Harrison family gearing up for opening of Bird Dog’s Sports Bar & Grill
It’s taken longer than they expected, and how the digital sign outside works is still a bit of a mystery, but a Harrison family is ready to open their new business where a gone-but-not-forgotten landmark once stood.
The Daniels family will be opening Bird Dog’s Sports Bar & Grill this month. A “soft opening” is planned for Monday, Oct. 15, with a grand opening following on Sunday, Oct. 21.
“We are so thrilled and grateful for all of the support and excitement from the community regarding the opening of Bird Dog’s,” said Courtney Daniels. “We are really looking forward to becoming a part of the Natrona Heights community and business district. We hope to find ourselves among the ranks of the other great bars and restaurants that have become a staple of the Natrona Heights area.”
The bar bears the nickname of Daniels’ father, Bruce Daniels. It will be managed by her sister, Ashlie Daniels.
The building had long been home to the Do Drop Inn. It closed in July 2017 after having been run for generations by the Singer family. The Daniels family -- which also includes Courtney and Ashlie’s sisters Jamie Tinnemeyer Mace and Morgan Feczak -- bought it in May.
“We hope to do Bob and Peg proud,” Bruce Daniels said, referring to the Singers. “They built this place.”
The Daniels have now rebuilt it. They’ve given the place a thorough cleaning and facelift with new flooring, ceiling and paint. They’ve also added a fenced-in, outdoor patio that will be painted like a football field and redone the parking lot.
It took a little longer than anticipated to get ready.
“We wanted to make sure it was right,” Ashlie Daniels said.
“It was a blast,” she said of the work. “We had a couple of grueling months. Me and my dad did most of the work ourselves.”
There’s seating for about 100, a game room and 10 televisions -- nine new -- for watching sports games.
About 17 people will be working there. Ashlie Daniels said they’re still looking for a few more waitresses.
The full bar includes beer, liquor and cocktails with eight taps and six- and 12-packs to go. The menu will feature what Ashlie calls “elevated” bar food. She says everything from provolone sticks and fried zucchini to burgers and sandwiches will be fresh and made in-house, with nothing prepackaged or frozen.
The Do Drop’s dining room will be used as a banquet room for Bird Dog’s. It’s expected to be ready next year.
“This used to be a booming place,” Bruce Daniels said. “We hope we can bring it back to that.”
In response to some concerns from those who live nearby, Ashlie Daniels said, “We are going to try to be good neighbors.”
Bruce Daniels said they’d like to display local sports history on the walls. They’re looking for any old pictures of school athletes and teams from the Tarentum, Brackenridge and Harrison areas.
They would join a Valley News Dispatch picture of Bruce Daniels from the mid-1970s, then a high school senior, playing basketball for St. Joseph High School.
“We’re looking forward to opening our doors and having a fun place for people to hang out,” Ashlie Daniels said.