Super-Sized Sports Bar and Lounge with 43 TVs to Open in Astoria

By Jeanmarie Evelly on January 7, 2013 7:52am | Updated on January 7, 2013 9:40am

ASTORIA — When Harry Panagiotopoulos started planning his new bar, he wanted to model it after the space of his dreams — taking all the best elements of his favorite watering holes and eateries and crafting them into one.

"I was looking for a location for the last six years," said Panagiotopoulos, whose family owns Igloo Cafe in Astoria, a casual diner-style restaurant on 31st Street near Ditmars Boulevard.

He finally found the perfect spot last year, just a few doors down from Igloo, in a 7,000-square-foot space that used to house an Off-Track Betting parlor before the franchise folded in 2010. The storefront has been shuttered ever since, with some of the letters on its sign fallen off.

Panagiotopoulos is renovating it into his dream venue, to be called The Sweet Spot and set to open in February. It will be a hybrid sports bar, restaurant and swanky lounge — and will boast an eye-popping 43 TVs throughout its two floors, including screens perched above the urinals in the men's room.

"This will be something different than anything in New York City, period," Panagiotopoulos said.

The space, which is still being renovated, will feature a 30-foot bar up front, with 17 beers on tap and "as many bottles [of liquor] as we can fit," Panagiotopoulos said. The bar area will have 19 55-inch TVs along both walls, as well as high communal tables.

The back section of the first floor will be a dining room with a fireplace, separated from the front bar by a footbridge that spans an open space with views of the VIP lounge downstairs. The bridge will be flanked on both side by two real trees planted on the lower level.

Panagiotopoulos said a menu is still being finalized and that it will feature "high-end bar items with a Mediterranean twist," an homage to his Greek roots.

The Sweet Spot's lower level will be a lounge with a second fireplace, couches, a DJ booth and its own set of TVs. In all, Panagiotopoulos said he'll be able to show 12 different sporting events at the same time once his system is set up. All of his gadgets will be controlled by an iPad.

Panagiotopoulos said he's also incorporating green features into his design, including the use of reclaimed lumber and water-free urinals in the men's bathroom, which he said save hundreds of thousands of gallons of water a year.

Also located in both the men's and women's bathrooms are the additional TVs.

"You don't want to miss a thing," he said.

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