It won't take long upon entering for you to realize that Fourth Avenue's The Royal is by far the classiest sports bar in town. Not only is there a doorman out front to make sure no drunken frat boys can wreck the bar's elite vibe, but there's also an absence of worn out neon beer signs because the high end liquor choices on display give off quite a different impression.
Then you'll see the 43 LED screens up on the wall along with the cushioned bar stools that make you feel like you're in an ESPN-themed hotel rather than a sports bar.
There's even a $250 minimum just to sit down at one of the front tables, which are actually nowhere near as pricy as the more intimate tables in back. The Royal goes to great lengths to flaunt its high-end exclusivity with its sleek structure and eclectic menu. Food choices range from classic sports accessories such as chicken wings and nachos to exotic dishes like miso-grilled eggplant and fish bahn mi.
Did we mention this bar is also a club? The Royal packs an entertainment arsenal of several well-known DJ's along with a stunning lighting scheme. Several celebrities already frequent the crowded dance party at night such as John Legend and Kris Humphries, primarily because The Royal provides VIP's their own entrance and bathroom.
The mind behind this new hot spot is Stafford Schlitt, a co-owner who also directs the W.I.P and Greenhouse nightclubs in Soho. “We wanted a high-end but fun, cool sports bar,” says Schlitt. “Manhattan has other high-end sports bars, but we just didn’t think they cut it.”
The truth of these words lies within the fact that while there may be a myriad of lavish-themed sports bars in this city, the elegance of a private viewing box in a sports arena is an environment yet to be conceived by any of Schlitt's competitors.
This is the bar of choice for the upscale man, filled with beautiful women, a perfect sound system, and only the sports fans who appreciate the luxury of its viewership. If you want to leave the world of annoying and unclean sports bars behind and have some of the best food in the city, make The Royal your destination for your next upcoming sporting event.
Sean Levinson | Elite.