Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill at Southland Park Gaming & Racing in West Memphis, Ark. Is the premier sports bar in the Mid-South. The 150-seat restaurant and sports bar has made quite a name for itself in just a year, featuring every game, every season on any of its 55 HDTVs, 20 draft beers served at a frigid 29 degrees and a killer menu that’s developed its own fan base. Sammy’s also features live weekly entertainment including local rock bands on weekend nights, as well as Live Band Karaoke, Live Trivia, Dart Tournaments and Fantasy sports events, year-round. There’s always a party taking place at Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill – “A sports bar that rocks.”
WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (June 26, 2014) – Southland Park Gaming & Racing is set to add to its hospitality and entertainment lineup with the newest restaurant concept by Sammy Hagar, the rock legend – known as “The Red Rocker” – who has also built an impressive empire of successful restaurants, bars and spirits.
Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill, a 150-seat restaurant and sports bar, will open as part of Southland Park’s $37.4 million expansion and exterior redesign project, scheduled to be completed by year’s end. Construction at the West Memphis, Ark., location began in January on the new 41,000-square-foot building that will house Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill, as well as a redesign and enhancement of the venue’s exterior, main drive and south entrance.
Hagar has been one of rock music’s most dynamic and prolific artists over a 40-year career that has included stints as the lead singer and frontman of the acclaimed band Van Halen and early 1970s seminal hard rock band Montrose. He’s earned the highest respect of the music industry with a Grammy Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside Van Halen and is currently on his fourth platinum run with the super group Chickenfoot. Along his journey, Hagar has also become a dedicated philanthropist, a New York Times best-selling author for his 2011 autobiography “Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock,” and auspicious entrepreneur.
Hagar, whose grandfather was an Italian chef, began his successful foray into restaurants and spirits in 1990 when he opened the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He has expanded the Cantina brand to include locations in Hollywood, Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe and successfully launched five Sammy’s Beach Bar and Grill restaurants, from which he uses his personal proceeds to local charities. In 2011, he partnered with celebrity chef Tyler Florence to open el Paseo in Mill Valley, Calif., and in 2012 opened the first Sammy’s Rockin’ Island Bar & Grill in Roseville, Calif.
In 1996 Hagar was seeking a tequila worthy of the Cabo Wabo name and began serving his Cantina patrons a house brand that he commissioned from a local multigenerational family of tequila makers in Mexico. By 2006 he had built Cabo Wabo into the second-best selling premium tequila in the United States.
In recent years Hagar has turned his attention to rum. The part-time Maui resident again found a local source, partnering with one of the island’s master distillers, Mark Nigbur, to produce Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, a silver rum distilled in small batches. In 2012, its first year on the market, the spirit garnered praise and several awards, including Best of Show at the highly competitive “2012 Nightclub and Bar Show” in Las Vegas.
“Sammy Hagar has turned a lifelong passion for great food, music and spirits into a thriving and iconic lifestyle brand that has grown to encompass successful restaurants, bars and spirits,” said Troy Keeping, Southland Park’s president and regional general manager. “We are extremely excited and proud to be partnering with Sammy Hagar to bring the first Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill to our patrons at Southland Park Gaming & Racing and everyone in the greater Memphis area.”
The new restaurant and sports bar at Southland Park will showcase Hagar’s new rum and the delicious food and great atmosphere of his other restaurant concepts – likely with a few new twists. Sammy's will also feature over 22 taps for draft beer. Jennifer Reynolds, Principal of Ideation Design Group in Phoenix, led her design team in creating the new Red Rocker look, as well as the design of Sammy’s other restaurants around the country. “There is nothing more exciting and challenging than trying to interpret Sammy’s rockstar lifestyle into a dynamic restaurant and bar that conveys the essence of Sammy Hagar” said Jennifer Reynolds.
