For well over two years, the construction project at Los Gatos’ most prominent intersection was a topic of South Bay conversation. When would Double D’s Sports Grille — regularly voted the region’s most popular sports bar, even after it was destroyed by fire — reopen? Would it be larger? Would there still be parking? What would change? The answers are (A) finally; (B) the footprint is the same; (C) yes, still room for a handful of cars out front; and (D) lots of new menu choices. And TVs. Here’s the lowdown:
THE VIBE: The place looks familiar from the outside, sleek and brand-new inside, but with the signature “Cheers” vibe. The owners, brothers Dean and Darin Devincenzi, decided to maintain the exterior look, figuring that, as Dean said, “Everyone would know we are coming back if we built it the same way.” The interior has a more open, airy feeling now. Trendy high-top seating is in; the pool tables are out. Between the booths, tables, high-tops and bar, there is seating for 150. The number of TVs has increased from 22 to 32. Servers wear baseball T’s with the number 96 on the back, commemorating the original 1996 opening.
THE FOOD: How serious are the Brothers D about wanting to be known as a restaurant and not just a sports bar? For starters, they call it a grill. But most important, they proudly put the chef’s name on the menu. And during the long hiatus, longtime executive chef Robert Moreno created a dozen new dishes for the reopening. Signature items include sweet and sticky Korean-style Baby Back Ribs ($14), served atop an Asian slaw; a satisfying Kale and Bacon dinner salad ($17) with Brussels sprouts and hard-boiled egg; a Lemon Salmon Penne entree ($20); three new pizzas ($17-$18); and a new brisket blend for the always-popular burgers ($15-$18). And yes, when you order a burger you’ll want to sub the crispy, addictive Sweet Potato Tots for the fries.
Because the April 2016 blaze caused only property damage, the team here could have a little fun with one menu addition. The Three Alarm Fire sandwich, the brainstorm of Darin’s daughter Danika Devincenzi, tops spicy fried chicken with pepper jack cheese, jalapeño slaw and chipotle aioli. It’s already a hit on the new menu.
Joining the long list of bar offerings are ginger beers from Santa Clara’s Ginger Lab, traditional or guava ($7).
DON’T MISS: For one of the new entrees, chef Moreno pan-roasts Pork Tenderloin ($22), then serves the tangy black-pepper-crusted slices with a honey-dijon mustard sauce, potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Definitely not sports-bar fare.
GOOD TO KNOW: The Devincenzis didn’t have to re-create that marvelous collection of sports memorabilia. All the credit goes to the firefighters, they say, who managed to pull the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL signed jerseys, photos and plaques from the gutted building. After some reframing and smoke repairs, they are back in their rightful places — Joe Montana, Joe Thornton, Steph Curry, Barry Bonds and Pat Tillman, among others.
DETAILS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at 354 N. Santa Cruz Ave. at Highway 9, Los Gatos. 408-402-3407; Facebook.com/doubledsLG.
First Look: Inside Los Gatos’ Double D’s Sports Grille, rebuilt after the fire