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Rocky's: Finally, Bridgeport Gets A Sports Bar

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 23, 2009 7:00PM

To say that Bridgeport is lacking a sports bar is an understatement (Jimbo's does not qualify). There's a handful of criteria to build a successful sports bar: lots of dark wood, lots of widescreen tvs for watching the game, food that won't make you sick, a bar and waitstaff oozing The Hotness and a music playlist that would be at home on Eric and Kathy in the morning. Rocky's aims to change all that. This sports bar is located on the northwest corner of 31st and Wells and named after one of the owner's dogs — not Balboa, Marciano, Graziano or Wirtz — in a space that was long known to Bridgeport residents as Punchinello's. That bar had a clientele of spiked hair, club gear, chin halos and machismo so thick that it earned the derogatory nickname "Punch-a-d@g0'$."

Rocky's management has done a masterful job of utilizing the richness of spoils Punchinello's never could, like its outdoor patio and two full bars bookending a 2,000 square-foot space. A draft system carries 312, Harp, Fat Tire and Sam Adams seasonal selections in addition to Miller and Bud. It isn't an ambitious beer selection, but there is variety. The bars are beautifully polished dark wood, with space for the bartenders to stretch. Food at Rocky's is classic sports bar fare with a nod to some current trends. Burgers come on a pretzel roll and are cooked medium well, unless specified. House cut fries come with a just-right sprinkling of Parmesan and white truffle oil. Rocky's best bets are the Italian dishes. Although one of our arancini was not much more than a load of dough with some rice, the other was Baby Bear: just right. Cavatelli with grilled chicken was served al dente with a nice tang to the sauce and a medium char on the chicken. Bar and waitstaff was attentive without being cloying, and satisfied the eye candy requirement (for those of you who want that).

Rocky's is yet another entry in what has become something of a breakout year for new restaurants in Bridgeport. As someone who's waited 10 years to see it happen, it's about time. If you're heading to those final Sox games of the season, it's worth a look-see.

Rocky's, 234 W. 31st. St., 312-842-9200,