If you’ve walked by (or walked into) Fox Sports Grill lately, you may have noticed the establishment has a new name. A few weeks ago, says manager Lewil Shedd, the spectator-packed restobar rebranded itself as Edge Grill.
The company licensed the name from Fox Sports, says Shedd, but when the Fox Sports Northwest network changed its name a few years back, the restaurant lost all those local tie-ins that made that licensing fee worthwhile. “I also think the industry has changed a bit as far as the public’s desire to eat at larger chain sports places,” says Shedd. Come to think of it, remember when ESPN Zone was a thing?
In left-leaning Seattle, the name Fox probably wasn’t doing them any favors, either. Shedd said he encountered more than a few people who thought Rupert Murdoch was his boss.
Edge Grill has a larger, less dudecentric menu, with more salads, pastas, and wine, as well as specialty cocktails (the steak, nachos and wings by the pound aren’t going anywhere). Shedd says the sports bar model didn’t exactly pack in the female diners. “There’s nothing we can do to make it okay to bring your date to Fox Sports Grill on Valentine’s Day.”
That said, Edge Grill still has 33 TVs and opens early on game days, so it doesn’t exactly suck to watch football or basketball here. The restaurant did a minor cosmetic refresh inside and Shedd says diners and drinkers have responded well; so far sales are up compared with last November. “The food and the service make the restaurant; it doesn’t matter what the name is.”