Easton is about to get a new sports bar in the main circle. Rivals, a new venture co-owned by entrepreneurs Matthew Cochran and David Madochick, is aiming to open in July.
The bar/restaurant will take over the former Club Beyond spot at 5 Lehn’s Court in the heart of Easton’s downtown. The space has sat dormant following a string of crime at the establishment in 2009 that included 31 underage drinking citations and culminated with charges against the club owner who allegedly tampered with evidence in an attempted homicide by stabbing at the club. Cochran said he is aware of the past issues with the establishment and even visited the former club a couple times, thinking, “I’d love to own it and turn it into something Easton would appreciate, not knowing that the opportunity would arise years later!”
The entire inside will be getting a facelift. New hardwood floors, a bar top, lighting fixtures, tables/booths, a stage, and tile bathrooms are just some of the improvements the team will be making to the inside. The outside will be getting a makeover as well, including outdoor seating. Cochran commented, “All that will help change the look and feel of the building but the most important aspects of Rivals will be the staff and the entertainment. Those two factors will determine the clientele that comes in the door and the clientele that comes back.”
Their staff will have extensive background in the services industry and the bar will keep security personnel on-hand. Cochran further said, “…the experience and connections we have in the entertainment business will bring quality entertainment downtown… It’s that simple. We want people to come here and have an amazing time while feeling safe.”
So, why Easton? Cochran said their draw was that there are no true sports bars in the downtown area. After scouting locations all over the east coast, ranging from Florida to New York, Cochran heard about the former Club Beyond being up for grabs and jumped on the opportunity. Thinking back to when he wished to transform the venue into something better, he brought his business partners to the building and they loved it as well.
Rivals will essentially be two ideas in one. The building is divided into two sections and the new owners intend to keep that structure. In the front half the sports bar will feature twenty (possibly more) independently-operated 55” HDTVs including an 8-TV wall. The bar will also have a top of the line sound system. The other half of the building will be a nightclub featuring a dance floor and a stage. Cochran says the emphasis will be on a sports bar and family establishment aspects first and the night club second. The menu will specialize in wings with over 20 sauce varieties. The full menu will include other bar food, a kids menu, and vegetarian dishes. They will open for lunch daily and have entertainment ranging from karaoke and bar bingo to DJs and bands.
The main partners in the business are local, as well. Mr. Cochran said of his and his partner’s decision to open in Easton, “This was a dream come true for me personally. The other owner is from the Lehigh Valley and has always had aspirations of owning a bar. This was a dream come true for him too since he’s local. He actually just moved downtown and loves the city. It’s great being a part of this area because the city is really doing a lot of work and investing a lot back into the community and businesses so it’s nice to be part of that growth and help out. Plus because of all the other bars in just our corner of center square, we can help each other out and create a hot spot for nightlife. We plan on collaborating, not competing, with all the places down here to create a better, larger product for people.”