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Bookmakers Pub gears up for evening debut

Kevin Allen | Thursday, September 4, 2003

A mere five days after students swarmed Legends to experience the grand re-opening and metamorphosis of the tradition-rich Alumni-Senior Club, they will be treated to another grand re-opening of a popular student night spot.

Tonight the former Coach’s Sports Bar and Grill, located at 2046 South Bend Ave., will open under new management as Bookmakers Pub.

Pat McGraw, a South Bend resident and Notre Dame graduate, and business partner Missy Bornheimer have set out to revitalize the watering hole with a new theme, a new chef and extensive renovations.

Bookmakers is set up like a Las Vegas sports book, with the betting lines for games running across a ticker tape on one wall and posted on a white board on another wall. The rest of the wall space is covered with autographed jerseys, photographs of athletes, and other sports collectibles – all of which are for sale – and three extra large big-screen TVs. The bar will have 15 televisions in all. A new patio area is another addition from the renovations.

McGraw, who also built the Jamison Inn and Oak Hill Condominiums, has simple reasons for his interest in opening Bookmakers.

“I thought it was a good location and a good idea,” said McGraw. “Our theme is unique and our food is going to be terrific.”

McGraw has ensured a reliable dining experience at Bookmaker’s by hiring Kip Peters, head chef at South Bend Country Club for the past 15 years, to captain the kitchen.

“Coach’s was never known for its food,” said McGraw. “And now we hope to be known for the food.”

The menu at Bookmakers features traditional sports-bar fare like burgers, steaks, pizzas and deli sandwiches, as well as some more exotic items, such as fish tacos and crab and lobster quesadillas. Prices range from $3.50 for a cup of soup to $10.25 for a BBQ Pork Pizza. The bar boasts 12 beers on tap and a large variety of bottled beers.

McGraw hopes Bookmakers will be a staple of Notre Dame social life, just as Coach’s was. He said he plans to cater to the Notre Dame crowd with special deals for students on Tuesday and Thursday nights and by showing every Notre Dame football game on the big-screens. Also, Budweiser has agreed to sponsor the radio station WAOR to broadcast a two-hour radio show from Bookmakers during the games.

Since closing the bar on July 27 for the $200,000 renovation project, McGraw has hired over 20 new employees, some of whom are Notre Dame students, and McGraw said he is still in the process of hiring more staff.

Unlike Coach’s, patrons of all ages are welcome at Bookmakers. However, due to Indiana state law, only those over 21 years of age will be permitted to enter the building after 9 p.m.