— There’s no reason why sports bars have to be all about the 21-and-older crowd.
It’s the philosophy behind Kokomo’s newest restaurant, Rock Bottom Grill, which had a “soft opening” a little more than a week ago in the former Tailgator’s location on South Plate Street.
The business, which is planning a grand opening for early February, is sectioned into a hive of five areas, the front being a family dining section.
In all areas, the kitchen sends out many of the standard family dining and sports bar selections: burgers, chicken wings, nachos, steaks and beer-battered fish, among more than 30 other options for appetizers, entrees and desserts. But many of the items come with some change-ups, like the burgers, which include a 100 percent Angus beef patty between a pretzel roll instead of a standard burger bun.
The restaurant has nightly specials, such as “bottomless” chicken wings with two sides for $9.99 every Monday.
And while families dine — children 8 and younger eat free on Saturdays with the purchase of an adult meal — they can watch one of 64 TVs at booths and around the rest of the front area.
“Kids can be watching ‘Sponge Bob,’ Dad can be watching the game,” said Gary Lane, the restaurant’s general manager.
If the TVs aren’t enough entertainment, families can shoot some pool or hop on “Little Ben,” a mechanical bull named after Kokomo’s landmark steer, Old Ben.
The restaurant also plans to have children’s nights, including craft projects. Although Rock Bottom missed the chance for a children’s Christmas craft night, Lane said, the business wants to have one for Valentine’s Day.
Rock Bottom will be the second business that owner Dan Dumoulin II opened that he marketed toward families and children; the first business being Kokomo Skate World and Fun Center off U.S. 31. Dumoulin also owns another night club and three strips clubs.