Jun 16, 2021 - Sports

Smashburger founder opening sports bar in Minneapolis

The interior of a sports bar, Tom's Watch Bar, in Denver.

Tom's Watch Bar, pictured in this photo from its new Denver location, is coming to Minneapolis. Photo courtesy of Tom's Watch Bar

Tom's Watch Bar — a sports bar concept from Smashburger chain co-founder Tom Ryan — is opening a new location in downtown Minneapolis.

Driving the news: Tom's Watch Bar has signed a lease for about 12,000 square feet at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Sixth Street — the space once occupied by Rosa Mexicano and Prime 6 in the recently renovated City Center.

  • The bar will open in early 2022, Ryan told Axios.

Details: The staple of Tom's Watch Bar — whose sixth location opened this week in Denveris one massive stadium screen surrounded by hundreds of smaller screens.

  • The idea is you have a good view of the game no matter where you're sitting.

Flashback: Five years ago, Ryan told Axios' Nick Halter that he wanted to open one of his sports bars — then called Tom's Urban — near Target Field and Target Center.

  • Ryan, whose company is based in Denver, lives part-time in the Kenwood neighborhood with his Minnesota-born wife.

Between the lines: The loss of downtown office workers has caused many restaurants in the area to close, both because of current business leaving and uncertainty about how remote work will affect the future.

  • But Ryan said his bar concept is less reliant on office workers, as most of its business comes from sports fans eating and drinking before games, after or during televised sporting events.

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