Calif.-based chain opening sports bar in Mesa - East Valley Tribune: Business

Calif.-based chain opening sports bar in Mesa

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Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2005 6:33 am | Updated: 10:07 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Indigo Joe’s, a Californiabased sports-bar chain about to make its Arizona debut in Mesa, will have 20 beers on tap, 50 TVs and wireless voice boxes so sports fans can choose which of the big screens to tune in.

It also will have flowers in the ladies room and a children’s game room.

"Most sports bars are onedimensional," said Troy Taylor, CEO of Indigo Joe’s parent company, Neighborhood Sports Pub Concepts. "We found a niche. First and foremost, we target the adult female. If mom feels comfortable bringing the kids, the guys will follow."

Indigo Joe’s Sports Pub & Restaurant is suiting up to start serving up typical sports bar fare — steaks, salads, sandwiches and a plethora of starters from chicken wings to onion rings — July 25 at 2855 N. Power Road, said owner Paul O’Neill.

That’s in the Village at Las Sendas, a high-end office and retail complex on Power Road near the Red Mountain Freeway segment of Loop 202.

O’Neill and wife Beth have the Indigo Joe’s franchise rights for Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek. He hopes to open a second version within two years and have four open within five years.

"The East Valley was screaming for something like this — a family-oriented place where you could get good food," O’Neill said.

Not to minimize the sports-themed aspect, O’Neill said he will have 45 to 50 TVs, seven of them plasma screens and one a 62-inch version. A game room designed for kids aged 6 to 14 will have big glass windows so parents watching the TVs can also keep an eye on the small-fry.

Adults who want to play games, too, can belly up to the bar for NTN Trivia, a national, interactive, competitive bar game.

Indigo Joe’s also will have wireless Internet capability, O’Neill said, so customers can bring their laptops and log in.

The Mesa Indigo Joe’s will be the fourth in the chain to open, Taylor said, although he has sold 18 franchises. He expects 12 to 15 to open within the year, including locations in Denver, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Taylor, previously a franchise developer, and a couple of partners opened the first Indigo Joe’s in Encinitas, Calif., in 2002 after nearly a decade designing the concept. He plans to grow the chain through the Southwest first, eventually opening a store a month.

To keep the family-focus that Taylor said distinguishes Indigo Joe’s from other sports bars, he looks for franchisees who will open a store within their own community.

O’Neill said he lives within a couple of miles of his Mesa restaurant and will take on owner-operator-partners for the next three.

"We’re not looking for absentee owners," he said. "You have to live in a community to be involved."

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