November 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: Recovery Sports Grill

This weekend’s Sponsor Spotlight features the Recovery Sports Grill, one of the most popular sports restaurants in the area. They actually have eight locations including five locally (Albany, Amsterdam, Colonie, Rotterdam and Troy), one in Verona, NY, Westhampton, NJ and also Norfolk, VA.

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The Recovery Sports Grill restaurants are owned and operated by BBL Hospitality, and we spoke with the Sports Information Director John Palmeri to ask him a few questions.


John is a big Giants fan!

Whose idea was it to start a chain of restaurants? 

Don Led Duke (former BBL chairman and owner, who passed away in September 2010) had the vision to create a family friendly sports restaurant with enough TV’s to ensure no one misses the game they want to see.

Where did the name “Recovery Sports Grill” come from?

The original restaurant that opened in Albany on New Scotland Avenue is across from Albany Medical Center.  For this reason, Don thought it would be a fun idea to call it “Recovery Room.”  As we have expanded to locations that are not close to hospitals, we decided we should adjust the name a bit to fit any location.  The name “Recovery Sports Grill” was born just before we opened in Verona, NY and Troy, NY.

Each Recovery Sports Grill has it’s own theme correct? Who decides the theme of the restaurant?

The theme of each restaurant is actually decided on by the town or city well before we get there.  We try to determine which sports and teams the local residents are most interested in.  I wind up doing a bunch of research before going into a new location but at the end of the day, it’s the local customer that has already determined the theme for us.

How much planning does it take to decorate an entire restaurant?

The planning takes a substantial amount of time.  We try to meet with the different youth organizations, high schools, and colleges in the area.  We then try to collect photos and memorabilia pertinent to those schools and organizations.  Additionally, we need to find enough pictures to load up the walls and order the fatheads, helmets, banners, pennants, etc…. The most cumbersome part of the decorating process is framing each one of those photos!

How long does it take?

The pre-work and collection of memorabilia can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks.  We try to get the actual decorating of the restaurant done in 3-4 days.

Where do you find all the pictures and sports memorabilia?

We reach out to all the local youth organizations, schools, minor and professional teams in the area.  They usually supply us with lots of good stuff.  Additionally, I travel to a couple sports memorabilia conventions throughout the year and try to keep our inventory of pictures stocked at all times.

Do you have any valuable items in these restaurants?


Your favorite piece of memorabilia from one of the restaurants is…..

In Rotterdam we were able to get our hands on a painting of the 1954 Little League World Series Champions, Rotterdam Little League.  One of the members on that team, Billy Connors, went on to work in the NY Yankees organization for years.  In fact, I believe he is still there today.


For more information and view their menu, visit their website

We’ve held numerous events at their Recovery Sports Grill locations, including the kick off event for our Championship Trophy Tour last October. SouthPaw is a frequent visitor!

Here are some interior photos of their location in Rotterdam, located at 1925 Curry Road. We were there this past week for FOX Sports 980 and Recovery Sports Grill’s Barstool Banner. They were holding a fundraiser for Carman Little League as well.













Actual seats from Giants Stadium



Recap: Schoharie Field Renovation

Wednesday was very successful and rewarding for our entire front office staff . We spent the day renovating Schoharie Little League, which had been badly damaged from the floods of Hurricane Irene.

Check out the picture below…the water line reached the middle of the upstairs window in the concession stand behind home plate.

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Our staff, along with friends and league volunteers took to the field at 8 a.m. to begin the day long process.

First we cut out the old sod on the baselines, around home plate, the pitchers mound and along the infield.

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GM Rick Murphy cutting out old sod along home plate

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Stadium Operations Manager Keith Sweeney getting rid of the old sod

Next we laid out the new sod:

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Dug out the old home plate and pitchers mound:

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Started to mix in new dirt on the infield:

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Rebuilt the pitchers mound and home plate areas to correct specs:

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Other work included new coaches boxes, grading the infield and placing in new bases. A big thank you to all of the volunteers who helped throughout the day. It was a great success!

Some great stories were aired on the local news that evening…here are a few links and a few more photos:

FOX23: ValleyCats Helping Little Leaguers

YNN: ValleyCats pitch in with little league cleanup

News10: Valleycats help rebuild Schoharie Little League field

CBS6: ValleyCats repair destroyed Little League field in Schoharie

Times Union Photos

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Members of Schoharie Little League


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GM Rick Murphy with Account Executive Chris Dawson


‘Cats to renovate Schoharie Little League

Schoharie Little League under water following Hurricane Irene (

On Wednesday our entire front office is looking forward to revamping Schoharie Little League, which was damaged by Hurricane Irene. The floods caused by the hurricane left the entire playing surface under water and moved the dugouts and clubhouse off their foundations.

With the help of volunteers and clay provided by John Deere Landscaping, we will rebuild the entire infield surface, pitchers mound and home plate areas and will re-sod parts of the infield grass.

We’ve always felt a responsibility to our community to make sure we help the youth baseball/softball leagues in any way possible. That includes making sure they have safe and well-maintained fields to play on.

After ten years, we’ve had plenty of experience renovating youth fields in our area. Most recently we completed the 4 in 24 Extreme Field Renovation, where we renovated four youth baseball fields in just 24-hours.

This time it is just one field, but it’s extremely important to all the kids who will be looking forward to playing come spring time.

We’ll be sure to post a recap at the end of the week.