“What could be more appealing than combining great music, sports and dining? With a menu developed from recipes of some of my favorite friends and celebrity chefs, our guests will be able to relax, enjoy a great meal and know that they are helping us give back to the community through our charitable donations," said Hagar. “Working with Southland Park to develop Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill has been a wonderful experience. And, I am really looking forward to the grand opening.”
Southland Park and parent company Delaware North Companies, a global hospitality and food service company that also operates regional gaming destinations, are working with Hagar’s team on the design and menus for Sammy’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill.
“Delaware North works with dozens of top national brands, and we were looking for the right opportunity to work with Sammy Hagar and bring one of his concepts to one of our many locations,” said Richard Schneider, vice president of hospitality for Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment. “Anyone who has been to one of Sammy’s restaurants or has sampled Cabo Wabo or the new rum knows the very high level of quality of his brands.”
Southland Park’s expansion will also house up to 250 new gaming machines – which will bring the venue’s total capacity to more than 1,750 games.
The current building’s exterior will be “reskinned” so that both it and the addition appear as one seamless complex. The exterior will feature new walls with improved signage and LED lighting, as well as improved disability access and parking. The southeast entrance from North Ingram Boulevard will be redesigned, and a new main drive created to a new porte-cochere and entrance of the venue. This will also create space for an expanded valet parking program. A new loading dock on the east side of the complex has been constructed.
“Our business keeps growing, and we anticipate that the expanded gaming floor and a great new concept such as Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill will give even more people a reason to come to Southland Park,” Keeping said. “We are becoming a large, multifaceted entertainment complex and destination.”
Southland Park completed an $11 million renovation and expansion project in 2012 that added 200 gaming machines, a larger event center, kitchen and serving space for the World Market Buffet, and Shine Blounge, which features signature moonshine drinks.
About Sammy Hagar
A full biography for Sammy Hagar is available here: https://www.redrocker.com/bio/sammy-hagar
About Southland Park Gaming & Racing
Southland Park Gaming & Racing has been a major racing venue for more than 50 years and now also has over 1,500 electronic games of skill, including video poker and blackjack, as well as an upscale buffet restaurant, Shine Blounge, steakhouse and a multi-purpose event center. Southland Park has long been a pivotal fixture of the West Memphis community, strongly supporting the community with jobs, business stability, and economic contributions. It has consistently won awards for its outstanding community service, including millions of dollars donated to neighborhood charities and educational institutions. Southland Park is owned and operated by Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment. More information is available at www.southlandpark.com.
About Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment
Delaware North Companies Gaming & Entertainment is one of the most innovative gaming and racing operators in the country, owning and/or operating several successful regional destination casinos and specializing in racing venues with added amenities such as table games, video gaming machines, poker rooms, full-service restaurants, retail shops and lodging. The company operates gaming and hospitality services at locations in New York, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, Arizona, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. The company is owned by Delaware North Companies, a global leader in hospitality. www.DelawareNorth.com.
Tomorrow, Friday Feb. 6th at 4pm Sammy will cut the ribbon for the newest addition to the Beach Bar and Grill Family with the Redrocker Bar and Grill at the Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis, AR!! Fans are encouraged to come out and be present for the ribbon cutting!
Sammy Hagar arrived at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame having sold millions of records and rocked thousands of concert stages around the world. When he started the Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, he never dreamed that its popularity would lead to a growing restaurant franchise in America. Cabo Wabo Tequila’s success is now reaching around the entire planet.
What could be more natural than to follow this with a unique rum from the Hawaiian Islands? Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, made with pure cane, has been an instant success. “One Sip and You’ll Surrender…” Sammy’s passion for food and cooking led to his developing this restaurant. Keep your eyes open because you’ll never know when Sammy may “rock in” for a visit. It’s been a sweet life. Now, for an encore, Sammy is bringing his positive energy to help kids in need by adopting the thought that you are never as tall as when you kneel to help a child. Sammy has established the Hagar Family Foundation to help local community children’s charities. This restaurant supports The Foundation. Enjoy a great meal and know that together we can make a difference.