Mavericks Sports Grill To Host Sports Hall Of Fame
By Ken Datzman // January 2, 2013
PHILANTHROPY & SPORT
Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Grand Opening Feb. 7 Will Benefit Health First Foundation
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A group of area businessmen whose expertise includes marketing, promotions and special events have become partners in Mavericks Sports Grill & Bar (formerly Dogs Grill) and plan to make it the most popular restaurant of its kind in the region.
And the investors are bringing to the more than 250–seat family facility on East Merritt Island Causeway a unique, local attraction. This will be the physical and permanent location for the upstart Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame, which inducted its first class of athletes and other notables this year.
Tom Palermo, one of the founders of the organization, said he wants the enshrinees and the community in general to know that the Sports Hall of Fame, “isn’t just something out in cyberspace. This is a place where they can bring their friends and their families and really enjoy themselves. They can take a trip down memory lane.”
The Hall will be in a dedicated area of the restaurant. The restaurant will show off the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame at a Feb. 7 grand opening that will benefit the Health First Foundation.
Dogs Family Sports Bar & Grill, which will be rebranded as Maverick’s Sports Grill & Bar early next year, is owned by longtime restaurateur Nick Zervos and businessman Lou Berman. Zervos has built a successful portfolio of sports bars and grills in Brevard County. They include Dogs R Us locations in Titusville and Florida Seafood Bar & Grill in Cocoa Beach.
“Now with the Sports Hall of Fame coming, our goal is to make it the number–one sports bar and grill in Brevard,” said Zervos, who has been in the restaurant business for 30 years in the county and grew up in the hospitality industry. “My father owned Greek diners and taverns up north.”
Cooked Fresh to Order
Zervos said the roughly 7,000–square–foot restaurant on Merritt Island is known for its freshly prepared food. “Everything is cooked fresh to order. We provide sizable portions for a fair price. We offer a full menu, from steak burgers to seafood. We have some really great crab cakes and we’re expanding our seafood selections.”
His new partners at the Merritt Island restaurant are Giles Malone, vice president of area publishing company Maverick Multimedia Inc., which produces Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine and other print and digital products including SpaceCoastDaily.com; Tom Palermo, president and chief executive officer of Maverick Multimedia; and his brother, Dr. Jim Palermo, Maverick Multimedia editor–in–chief.
Berman for many years was a practicing certified public accountant in the county. He co–founded the firm Berman Hopkins, known today as Berman Hopkins Wright & LaHam, CPAs and Associates.
“We are coming in as partners with our expertise being marketing, promotions, and special events,” said Malone.
Among the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame founders Malone and the Palermos have deep roots in sports. Malone is a member of the United Soccer League Hall of Fame, while the Palermos have a rich sports family history as their uncle is New York Yankee great and Hall of Famer Yogi Berra.
The Palermo’s father, Jimmy, was with the St. Louis Browns organization from 1926 through 1939. Malone’s father, Roger, was a noted national TV soccer commentator and sports writer in England for three decades.
“Nick’s expertise as one of the Space Coast’s leading restauranteurs is exceptional. All his restaurants are recognized for their high-quality food and service and with Lou’s experience as a leading CPA and numbers expert, we feel that we have the right set of ingredients for a recipe of success.”
Community Event Center
To attract more people to that area of Brevard County, Malone said his team will be putting on community festivals such as Mardi Gras, St. Patricks Day and Oktoberfest Street Parties. “We believe that these outdoor, community gatherings are a great way for people to come together to enjoy each others company along with great food, drinks and entertainment.”
Dogs Family Sports Bar & Grill is close to Walmart, a high–traffic area of Merritt Island. Studies show that “about 45,000 cars a day go by the restaurant,” said Malone, whose company is also in the sports–management business.
“We have a great tradition of bringing college softball teams, college baseball teams, and high school teams to the region. We have about 125 teams that come from out of state into this area every spring. We house them. We feed them. We arrange their games and their practices.”
He said the events they plan to put on “will generate 5,000– to 6,000–room nights this spring for hotel operators in the area. We’re looking to bring these out–of–area teams, their families, and their supporters to the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame on a regular basis.”
The restaurant has wide–screen and other size televisions displayed throughout the complex. It’s a Direct TV subscriber and offers complimentary Wi–Fi service to customers.
Dr. Palermo, who for four decades was a practicing surgeon and healthcare administrator in the region, said the Dogs Family Sports Bar & Grill on Merritt Island is an attractive facility that needs little physical improvement.
“We are going to do some enhancements in the Sports Hall of Fame area of the building, but we are pretty well set in terms of having the infrastructure in place to develop this venture into the top sports bar and grill destination in the region,” he said.
“Because we are so close to the beach, I believe we are going to be a tourist attraction and draw people from the beach to the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame,”added Tom Palermo.
“They can have a nice meal and get a little flavor of the history of our community in regard to sports.”
The Palermos’ ancestors operated one of the first sports bars in the nation. It was in St Louis, Mo., on the corner of Spring Avenue and Sullivan Avenue, “which was at the left field corner of old Sportsman’s Park,” said Dr. Palermo.
“That’s where I grew up the first five years of my life. It was over that saloon, which was established by my grandfather. That experience goes way back for us.”
Dogs Family Sports Bar & Grill on Merritt Island is equipped to host business functions, meetings, banquets and other community gatherings, said Tom Palermo. The facility can accommodate from 50 to 60 people for these functions, in various seating arrangements with full technology capabilities for presentations, he said. “We are making it a turnkey operation for the customer.”
Hall of Fame Opening To Benefit Health First Foundation
The Mavericks Grand Opening and 2013 Space Coast Hall of Fame Nominee Party will benefit the Health First Foundation, and feature Space Coast Sports Hall of Famers, sports memorabilia, and live and silent auctions.
“As Brevard County is so rich with athletic talent in the sports categories of professional, college, prep, recreational, coaching and life-time achievement, the 2013 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Grand Opening and Nominee Party on February 7 is sure to be a home-run,” said Malone.
The festivites are open to all members of the general public from 6-9 p.m., to come to Mavericks Sports Grill & Bar on Merritt Island (formerly Dogs Sports Bar & Grill) to enjoy a sumptuous all-you-can-eat extravaganza from the chefs at Mavericks, along with unlimited beer and wine.
The evening will also feature a silent auction with a wide variety of unique goods and services on offer, as well as a special live auction including fun and valuable collectable sports memorabilia.
Make your reservation now as only 250 tickets are available at $75 each by calling 321-615-8111.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE GRAND OPENING OF THE SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME CALL 321-615-8111 OR E-MAIL SPACECOASTDAILY@GMAIL.COM