“Do you fantasy?” asked the man with an oversized moustache and too tight pants. I’ve always thought that facial hair is a sign of character weakness. Right now however, I have to get out of a tight situation. What is the right response to his question? Of course I have fantasies. Doesn’t everyone? Mine are mostly dirty. And I don’t particularly want to share them with another man.
I was at Rock and Reilly’s in New York City, an Irish sports bar that specialises in fantasy sports. For the uninitiated, fantasy sports is a sort of online game where fans create imaginary teams consisting of real players of a professional sport. The teams compete based on the statistical performance of the real players in real games. It’s mostly played by couch potatoes who can’t find dates. It is a multi billion dollar industry however, and Rock & Reilly’s sports a TV studio from which they stream fantasy sports news. Apparently the whole thing is so popular that Rock & Reilly’s will stop pretending to be an Irish pub and rebrand itself as the Fantasy Football Lounge.
Whatever. Rock & Reilly’s pours a decent cocktail and serves good burgers. It has a dramatic 8,000 square foot outdoor terrace with a retractable glass roof. At lunchtime it attracts a hip, attractive clientele who don’t appear to be fans of fantasy. In fact some of them are models who work in the garment district where the restaurant is located. Rock & Reilly’s is not a destination restaurant unless you are into fantasy sports. However, the space is attractive and light- filled, making it a good lunch time venue on a sunny day. And if you are a fantasy football fan – there’s a man with a moustache who can show you around.