“Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Sports Stop Pub & Grill, owned by Pete and Ria Riley, reopened nearly five years ago after a devastating fire.” That’s how one of the nominators for the Sports Stop as Business of the Year opened his/her comments.
Popular long before the great fire of July 2009 consumed the whole row of businesses where the Sports Stop was located, the bar and restaurant came back stronger than ever in February 2011 – and with a whole new look that included a pet-friendly dining patio and indoor dining area.
It also opened with a separate lounge, with seating for 25 at the bar, 10 tall cocktail tables, 110-inch high definition projection screen and 24 HD televisions, not to mention three pool tables, dart games and tournament shuffleboard – a true sports stop.
Since Pete works overseas much of the time, reopening and running the Sports Stop has fallen mostly on the shoulders of Ria; who, in spite of having young children at home, has managed to keep the Sports Stop one of the top destinations in the Towne Center with the help of a competent staff and prize-winning head chef Wayne Quintos.
According to the nominator, “Ria sets a great example for the young employees that work there. She teaches by example and gets the job done – and done well.”
The nominator also noted, “The Sports Stop is always giving back to the community in which they serve; donating both time and energy, which are a precious commodity.”
The Sports Stop is the backbone of the annual Oktoberfest, providing food and financial support with donations and sponsorships. It also provides low-cost meals for the monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheons, held in the City Multi-purpose Room.
The Sports Stop is a major sponsor for many community organization and events, as evidenced by the plaques of appreciation on the entrance wall. Some of the organizations that have benefitted are the Lions Club, CLAPPS, Wakeboard Club, Girls Softball, Boys Football, the Canyon Lake Car Show and more.
The nominator’s comments concluded by saying, “You’re always treated like a winner at the Sports Stop! Great owners, great staff and great food – a winning combination and a home team!”