By Joey McWilliams
Durant’s southernmost restaurant is looking to change its perception in the minds of those around the area.
Sports City Café is hosting an all-day midsummer event as an opportunity for those who have visited before and also for those who haven’t yet.
The Summerfest is set for Saturday, July 22 on site at 5067 S. Ninth Ave.
Michael Nolen, director of operations, said the idea in hosting Summerfest is to hopefully bring a lot of new people out to the location and to do some good for the United Way.
“The United Way is one of Nick’s (owner of Sports City) favorite charities,” Nolen said. “And Tommy Kramer, who works with the city, has recommended United Way, as well. So it was a natural thing for me to call them and get partnered up with them.
“We’re excited about it because they are one of the biggest charities in the world and 90 percent of that charity money stays in Durant and it will help people better here.”
Nolen said the company, which owns six restaurants, feels driven to rebrand this location and thinks this event would be a great startup for that.
“This location was always known years ago when we built it as a restaurant with a bar,” Nolen said. “And it has turned the corner and gotten looked at the other way. Because we have five other locations in the Dallas area, that was where our attention has been because that’s where we live. So this location just didn’t get as much attention and we’re trying to change it back to the way it was.
And Nolen mentioned other factors which have affected the Durant location.
“We’re definitely not victims in any way, but they changed the highway exits on us and that made it a little bit more difficult to get to,” Nolen said.
“And then of course, when Nick built this, the casino did not sell food and liquor and they actually brought people to our location. And of course that changed as they grew and it affected us to a degree. Should it have affected us? No. Not their fault. It’s our fault.”
Summerfest is billed as family-friendly event with something for everyone, throughout the day. It will get started at 9 a.m. and there will be activities for kids with bounce houses, snow cone machines and more from morning through 7 p.m.
Bands will be playing live on their big stage through the afternoon and into the night. Summerfest is scheduled to go until 2 a.m. on Sunday.
And local vendors and merchants will be on hand with booths, as well.
“We’re going to stress that this is a family business,” Nolen said. “And this is just a good summer event.
“Hopefully a lot of people will have fun and talk good about us and we can do some good for the United Way at the same time. That’s what we want.”