Saturdays Suds: Pubs near the Park #9 – Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant & Sports Bar

22 08 2015

After finishing off the Mantle reprint set in my last post, it got me thinking – I’ve been to a restaurant that was owned by the Mick.  So I wanted to do a pubs near the park post for it.  The last pub post I did was for my Babe Ruth week.  I did a post about two restaurants / saloons owned by Babe Ruth’s father that closed nearly 100 years ago.  Naturally, that wasn’t a bar you could go to any more.

My next bar is also sponsored by a famous Yankee, and unfortunately it has closed as well.  But, as I said, this is a restaurant I’ve actually been to.  This post is for Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant and Sports Bar in Manhattan, which closed 2 years ago.

Mickey Mantle's Restaurant ad

Establishment:  Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant and Sports Bar

Ballpark:  Yankee Stadium in New York

Location:  42 Central Park South (59th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues) – about 6 miles south of Yankee Stadium

DSC01541_2

Beers served:  From what I remember, it was your standard fare – Budweiser, Miller Lite, etc.  I don’t remember a particular selection of craft beers or anything, though I went there about 7 years ago which was a little before the craft beer craze come about recently.

Menu (if applicable):  Mantle’s restaurant was a true sports bar – and had about what you would have thought.  Wings, burgers, etc.  Though it was far from the best American bar food I’ve had – I do think this had to be one of the first sports bars considering how long ago it opened.

Is it baseball-themed?  Or is it just close to the ballpark?   Obviously it’s baseball themed, since the Mick owns it.  It had an impressive selection of Yankee memorabilia, with an obvious focus on stuff from Mantle.  It’s in the middle of Manhattan, so it’s not right next to Yankee Stadium, but I think a lot of people who went there did what I did – ate there after taking in a Yankee game.

Description:  Mantle opened this restaurant in 1988 just off the southeast corner of Central Park in Manhattan.  As I mentioned above – the idea of a sports bar had to have been pretty novel at the time.  This had to be one of the earlier ones, at least as far as people think of the average sports bar today.

Mantle’s was actually a little bit nicer than your standard sports bar from what I remember.  It was well-lit, and was far from a dive bar.  But it was in the middle of tourist central – just north of Times Square and just south of Central Park.  This meant it was pretty damn expensive for what you were eating – which was solid, but neither my dad nor I were blown away by the food.

Mantle’s did have a very cool memorabilia selection, and I remember walking around a little bit to check some of that out.  The chairs were specially made, with the number 7 carved in as you can see on the photos below.

Mantle's Restaurant inside 2 Mantle's Restaurant inside

In 2007, there was a really cool – and really large – replica of old Yankee Stadium in the middle of the restaurant with a lot of bells and whistles that was kind of the centerpiece of the restaurant.

I went there with my dad in 2008.  We did a long weekend to New York, getting tickets to the last Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium, which was very cool.  One of the nights we were there, we went to Mantle’s restaurant for dinger.

As I mentioned, the restaurant closed 3 years ago.  It’s now an Italian restaurant called Villagio.  There is still a steakhouse operated under the Mantle name in Oklahoma City (OK was his home state).  If I ever make it down to Oklahoma City, maybe I can do a post about the other Mantle restaurant!

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