Lord Stanley’s Cup may not have made it to San Jose yet, but his name has.
Stanley’s Sports Bar is the new place in town to celebrate Sharks hockey. The highly-anticipated bar and restaurant, located on the second level of Logitech Ice at San Jose, opened Jan. 12 to a packed house at the start of the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend to play hosts to the fans of the Junior Sharks Girls MLK Hockey Tournament. Logitech Ice, including the new sports bar, was crowded from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“We were kind of amazed,” Manager Paul Doherty said. “We knew we had a good thing, but we didn’t know how good.”
With a mountain chalet look and feel, the bar includes a four-sided fireplace, viewing vantage points of the North, Center and East ice rinks, as well as 11 flat-screen televisions showing numerous sporting events.
Doherty said Sharks games always take priority on the screens, but hockey games from around the National Hockey League and other sporting events, including the upcoming Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl, are shown. Along with beer and an excellent wine selection, the facility also serves appetizers, sandwiches, pizza and more.
Although there’s always a huge Sharks following in the restaurant, Doherty said the NFL Playoffs during the opening weekend drew a huge crowd.
“We opened at 10 a.m. for the AFC Championship game and it was full all day,” he said. “Between four and six o’clock, you couldn’t get a seat.”
Logitech Ice goes beyond offering the entertaining sports bar and recreational ice. The facility also caters to the business clientele as well. Skaters and restaurant patrons can now enjoy free wireless Internet access throughout the four-rink building. The fourth ice rink, which opened in June 2005, expanded the facility to 170,000 square feet, making Logitech Ice the largest ice skating destination west of the Mississippi River.
Logitech Ice also boasts a partnership between the in-house hockey leagues and the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA). The association works with sports organizations all over the country to promote the spirit of good sportsmanship and teamwork for youth sports programs. PCA was started at Stanford University in 1998 and aims at “Transforming Youth Sports So Sports Can Transform Youth.” Logitech Ice and Stanley’s hosted the kick-off event for this partnership on Jan. 18 and 25 with seminars for coaches and parents of all the in-house hockey leagues and youth skating classes.
Stanley’s is still the big new draw for the facility, however. Although it opened with huge success, Doherty has plans to have an expanded lunch menu on weekdays.
“There are not a lot of restaurants in the area and we want to entice the lunch crowd,” he said. Weekends tend to take care of themselves as groups of 100 kids come in every 45 minutes, in addition to the more than 150 adult teams that compete throughout the week.
“We just want to get the parents out of the cold and offer a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere,” Doherty said. “That’s our goal.”
Doherty also mentioned Stanley’s wouldn’t have had a strong opening without the help of ARAMARK, General Manager Kevin Haggerty and Dan Twiddle of Premium Guest Services. The Grill restaurant, run at HP Pavilion at San Jose, loaned several staff members to Doherty for the opening.
“They showed us things to change and how to make the entire place better,” Doherty said. “I have to give a big thank you to them.”
The ultimate goal of Stanley’s is to be the best sports bar in San Jose. With its great location at Logitech Ice and the draw for the fabulous facility, Doherty is confident Stanley’s will be the place to be for any sporting event.