In Your NeighborhoodDelhi Twp - Holt - Dimondale - Southside Lansing


Cleats Bar and Grille is the perfect place to kick it for the FIFA Women's World Cup

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-21 15:32:30-04

LANSING, Mich. — The FIFA Women's World Cup has kicked off, and there's one place in Lansing that is serving up good eats with authentic soccer vibes, Cleats Bar and Grille, which is located in the Hope Sports Complex.

"We have a wonderful house guacamole and chips, so that's gonna be our goalie guacamole. And we have a red, white and blue sangria, and we will have a golden boot margarita offered, and they'll be at discounted prices so people can enjoy them," said Hope Sports Complex General Manager and Cleats Bar and Grille Owner Julie Mullin.

The restaurant can hold up to 550 a people, and they'll be transforming their outdoor patio into a match watch zone, weather permitting.

"People can now come on Friday night it's going to be our first hosted game, and it's a later game at 8:45 p.m. kick off, which is a little bit later than what we normally do, but we're going to stay open for as long as we have to so people can enjoy the games," said Mullin.

Mullin took over Hope Sports Complex 10 years ago and has worked on creating a versatile work, play, eat environment.

"I had a soccer club for kids, and we ran a space wherever we were before, and I formed a public private partnership with the city of Lansing, and we have a long-term lease with them currently, still. And we just decided to bring our whole entire soccer club over here as well as open up the whole park to other sports and kind of turn this whole park into a community gathering place for different sports and social gatherings and special events," said Mullin.

But it's more than just a soccer club, Hope Sports Complex is home to sand volleyball, lacrosse and rugby leagues. They've also hosted matches for semi-professional women's soccer teams, and of course, all these athletes need a place to eat.

"This place was actually going to close down to the public because it was under water, and when I took it over, the first thing I knew was I was going to put in a restaurant bar. And I did it for the sports families originally so that the parents could drop off their kids, go to training, have you know a little time before a game, and then, they could have a cocktail maybe do some homework after work or anything that they needed to," said Mullin.

The inspiration to have something more than a concession stand came from Mullin's own experience traveling with her kids to soccer tournaments in Europe.

"I have four children, and my two youngest played soccer in college, and I literally traveled thousands of miles across the country and in different countries for their games, and tournaments and special events. When my daughter was 15, I took her to Europe, and we were there for three weeks, visited four countries, every single city had a restaurant bar connected to their soccer complex, and so it was a gathering place for the community with just people watching soccer having coffee and sandwiches and wine and beer at night, and I'm like why don't we have that in the U.S.," said Mullin.

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