The fratastic hell pit known as Murray Hill has its fair share of nightlife establishments, most of which cater to the kind of person who thinks Bud Light Lime counts as a of craft beer. Neighborhood newcomer Bottomzup sounds like it would be just that kind of place: kitschy name, neon blue lighting and, of course, the location. But besides the jersey-clad waitresses and staggering volume of televisions, the bar also offers unique food and beverage items not typically found in a bro'd-out sports bar, plus a gregarious and attentive staff that would make imbibers of any gender feel comfortable enjoying a pint or five.
The proprietors say they created their establishment as an homage to the tailgate; a convivial and boisterous atmosphere where the food is just as important as rooting for the home team. Their around-the-country approach to the menu tips its hat to the variety of sports teams they'll screen on one of 45 televisions plastered to the walls. They're doing dishes like Texas Angus Chili ($8)—minus a few points for beans, which any Lone Star ex-pat knows don't belong—Kansas City Ribs ($10) and Louisiana Blackened Chicken ($18). We tried their Minnesota Juicy Lucy Sliders with bacon ($11.25) at a recent press preview; we wouldn't have said no to a little more cheese, but the burgers lived up to their juicy name and fried onions stayed crunchy 'til the last bite. Miami Grilled Corn on the Cob Lollipops ($7)—a riff on Mexican elote—was also well worth an order.
Skip the chicken wings, unless the chef's doing his insane ghost chili sauce, and go for the more unexpected: sushi. Yes, sushi. There's a dedicated sushi bar separate from the main kitchen, behind which a sushi chef rolls out maki like Tuna Avocado ($5.50), Shrimp Tempura ($7) and speciality rolls like the tasty Red Dragon ($11) with crunchy spicy crab, avocado and a topping of spicy tuna and the Mango Shrimp ($7) with spicy shrimp and tempura flakes wrapped in thinly sliced mango. They'll do any roll with brown rice, if that's your thing. It may not be Jiro-approved, but the fish is fresh and the rolls keep pace with other sushi joints around town. And did I mention they also have a raw bar?
You must also judge any good sports bar by its commitment to The Games, and on that count Bottomzup does not disappoint. To go along with their ridiculous amount of televisions, they've got nifty sound boxes so you won't miss the commentary if it's not being blasted over the speakers. Fantasy players will be grateful not only for the complimentary wifi but also for the phone charging stations posted every few feet; nothing drains the battery like reloading that god damn Yahoo app.
They also do no-cover screenings of all the UFC matches, if sanctioned violence floats your boat. Expect mostly familiar faces on the beer menu, including Sam Adams, Magic Hat and Blue Point, priced between $5 and $8, with happy hour deals on Coors Light and weekly food and drink specials.
344 3rd Avenue between 25th and 26th, (646) 918-7220; bottomzupnyc.com