Kris and Tom Potteiger wanted their eatery to be close to home.
Kris said Tom, who worked in the roofing industry for 30 years, always dreamed of owning a sports bar.
She said they do a lot of entertaining at home. Their house became a weekend hangout for their four 20-something children and their friends when they were younger.
Kris said they typically hosted
15 to 25 kids, many who played football with their sons, on any given weekend. Tom grilled burgers and chicken, and the kids swam and played pool.
"They all looked forward to it," Kris said. "It was just a safe place for them to come."
In October, the Glen Rock couple - who were childhood sweethearts - opened Seven Sports Bar & Grille in New Freedom. She said their business feels like an extension of the way they entertained when their kids were younger.
"We were empty nesters that now have a lot to do," said Kris, who also works as a fitness director. "It gives us something to focus on."
I stopped by recently for lunch and debated whether to sit in the dining area or in the sports bar, which are subtly separated, yet in sight of each other.
There were more customers eating lunch in the bar, so I sat there at a high black table.
More than 10 flat-screen TVs lined the brick walls. Cool earthy tones of teal, gray and charcoal colored the floor. The eatery's simple design felt fresh and sharp.
Though I'm not a sports fan, I vaguely paid attention to the baseball game on TV.
I ordered a bowl of white chicken chili, a house salad and a diet Pepsi.
A waitress served my meal on square white dishware. The chili was made with red and green peppers, tomatoes, chicken, onion and cannellini beans. It tasted flavorful, yet mild.
Spring mix, carrots and cucumbers - served with a ramekin of lime vinaigrette - filled a small plate.
I love when restaurants offer fruity variations of the traditional oil-and-vinegar based dressing. I order vinaigrette a lot, so infused flavor adds variety to my greens.
Kris said some of the most popular menu items at the neutral sports bar and grille are cream of crab soup, Seven tenders - which are grilled and served with dipping sauces - crab cakes and filets. They hired B.J. Snyder, a long-time family friend, as chef.
"We wanted to have bar food, as well as nice entrees," she said. "I think we have a nice variety."
Kris said opening the business has given Tom and her a chance to connect with the community, including parents of their children's friends.
She said their youngest daughter, Jenna, will graduate from Penn State with a degree in restaurant management and nutrition in 2013. She plans to work at Seven and maybe one day run the business.
Kris said customers have responded positively since the opening - the business' Facebook page already has more than 1,400 "likes."
She said many like the location because they don't have to drive to northern Baltimore or York to enjoy good food in a comfortable atmosphere.
"When they walk in, they said they feel like they're not in New Freedom," she said. "The feel like they're more in the city."
Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants, aiming to please our palates and our wallets. Reach Leigh Zaleski at 717-771-2101, firstname.lastname@example.org, @leighzaleski.
LOCATION: 14 E. Franklin St. in New Freedom
LEIGH'S PICK: White chicken chili, a house salad, and diet Pepsi ($11.13)
HOURS: 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday; 3:30 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
PRICE RANGE: $2 to $30
ACCEPTS: Cash and credit
KID'S MENU: Yes
DETAILS: Visit www.sevensportsbarand
grille.com or call 717-759-8707
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