The Empire Sports Bar opens today, Monday April 18, in Brooklawn, NJ on the site that was formerly Clancy’s Pub.
Today they open at 3pm and every day after that from 11am to 2am.
The Sports Bar’s new owner owns another nearby business, the Empire Diner. Owner Dervis has taken over the property and refreshed the entire space, changed a few things… and yes he has all new TVs in the signature Sports Bar TV wall!
Whilst the property is still true to its Sports Bar roots, the new owner has added a dedicated dance floor area, lighting system and fantastic sound system to the lower level!
I mean, it’s not like people watch sports at midnight!
Read on for details and photos ahead of the Empire Sports Bar upgrades opening! The biggest changes are on the lower level.
Empire Sports Bar – New but Familiar!
The Empire Sports Bar is located at 304 Rt 130 in Brooklawn NJ, at the intersection of Old Salem Rd (which is now a signaled intersection).
For many years the place was known as Clancy’s Pub and long before that we oldtimers will remember the building as Wayne’s Log Cabin to the front and J’Antonio’s Restaurant to the rear.
Back in November 2021 we wrote about the Empire Diner taking over the bar ownership and gave some hints about the original plans to modernize and reopen the bar.
I think everyone would agree that Clancy’s previous conversion still had “good bones” with its two-part approach of an upper level bar area and a lower level restaurant area.
The building just needed some love and some new innovative ideas to give guests even more reasons to come back!
Well first everything was patched inside and out and repainted. The outside now has a distinctive blue coat of paint, and inside, all the walls have been repainted… and some clever changes have been made to the floor plan, particularly in the basement.
Sports bar on the upper level
The upper level of the restaurant remains largely unchanged in layout… which is good as I’ve always felt the layout worked really well.
Did I mention I was in a cover band years ago and performed in this bar area?! 🙂
The first thing everyone remembers about the bar area is the characteristic wall of televisions.
Yes, the TV wall is still there, and YES, it has all new HD TVs now!
The projection screen cutout area is also retained, and even the projector has been upgraded.
In fact, we’re told there’s electronics behind the projector that allows it to project DJ-driven music videos, websites like Youtube, and more.
The bar has 16 beer taps and bourbons/whiskies are very popular right now…care has been taken to offer a very good bar selection!
Lower level of Empire Sports Bar
The biggest changes have taken place on the lower level.
What immediately catches your attention is as soon as you enter the lower level (near the entrance) the large open dance floor!
The dance floor runs along the window wall (facing the courtyard) and probably occupies about 1/3 of the lower level.
This dance area has new flooring that helps to clearly define the space.
Dance lights have been added…as well as an awesome house sound system. During our weekend visit we saw the sound system cranked up loud. We could hear and FEEL the power!
And over there in the back corner of the dance floor is a special sound booth where Dervis installed a mixer and a DJ board.
The rest of the room has several high tables on the ground floor area, and alcoves remain on the outer walls.
Another change for the lower level is a second service bar in the back inside corner.
With the placement of the dance floor and DJ booth on the lower level, it’s clear that Dervis wanted this area to be a fun party venue… and for him it just felt awkward having waiters or customers pacing main bar.
The second bar on the lower level will allow waiters and guests to have better service for a wide range of drinks and beers.
It’s a great idea and clever placement for the bar that required replacing a wall or two to redirect the toilet entrance.
Sports bar and dancing. While it has been a common bar pattern for over 50 years, the Empire Sports Bar has perhaps one of the best setups in any category!
And many will ask, “Will they have live bands?”. We’ve been told yes… but maybe once a month, and he’s not ready to move on to that just yet.
So perhaps the biggest change at the lower level is more likely to be inferred from what we’re showing here. While Clancy’s Pub used this space more as a quiet restaurant area, the Empire Sports Bar tries to make it a fun and lively place with a dance floor, DJ sound system and its own service bar!
Which brings us to dinner!
Everyone is wondering what are the plans for the Empire Sports Bar as they also own the Empire Diner near the circle?
100% the Empire Sports Bar will have food… delicious burgers, wraps, fries.
Incredibly tasty variations on food you would normally expect from a sports bar.
But you won’t find the dinner menu they have at the Empire Diner near Brooklawn Circle.
Easy if that’s what you’re looking for fully Diner menu experience… the Empire Diner is a better choice to start with. Then come for a drink in the Sports Bar! But the Empire Sports Bar will also offer fantastic food!
In our original post last fall, we shared that Dervis was considering plans to add a second floor to the building for a dance area, but he’s since changed his mind and taken that dream to this lower level.
Outdoor and terrace area
As the building is on busy Rt 130, it becomes an advertisement in itself!
And the Empire Sports Bar has a bold blue exterior color that looks great and will absolutely catch the attention of everyone who drives by!
In our conversation, we learned that Dervis is proud to be in America, having enjoyed so much success here in a short dozen years… so he chose his color scheme to celebrate America!
The Empire Sports Bar also has an outdoor terrace located just outside the dance floor area along the wall of glass doors.
As you might expect, the team spent a lot of time doing maintenance work inside and out. With the bar closed for several months, it just made sense to “smash it all out” so he was well ahead of any maintenance work.
Although there will be no second floor, there are other ideas for the property that he shared with us.
links and location
Empire sports bar
304 Crescent Blvd (Route 130)
Brooklawn NJ 08030
11 am – 2 am.
297 Crescent Blvd (Route 130 – Brooklawn Circle)
Brooklawn NJ, 08030