Darryl Strawberry opens sports bar

New York restaurateur Eytan Sugarman has teamed up with former New York Mets and New York Yankees player Darryl Strawberry to open a sports bar in Queens.

Strawberry’s Sports Grill seats 160 people in 2,800 square feet in multiple rooms, featuring 17 high-definition televisions. It is decorated with baseball memorabilia, including Strawberry’s original locker from his days with the Mets, the cleats Charlie Hayes wore when he caught the game-winning ball to win the 1996 World Series for the Yankees, Chuck Knoblauch’s World Series Trophy from the Yankees’ 1999 win, and pieces of former Mets home Shea Stadium’s original foul pole signed by Tom Seaver.

The restaurant is co-owned by Sugarman and Strawberry, who recently was inducted into the Mets’ Hall of Fame. A spokeswoman for the restaurant said Strawberry was assuming a managerial role in the restaurant, “overseeing operations, mingling with fans and just lending a hand.”

Jay Lippin is the restaurant’s chef, although the restaurant’s hamburgers were developed by Chris Russell, former chef of New York restaurant brgr. Burger choices include turkey burgers, lamb burgers and a vegetarian falafel burger. Also on the menu are the usual sports bar fare plus barbecued rib and chicken.

Sugarman also owns Southern Hospitality, which he conceptualized with pop singer Justin Timberlake. Although Timberlake is not currently involved in that restaurant, he did attend the Strawberry’s opening on Wednesday, along with major league baseball stars Nick Swisher, David Robertson, Tino Martinez, Bernie Williams, Bobby Valentine, Dwight Gooden, Mickey Rivers and Whitey Ford. Models, reality television starts and television and stage actors also were in attendance.

Sugarman is planning on opening a second Southern Hospitality restaurant in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, but the specific time frame has not been set.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]