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Last call at Sports Grille

Published: Wed, March 28, 2012 @ 12:07 a.m.

Fans of a Boardman restaurant are invited to a closing bash Saturday


The Youngstown Sports Grille’s last day in its South Avenue building is Saturday. “We’ll have a big going-away party with style. We have a lot to be proud of,” said owner Sean Pregibon, pictured here.

By Ashley Luthern



Youngstown Sports Grille owner Sean Pregibon said it almost seems like fate that Ohio State University’s men’s basketball team will compete Saturday in the Final Four during the restaurant’s last hurrah at its current location.

“We got a call late last week that our landlord had sold the building. ... Our last day will be this Saturday and coincidentally, it’s the Final Four and Ohio State University is playing. ... We’ll have a big going-away party with style. We have a lot to be proud of,” Pregibon said.

Pregibon said he has leased the building at 7463 South Ave. since it moved there six years ago and was told two years ago that the owners were putting it up for sale.

He said he did not have any intention of purchasing the building, that his current year-to-year lease is up Saturday and that the split with the landlord was amicable.

“The business isn’t closing; we just need a new home,” Pregibon said.

But where that new home will be isn’t clear yet.

“We’re exploring an opportunity in Cranberry, Pa., and we’re looking at two potential sites in downtown Youngstown that would be a smaller version of the restaurant, maybe 4,000 square feet, and other business opportunities in [the suburbs]. We have a lot of irons in the fire,” he said.

The Sports Grille celebrated its ninth anniversary in October and has spent about six years at the South Avenue location. Its original location was in the Boardman Plaza.

The change is a “very positive thing,” Pregibon said.

“It comes at a time in our lives that after 10 years of doing it, we can re-evaluate and look forward to the next opportunity,” he said.

Pregibon told his staff about the closing this week during what he called an informative and, at times, emotional meeting.

“It’s not just a job for some people, and they take a lot of pride in their work. ... We will be giving all of our employees recommendations and helping them as best we can. And in several months, I’ll be knocking on their doors,” he said.

Pregibon said he is keeping all of the memorabilia from Youngstown State University and other sports leagues to use when he reopens.

As for the 7,524-square-foot South Avenue building, the Mahoning County Auditor website lists the owner as Triadic Associates of Warren, and the last sale date as June 6, 2005. Attempts to reach the building owner Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Before the Sports Grille moved in, the building housed the Ground Round Grill and Bar, a restaurant that has franchised locations primarily in the Midwest.

Pregibon said he doesn’t know what’s in store for the building, but said his business will return “bigger, better and stronger.”

“We’re just working on the next chapter. It’s kind of a ‘to-be-continued dot-dot-dot’” he said.


1geturpetzfixed(10 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

why not go to the old Rustys? great location, nice restaurant

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2block50(128 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

No one survives at that location. I think it's been hexed. I've been to every eatery that's been there. They've been good, but just don't make it.

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3taxme(361 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

first you have to have a good restaurant to make it. So so bar food doesnt constitute food let alone good! Second you have to have good management. Obviously strike two! It's not the location. Great location that needs a franchise that's successful!

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4yng00128(67 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Actually the old Rusty's has been sold to the owners of cafe 422 of Niles....

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5polandfan(27 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

The old Lone Star Steak House location on the Boardman-Poland 224 border would ROCK!

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6Harley_Guy(146 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Old Lone Star Steak House has been sold to some investors as well - restaurant coming soon...

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7peacelover(838 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

I hope he can stay in Y-town and not go to PA; after all it is the YOUNGSTOWN Sports Grill!

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8Harley_Guy(146 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

BTW - Pregibon knew WELL BEFORE last week that they would be evicted. The building was sold a while ago and he was privileged to the fact that he would need to relocate … I always wonder why people feel the need to lie? I suppose this falls right in line with his everyday management/owner style.

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9PhilKidd(189 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

First, I think the YSG should relocate downtown (what a shocker, I know).

Idea: Rust Belt Brewing is looking to expand operations on site at the B&O Station. The owners of the B&O would like to do a brew pub concept there. If the Youngstown Sports Grille, Rust Belt and B&O could somehow come together to make this happen, I think it would be a home run for both businesses, the building owner and certainly the city.

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10peacelover(838 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

I love PhilKidd's idea.

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11ThatGirl99(1 comment)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

You can't believe a word that comes out of Pregibons mouth, the guys is as shady as they come! Wasn't too long ago we saw him in court for Workers Comp troubles. He's a slime ball

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12bmanresident(607 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

This just made my day. A sleazeball that he is should definitely move to pa and then we could put in a reputable business in that spot. I say bulldoze it and Put up another drug store!!

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13author50(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

It is my understanding that The Wing Warehouse is moving into the building, whether The Wing Warehouse also purchased the building, I do not know.

I hope that the owners of the YSG and its employees and vendors land on their feet.

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14patrickhm(26 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

With the uptick in business activity in downtown Youngstown, I think the bar grill will thrive. It's proximity to YSU would certainly make it a gold mine.

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15badeepster(124 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Pregibon is no good. Last time I was there they had no condiments for a hamburger. No ketchup, mustard, anything. We told the waitress to go to Giant Eagle and get some and she said Pregibon was too cheap to do that. What makes me laugh is his statement of wanting to keep his YSU memorabilia when he was the one who kicked the YSU football and basketball radio shows out of his bar because people weren't ordering enough food and drink. Good riddance. Tell him to relocate somewhere in Wyoming.

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16YtownSports(306 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Wing Warehouse has been looking at YSG and other locations locally for several months. Lone Star building had a "sold" sign on it briefly, but apparently is still available.

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17djicey99(70 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I hope it won't be the same owners of the wing warehouse in niles. the one partner was pittsburgh does not know how to keep a close eye on the kitchen. Let me just say what I saw back there, it's a wonder how people aren't getting hepatitis!?!

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