Although its grand opening isn’t until Oct. 23, the NBC Sports Grill & Brew is now open in preview mode at Universal CityWalk. We dropped by last night, its second day of operation, and here are five things we saw.
1. The view. Wow, the front of the building, which formerly housed NASCAR Grille, was remodeled to include lots of windows looking out onto CityWalk. It’s practically a panorama of Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Hard Rock on the far side of CityWalk. It was extra spectacular at dusk and while watching the Studios’ Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit roller coaster crest and fall.
2. The screens. There are dozens of them. From my seat at the upper bar, I could see 13 screens without turning my head, and there was a variety of sports being shown (Eventually, many were focused on the Major League Baseball playoff game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs.) In the center, a sort of minijumbotron, to make up a word, with 12 screens hovers above the first floor.
3. The tables. On the first floor, there are dining tables that double as game tables, such as foosball. You can eat and play at the same time. It’s like Chandler and Joey’s apartment on “Friends” — oh, the NBC synergy — only better. (There are also NBC banners upstairs, reflecting logos of the past.)
4. The employees. The hostesses have the blue blazer and skirt look going, and if “Saturday Night Live” is to be believed, then they’re fashioned after the famed NBC pages. Servers and bartenders wore blue and yellow plaid shirts and jeans.
5. The beer. Again, from my spot at the second-level bar, i could see 38 taps for beer. And the bartender told me this fun fact about the beer called 862 IPA he was serving. Seems “862” was the project number/code name for NBCSGB. The more you know … queue the shooting star with glitter, NBC.