Just in time for March Madness – Sliders Grill & Bar – a sports-themed restaurant-bar, announced it is planning to open a fifth restaurant, in the Elmwood section of West Hartford.
Sliders expects to be open by March 2013, according to Todd DiBattista, director of operations. The restaurant will be in the new Elmwood Plaza on Newington Road where Crazy Bruce’s liquor store and the Super Stop & Shop are located.
DiBattista said the West Hartford location was selected due to Elmwood’s friendly neighborhood feel and West Hartford’s reputation for quality restaurants.
“West Harford represents some of the finest dining establishments in the state, and we are proud to be included,” DiBattista said. “Elmwood is a great area for us because as a suburb of a large town, it represents Sliders perfectly.”
Fred Marcantonio opened the first Sliders in his hometown of Plainville in 1993 with a goal of providing a hometown sports bar. In the last two decades, he opened three additional Sliders restaurants: in Berlin (2000); Southington (2008); and Wallingford (2011).
He changed the name from Sliders Sports Bar & Grill to Sliders Grill & Bar to reflect a more family-friendly atmosphere and a changing menu. The restaurant’s website explains Marcantonio’s simple concept: “The food must be fresh, the beer ice cold and the atmosphere always entertaining.”
“Hands down, the most popular item on our menu are the chicken wings,” said DiBattista. Chicken is delivered fresh every day and is never frozen, explained DiBattista. The 21 different sauces, like garlic parmesan, and buffalo bleu cheese, are all homemade. The popular chicken wing selections have earned more than 30 awards.
In addition to pre-game appetizers such as chili cheese fries and fried pickle chips, there are offerings such as “The Big Papi,” which are two half-pound Angus beef burgers topped with applewood smoked bacon, ham and barbecue sauce, and ribs from the grill. For lighter fare, options include salads, sandwiches and wraps and sliders. (DiBattista said Marcantonio came up with the name “sliders” years before it became a popular name for mini-hamburgers.)
DiBattista indicated a new menu is about to be unveiled, which will include platters of ribs and chicken. Sliders has added smoked beef brisket, served as a sandwich or as an entrée. A chicken and waffles selection includes Belgian style waffles with breaded chicken tenders, then topped with strawberry jalapeno sauce. Every Tuesday night, from 8-11 p.m., Sliders offers “2 Fer Tuesday” –two orders of six bone-in wings for the price of one.
Sliders offers a signature beer called “Flippin Bird Ale,” made exclusively for the restaurant at the Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield. “The ale is light and crisp, with the delicate aroma of saaz hops,” according to Sliders’ website.
At its new Elmwood site, a private party room will be available – perfect for fantasy drafts, birthday parties and after-sports gatherings.
With its satellite TV service, abundant huge TV screens and fun events such as Buzztime Trivia games, ESPN Magazine voted Sliders the #5 Best Sports Bar in the Nation. In 2001, Sliders was awarded Best Sports Bar in the state by Connecticut Magazine.
Marcantonio is committed to giving back to the community. He has sponsored Little League teams and provided support to high school graduation parties, police and fire departments and other local groups. Each year in late spring, Sliders holds a charity event to support its favorite charities. Last year, for example, the event raised more than $5,000 for the Wounded Warrior project, said DiBattista.
For more information, find Sliders on Facebook or visit www.slidersgrillbar.com.