The Heights needed Prospect Sports Bar and Grill. There aren't that many true sports bars in town, and the best ones are near the I-430/I-630 nexus, not so close to where lots of sports lovers live. And Prospect is a cool place to hang out and check out a game — or a few games simultaneously.
What it's not is a great place to eat. There are some decent choices, but there are some disappointments, too. Bar food can be done much better (Dugan's Pub, for example), and you'd think a spot owned by the Chi family would have a better-than-average chance of churning out some top-notch grub.
Like a decent burger, which Prospect's is not, even at $10.50 with house-made chips ($12.50 with fries). Our buddy called it bland, boring, and the deli ham ("shaved pit ham," the menu calls it) was distracting and superfluous. The chips tasted of too-old, too-tired grease.
Two other losers:
1) The creamy crab artichoke dip ($11). Like most dishes that tout "lump crab meat" there were only scant shards, not hefty lumps, to be found. And there wasn't a lot of discernible artichoke either. The prominent taste was cream cheese. The accompanying pita chips were tough. 2) The chili ($3.50 cup, $5.25 bowl). The beef was too finely ground, too chili-powdered; it reminded us of what tops dairy bar chilidogs; our friend called it "ground beef sludge."
The smoked wings ($8 for eight pieces; $4 on Sundays) were our favorite. They were very meaty, and smoking them is a nice touch. We tried the honey mustard and the dry-rub; both were subtly applied and tasty. We also liked the queso, the very smooth, white variety ($6 for about two-thirds of a bowl).
Two other winners were the hot avocado melt ($8.50) and the bourbon bread pudding. Griddling the sandwich turned the avocado and slice of Swiss nice and gooey, and the sweet grilled onions worked well on it. The bread pudding was the only homemade dessert among the six offered. It was firm and cinnamony with a few dried cranberries adding to the taste profile. Ice cream wasn't mentioned on the menu, but two scoops came atop it.
Prospect takes its sports bar theme seriously where the decor is concerned. In the entrance are 10 boxes with Hogs cushions. (They're potential seats with no view, we guess.) West of that is a small lounge with two overstuffed leather chairs, six other chairs and one TV. Still west of that is a separate space with two pool tables, an interactive golf video game and two TVs. There are retractable doors that allow that space to open to the street and the bar that lines that northern wall is glass with squishy oil in it. It's pretty cool.
There's a Razorback mural with drawings of Nolan Richardson, Darren McFadden and Bobby Portis, plus some stadium-and-arena ambiance shots. There's a full picture of War Memorial Stadium (remember when the Hogs used to play there?) above the secondary bar in the main room. There are 20 TVs overall, but not many of them are hooked up to the NFL Ticket, so there are only three pro games shown even when thrice that many are being played.
In short, Prospect is a pretty cool place to hang out. It's got a decent vibe and we've had friendly waiters and bartenders. But the food's just not that great.
Prospect Sports Bar & Grill
5501 Kavanaugh Blvd.
Prospect has a number of attractive food specials: We've capitalized on half-price wings ($4 vs. $8) on more than one Sunday. There are also $1 domestic beers with Prospect Classic Burger 11 p.m.-3 p.m. daily.
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Can order to-go. Full bar. All CCs.
Maybe they're owned by a Chik-Fil-A devotee. Or Hobby Lobby. But I just called and…