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Rookies steps up to take place of O’Leary’s Irish Pub

Keith Steinberg and Jeremy Danielson purchased O’Leary’s Irish Pub in July and renamed it Rookies Sports Bar and Grill in October. Photo by David Samson

When the new sports bar and grill Rookies opened at 715 13th Ave. E. in West Fargo, where an Irish pub used to stand, more than the theme changed.

Reile’s Acres neighbors Keith Steinberg and Jeremy Danielson purchased the former O’Leary’s Irish Pub on July 1.

Initially, they had plans to name their business Benchwarmers Sports Bar, but a Bismarck eatery already had that name, Steinberg said.

“We went back to the drawing board,” he said, and asked customers to help name the business.

Rookies was one of the submitted names.

“We’re not an Irish pub anymore,” said Steinberg. “We’re a locally-owned sports bar. We really wanted to change the brand and do something different.”

Steinberg and Danielson, both sports enthusiasts, renamed the business in October, remodeled the interior and came up with a completely new menu called The Sports Page.

On the menu are burgers, corned beef and grilled chicken breast sandwiches with basketball theme names.

Other sandwiches and wraps carry hockey monikers.

Rookies offers a wide range of homemade, hand-tossed pizzas with a football link.

Baseball is the theme for more than a dozen appetizers including chicken wings.

Think golf when ordering soups and salads.

Pizza seems to be the hot item, said Danielson.

“That’s what we get the most requests for.”

Along with food, Rookies offers free games.

Poker is held on Monday night, bingo on Tuesday, trivia on Wednesday, Steak Night is Thursday and karaoke is on Friday nights. Saturdays are left open. Sunday Fun Day offers free games and darts, jukebox, videos and pool.

Shuffleboard is free every day.

This is the first foray into owning a bar for the longtime sports enthusiasts.

Danielson worked as a bartender in college and Steinberg, who was looking for a business to buy, worked in restaurants in high school and college, he said.

Rookies is the charitable gaming site for the West Fargo Hockey Association and sponsors the West Fargo High School Packatahnas dance team, Steinberg said.

The bar and grill has a 225-person occupancy with seating for about 140. The business employs 25 part-time workers.

Danielson also works for John Deere Electronic Solutions in Fargo.

Steinberg works for FIS, a bank technology company, and is on the board of the Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre.

Rookies’ customer demographic includes patrons in their 30s to mid-60s, Steinberg said.

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Saturday and noon to 2 a.m. on Sunday.

“We love the neighborhood,” said Steinberg. “We’re definitely a West Fargo-centric bar.”