Beyond those noted points, Halpern jumped to get involved. The more he peeled back the layers at Glory Days Grill, the more appealing it became. Its three founders, Richard Danker, Robert Garner, and Jeffrey Newman are still intimately involved. Danker is more focused on the marketing angle, while Newman deals with site selection, contracts, and lease negotiations, and Garner is the operator at heart, who can walk into a store and point out what needs to go where, when, and how. There’s also executive vice president Gary Cohen. He joined in 2006 from That’s Amore Restaurants. Combined they boast more than 120 years of combined restaurant experience.
With this executive team in tact for two-plus decades, Glory Days Grill has guarded its defining traits.
“There are casual dining restaurants for miles,” says Charissa Costa Bauhaus, director of marketing at Glory Days Grill. There is also no shortage of sports-bar concepts on the market.
“But what the founders wanted to do when they started the company was make a sports restaurant with excellent food. We never cut costs on food. Excellent ingredients that really cater to everybody,” she adds.
Glory Days Grill’s company chef, Tony Cochones, was a former cook for the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon and a farm-to-table pioneer in the 1980s at Perry Restaurant Group. Find that somewhere else in this corner of the industry. Glory Days even auctions his cooking services during an annual charity event each year. He’s commanded $10,000 in past events.
At Glory Days Grill, Chef Cochones has created a diverse menu that appeals to the sports fan, but also doesn’t box out the rest of the family. There’s fresh-cut salmon to go with 11 different types of wing sauces. Six salads, tacos, chili, ice cream sliders, burgers, mac & cheese, and rotating seasonal offerings are also part of the lineup.
Glory Days Grill takes this inclusive notion well beyond the food. Each table has a speaker where customers tune into one of the 40–50 TVs of their choice, and control the volume. So each table listens to whatever they want, free of their neighbor’s pick. Or they can flick the volume off and enjoy a quiet meal.
“It allows us not to have that crazy, loud environment. But everybody still gets exactly what they want,” Costa Bauhaus says.
As Glory Days Grill expands, Costa Bauhaus says it will land in markets where guests recognize the brand, as well as places where diners mistake it for a single-unit operation. That’s one of the benefits of a relatively untold story, and Glory Days Grill can stand out either way, she says.