By Katie TerBeest —
Chris Olson, owner of The Sports Nut TV Bar & Grill, says that despite the neighborhood bar-type feeling you experience when you enter his sports bar, many of the customers he serves come from all over the area. “I’d say 98 percent of our customers drive here, and it’s become more of a destination spot for food.”
The menu at The Sports Nut boasts 19 different flavors of wings, many with homemade sauces. This variety, shaped over the 17 years The Sports Nut has been in business, was partially created via suggestions from customers and local college students. Offerings such as spicy mango, Cajun dry rub, and Asian Cajun add a twist to the classic bar favorite. The bar’s wings have been highly ranked in “Travel Wisconsin” and “Best Things Wisconsin,” among other places, and voted No. 1 in the city of La Crosse for approximately 10 years. These wings have also been a winner at La Crosse’s WingFest for two years. The kitchen offers daily food specials, and on Wednesdays after 3 p.m. wings are 50 cents each for dine-in customers.
Located at 801 Rose St. on the north side of La Crosse, what really sets The Sports Nut apart from other bars is its wide variety of menu offerings, including many unique Oriental options.
“Our egg rolls are homemade by my wife, and it’s a three-day process making them,” Chris explains. The egg rolls, which weigh a third of a pound each and come with two per order, look more like a burrito. “It’s one of the largest egg rolls you’ll ever find, and possibly the best,” he adds.
On Friday nights after 5 p.m., The Sports Nut highlights three different Korean cuisine specials, including Bulgoki, Chapchae and one called Bi Bim Bap, which is served in a stone bowl. Rice, which is cooked in the bowl to make it crispy, has almost a chip texture and is topped with veggies, meat and a fried egg. It’s paired with a spicy bean-curd paste that diners add to their liking, mixing all the ingredients together to enjoy this authentic Korean dish.
“For being one of the smaller bars in the city, the amount of quality food you can get here is what sets us apart, what makes this place a destination,” Olson says.
In addition to the diverse menu, The Sports Nut has plenty of televisions for viewing sporting events, along with a homey relaxed atmosphere, a large space for outdoor seating and a full bar that includes six tap beers and a delicious bloody mary. The bar offers catering and is able to host small events and parties, including birthday parties, rehearsal dinners and retirement celebrations.
For more information, visit www.sportsnutlax.com.