At the beginning of February, building owner Jerry Kenney reclaimed the former World Sports Grille space in South Lake Union to run with his son, Mike Kenney. Never closing the restaurant, the Kenneys removed all signage from the previous business immediately, but took some time to plot their new brand: Art Marble 21.
Named for the Art Marble Company, the building’s original owners in 1921, the revamped eatery retains most of the TVs and games (pool, ping ping, video games, shuffleboard) from World Sports Grille, but they are shifting the 750-seat restaurant’s concept.
"Instead of being a sports bar," says Mike Kenney, "we want to be more of a restaurant who offers sports viewing as well." To that end, the owners have resurfaced all the tables with coppertops, and added a pool table, a fireplace, and other private spaces upstairs for rent.
They are also elevating their food and drink menus with a focus on more local, fresh sourcing. For cuisine, expect chicken provençal with lemon butter sauce and New York steak. For beverages, look for a spin on French 75 with cognac topped with Shillings barrel-aged cider, and their paloma: a margarita topped with Shillings grapefruit cider soon. Eventually they hope to build a craft bar upstairs.
The Kenney partners bring some of their own restaurant know-how to the new venture—Jerry was an original owner of the next door Cask and Trotter BBQ, and Mike has bartended at Bastille and elsewhere—and they have also brought on former Buca di Beppo management team Tracy Watson, Bill Crooks, and Executive Chef Martin Garcia for support. Art Marble 21 currently has happy hour from 4 to 6, and hopes to add brunch eventually.