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Posted on Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

The Sports Bar at Banfield's Westside is making changes, focusing on sports

By Angela Smith


File photo

Lizzy Alfs |

Banfield's Westside Grill was acquired by Rick and Ben Buhr on June 1 of this year, and the Buhrs made immediate plans to renovate and re-market the bar and restaurant.

The new name of the business, The Sports Bar at Banfield’s Westside, reflects the Buhrs’ desire to maintain the bar’s regular clientele, while striving to attract new faces. The licensing is still in the process of being transferred, according to Tony Bonino, a partner in the venture. Rick Buhr says that the bar is really still in a period of transition, and that the name may change again, in time.

Buhr says that customers will right away notice the changes that have already taken place at The Sports Bar. “When people walk in, it’s night and day; they like the changes.”

Buhr says The Sports Bar now has more than 20 flat-screen TV’s that are all new, and use the latest technology to display 16 different sporting events at a time, if need be.

Though pricing remains the same, the menu is also changing to reflect the casual sports atmosphere. “We started with the Banfield’s menu intact, and have been making small changes on the fly ever since.”

Another noticeable change is the redesign of Banfield’s game room. The area has been remodeled and repurposed as a meeting room that can accommodate private parties of up to 70.

Rick Buhr, who sold Good Time Charley’s in downtown Ann Arbor in 2007, had been looking for a new location for a sports bar in the Ann Arbor area. In Banfield’s he found an established bar and grill that he can transform into something that fits The Sport’s Bar’s image. As an established restaurant and business owner, he knows what it takes: "In the restaurant business, you have to be good every day.”



Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Rick/Ben, Remind me, which day is free beer day?..dtp

Jami Lippens

Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

I've been very pleased with the changes, although disappointed that the games are gone. I did like to go and let my boys play, while I enjoyed a beer and a burger. But overall it seems so much nicer, and cleaner.

V Cardoso

Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

This headline reads like something from the pages of The Onion. What were they focusing on before? Cookies?


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Good Luck Burh Brothers! CHange is hard - especially in "Ann Arbor". But I hear you two are professionals and know what you are doing. We'll be there to check it out!

Jon Wax

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

... i think they are father and son, don't quote me on that though. Peace Wax


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

I agree with another comment. We miss the game room. You're missing out on a lot of money from parents who used to come in, stay and drink while their kids played games. It was a weekend ritual from some of us regulars. We are now venturing out and finding other places. Think about changing that back.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 4:38 a.m.

Not everyone likes the changes. As soon as you walk in the door, you confronted by a server now. Some people just want to walk to the bar and have a drink. At least they haven't closed the back door yet. BTW, the meeting room is nice, but a lot of people miss the game room. Finally, I miss the booths. The TVs are a nice touch. It's an ok start I guess, you just need to listen to your customers.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 10:28 a.m.

The problem most restaurants and most business that die is they spend too much time listening to their customers and not enough listening to those who AREN'T their customers or once were their customers and are not anymore. Finding out why they do not come in, or what it is they like is a better strategy than fixating on the same old. The same old get older and die off and then your business is done. Ask Bill Knapp's about this concept.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

If you're selling the X-Men arcade game, I'll buy. Many a quarter was spent as a kid playing that game.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

I love that X-Men game.


Sat, Dec 1, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

Better keep the same fish fry! Best in Washtenaw county!