“We had always wanted to gear towards food more than the bar scene,” Hamilton said. “With the restaurant, you’re not going to have the late-night crowds.”
Hamilton said they sold The Ole Brick Tavern in March, but as their children went back to school, they realized they couldn’t sit at home and do nothing all day.
This news outlet previously spoke to Hamilton during the pandemic when The Ole Brick Tavern was reopening for carryout. She said then they were originally a pub that served food, but due to the pandemic they had to switch to a restaurant that served alcohol.
Hamilton said this encouraged her and her husband to start thinking about a restaurant.
“When we started doing that and we saw how much people were enjoying the food, I kept having to remind my husband, it’s a bar serving food,” Hamilton said.
The Bullpen Sports Bar will serve “anything but chicken,” Hamilton said.
She explained that other sports bars in the area focus on chicken and chicken wings, so they wanted to be different. The Bullpen’s menu will focus on beef and pork by serving burgers, pulled pork, burnt ends, specialty sandwiches and more. Side items will include hand-cut fries, steakhouse green beans and smoked gouda mac and cheese. Hamilton said they will have their own smoker on site as well.
“We’re working everyday in there. I’m getting my staff trained. My chef is getting onboard,” Hamilton said. “It’s moving a lot quicker than I expected.”
Hamilton told this news outlet that they were attracted to the downtown area because of The Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) and the entertainment district.
“We could do the restaurant that we wanted, the atmosphere that we wanted, plus we can participate in the revitalization of the downtown area,” Hamilton said.
She explained that she had previously reached out to the city of Springfield when she was looking for a downtown space and that led her to the Bushnell building.
The Fountain on Main closed on Aug. 31 after being in the space for 19 years. According to the Bushnell building owner, Jim Lagos, the business was on a month-to-month lease.
Hamilton said the space will most definitely have a different feel as they finish remodeling. The only thing guests will recognize are the seats and tables, she added.
The Bullpen Sports Bar will have a good atmosphere and be a good place to come, sit and watch a game, Hamilton said.
She said they are looking forward to meeting new people as they embark on this new adventure.
The Bullpen Sports Bar is hiring for a chef and line cook. Those interested can contact the owners via Facebook.
For more information about The Bullpen Sports Bar, located at 14 E. Main Street, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.