Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Catch Super Bowl XLIII at Tobacco Road

Join us on Sunday, Feb. 1, for Super Bowl XLIII as the Arizona Cardinals take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa Bay. Super Bowl drink specials include:

  • $2 Coors Light
  • $2.50 Corona
  • $6 Jager Bombs
  • $2 Jim Bean
We are taking reservations for all of the tables and recliners in the bar area. There is a $25 per person minimum for table reservations in the viewing area. Call us at 919-832-3688 for more information or email events@tobaccoroadsportscafe.com.

First come, first serve seating is available at the bar itself and you can call-ahead (832-3688) 30 minutes before for a table in the main dining room.

Watching the game from your recliner at home? We're offering 20% off of to-go food orders on Super Bowl Sunday.

Monday, January 19, 2009

We're on Facebook! Plus, new photos.

Tobacco Road now has a Facebook page where we'll post photos, event information and more. The "and more" will be determined when I figure out the whole Facebook thing... I had resisted setting up a page for Tobacco Road because I didn't want to confuse anyone by having too many ways to access the same information. But, I suppose that this allows our guests to access the information via the channel that they prefer. Really, one of our star employees set up the Facebook page so now I am forced to finally give in to the Facebook phenomenon. With that said, I haven't figured everything out yet. For instance, can I give you a link to our page? I can't seem to find a way to do that, so I guess you can just search for Tobacco Road and you'll find it.

I posted a photo album on there from a busy night a couple weekends ago (Panthers game). The photos were taken by Brian Mullins, who is also our wedding photographer.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

99.9 The Fan Live Broadcasts This Week

Stop by Tobacco Road for live broadcasts by the local ESPN station, 99.9 "The Fan."
The Sports Lunch, hosted by Mike Maniscalco, is from noon to 1 p.m.
Insiders, hosted by Scott Jackson and Mark Thomas, is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The schedule for the next month is:
Tues. Jan 20—Insiders
Wed. Jan. 21—Sports Lunch
Tues. Jan 27—Insiders
Mon Feb 2—Sports Lunch
Tues. Feb 3—Insiders
Fri. Feb 6—Sports Lunch
Mon.Feb.9—Sports Lunch
Tues Feb 10—Insiders
Fri Feb 13—Insiders
Tuesday Feb. 16—Sports Lunch
Thurs. Feb.18—Insiders

Watch the Inauguration at Tobacco Road

Stop by Tobacco Road this Tuesday for lunch and watch the inauguration. Make it a working lunch by taking advantage of our free wireless. Just ask an employee for the access info.

Thanks for the excellent feedback. We've been making changes based on your input. One of the improvements we've already made is increasing the size of our wings.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Win Carolina Panther Playoff Tickets

Want to see the Panthers in the Playoffs? The Insiders have your tickets to the game on Saturday! Stop by Tobacco Road Sports Cafe TODAY beginning at 3 p.m. and register. 99.9 "The Fan" will draw a winner at 5:50 p.m. You and a guest could be on your way to Charlotte.

* You MUST be 18 years or older to win.
* You MUST be present to win at 5:50pm on Thursday, January 8 or another name will be drawn.
* Prize includes two (2) tickets only. Transportation will be the responsibility of the winner.

Photos: ESPN's Tirico, Food and More

Thanks to everyone that made it out on Tuesday to meet ESPN's Mike Tirico as he hosted the Mike Tirico Show from the remote broadcast booth at Tobacco Road.
We finally had a chance to set up a photo shoot with Brian Mullins, our photographer. He took the photo below and we have also updated tobaccoroadsportscafe.com with some new photos, including a few shots of some Tobacco Road menu items.

Monday, January 5, 2009

On Weddings & Smoking

Let me introduce myself. My name is Amy and I work at Tobacco Road as a hostess. I also help the Amra boys with advertising and marketing for Tobacco Road. In addition, as of next month, I’ll be the newest member of the Amra family. I am engaged to Rommie Amra, the youngest (and also the handsomest, kindest, etc.—but that is for another post) of the Amra brothers.

Given the recent opening of Tobacco Road and the impending nuptials it has been a stressful time for all of us, but for me there has been a common theme. Compromise. Or, really, the complete inability to make everyone happy no matter how hard you try. As wedding planning and online commentary on Tobacco Road escalate this week I can’t help but ask myself—which is more challenging: a) Trying to plan a multicultural wedding in such a way that both families are happy or b) Trying to open a non-smoking restaurant called Tobacco Road in the heart of tobacco country in such a way that smokers and non-smokers are happy. The jury is still out.

But, communication is always the key to compromise, right? And I feel partly to blame for not previously doing a better job of communicating on this subject. So, let me try to clarify a few things, divided into the following topics and actual steps that led to the decision to be a non-smoking restaurant and bar.
· Step 1: The Name
· Step 2: The Logo
· Step 3: The Poll

I know that this explanation certainly won't silence the critics. That is not the goal. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It is just that, an explanation.

Step 1: The Name

This one is pretty easy. Many months ago the boys (Amra brothers) were enthusiastically throwing out name ideas for the new restaurant that they were planning to open on Glenwood in downtown Raleigh. Let’s just say that many lame name ideas thankfully bit the dust. Then one of them suggested Tobacco Road Sports Café (Rommie claims it was his idea). It struck a chord with all of them and it was agreed upon. The fact that the three of them agreed upon something with little debate is not to be taken lightly and called for post-haste development of a logo before one of them realized that they had all agreed upon something with no argument.

I remember that when they told me about the name I liked the sound of it but didn’t know what it meant. Rommie explained that Tobacco Road is a term usually used to describe the incredible college sports (and basketball specifically) tradition in North Carolina, with the Tobacco Road universities being Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State and Wake Forest.

The name signifies two important things to us: a focus on sports and, more importantly, a passion for sports in North Carolina. When we think Tobacco Road we think of amazing young athletes and die-hard North Carolina fans.

Step 2: The Logo

With that said about the name, we then needed to create a logo. We hired Jon Cain, a freelance designer with extensive logo design experience, to create our logo. We DID suggest putting Tobacco Leaves in the logo, although it wasn’t a requirement. Why? Because the tobacco industry played a large part in enabling our state to establish some of the best universities in the country. Jon was asked to design a logo that conveyed a balance between the traditions and energy associated with Tobacco Road sports.

Thus, a logo was born. Actually, there were many versions prior to the winner. I think he did a great job. I tend to lean towards very simple and, quite frankly, pretty boring logo designs but this logo was just what we wanted and, I think, needed. At the very least it has sparked some healthy debate.

Step 3: The Poll

So, with a name and a logo we could start getting the word out about the Tobacco Road Sports Café concept. We started this blog and also sent an email campaign to the Amra’s email subscriber list asking them if they’d like to opt-in to a Tobacco Road email list. Over 300 people opted in right away.

At this point construction was already underway and the guys brought up the possibility of making the restaurant non-smoking. It is certainly a risky move in tobacco country. So, we decided to post a poll on our blog and we sent an email to the 300+ Tobacco Road email list subscribers. We left the poll open for a few weeks and the results were clear. Over 80% voted for non-smoking in both the bar and main dining room.

I saw a commenter on another blog suggest that the poll was rigged. While I understand that consumers can be a bit jaded, the suggestion is ridiculous and insulting, to be quite honest. If anything, we were leaning towards smoking because it certainly is the “safer” option.
In conclusion, we are happy that Tobacco Road is a place where our guests and employees can enjoy a smoke-free atmosphere.