Happy In Bag

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Porous Zone Defense

My baseball-loving pal convinced me to visit The 810 Zone for the first time Tuesday night. New Kansas City Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek was scheduled to be interviewed at the restaurant’s remote radio facility.

The sports bar meets the two most fundamental requirements of such establishments. The walls are blanketed with televisions tuned to various sports broadcasts. Secondly, while somewhat expensive, the food is acceptable. My chef’s salad is pictured. Service is another matter. The staff at the Leawood restaurant is dominated by recent high school graduates with minimal training. They’re not exactly slick.

The 810 Zone has small monitors in every booth, allowing close viewing of a particular game. Yet none were showing sports Tuesday evening. Sitting in every booth were young children and their parents. They weren’t watching basketball- they were all playing toddler-oriented video games. And a few booths had the games’ volume turned to uncomfortably loud levels. It wasn’t merely irritating; it was bizarre.

We spotted Grudzielanek dining with his family early in the evening prior to his interview with Royals announcers Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefebvre. Yet he chose to leave the restaurant early and did the interview by telephone, presumably on his drive home. Maybe he couldn’t take the video games, either.


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