The Bounce Story: Sexing Up a NYC Sports Bar

If A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Harvey are choosing your bar as a place to kick back in New York City, you’re probably doing something right.

Yosi Benvenisti, founder of Bounce Sporting Club, says it’s the high-low atmosphere at his two locations—one on the Upper East Side, and another in the Flatiron District—that keeps customers coming back for more. It doesn’t hurt that nearly a decade ago, Benvenisti worked as a club promoter in the city, meaning he knows the ropes.

“It gave me a person-to-person relationship with my clients, to know what they want, and what they are looking for,” he says of his promoting past.

Bounce serves sports bar staples with a twist, Benvenisti says, and takes great pride in its food and beverage program. With a gourmet menu and top-shelf drinks, the bar caters to working professionals on nights and weekends.

“We have infused banana Jameson, and do things like tempura nacho bites,” he says. “It’s what differentiates us.”

They also push day parties during the summer, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The televisions get shut off and it’s more of a party atmosphere with D.J.s and in-house entertainment and dancing, he says.

But what the clubs are known for is the football-season crowds. On football Sundays alone, the bars bring in about $60,000, he says, and last year Bounce earned $4.5 million during the football season, nearly half of its annual revenue.

“We’ve been able to transform the traditional NFL party with our corporate clients, and give it the sexiness of an A-list night club,” Benvenisti says. “We have a great energy and vibe.”

Benvenisti plans to expand in 2014, having chosen strategic partners in both Philadelphia and Dallas.

“We are in the sports bar lounge game for 10 years in New York City, and so many people come here and say, ‘this would work so well back home,” he says. “At this point, we have hit the New York market pretty hard, and our operations are running smoothly. We think this will allow us to expand nationally.”

So is a Bounce franchise in the future? That he won’t say.

“Maybe later—the first goal is to branch out, and show the model will work,” Benvenisti says.