywhere else. This is also the perfect place for bird watching as you hike along the trails, with more than 200 species of birds identified at the park, and it is home to a number of East Texas animals including white-tailed deer, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, reptiles, armadillos, opossums, and more.

There is plenty to do in Tyler on a cold day; these are just a few of our favorites. Warm up in some of the best ways possible this winter. Soon you will be singing along with Elsa from Frozen, “The cold never bothered me anyway.”

For more ideas on these and other things to do in Tyler go to VisitTyler.com.

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