A visit to Ainsworth Park in Manhattan and a brief thought on upscale sports bars

The folks from Ainsworth and 121 Fulton have opened up a third location.  This one at 111 East 18th Street, just north of Union Square.  Larger than the first two locations, Ainsworth Park offer a long dining area with dozens of TV screens lining both sides of the room for your sports watching pleasure.  There’s a small bar area just past the entrance and a small lounge area just to the right of the entrance.  Ainsworth Park’s food menu is similar to the other two locations.  The beer selection is decent, but this spot won’t be placed on any craft-beer focused pub crawls.

But what really stood out for us was the velvet rope (and the bathroom attendants).  As one Pub Crawl NYC participant noted, “no sports bar should have a velvet rope”.  We agree.  The velvet ropes were out and it was only 4pm.  It was broad daylight!  And even if it were night time, the place is A SPORTS BAR!  No, we didn’t have a problem getting in and neither did other patrons dressed more casually than we were.  Still, it’s the principle.  In general, is this upscale sports bar theme only in Manhattan?  When did it start?  Was it with Jay-Z’s 40/40 club in 2003?  Please share your thoughts.

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