MOORESVILLE – Aaron Gunn grew up in the restaurant business working first at a Dairy Queen and then as a manager of a pizza place at age 19 in the St. Louis area.
He then went to college and began working in corporate retail sales, which eventually moved him to the Charlotte area.
After four years, Gunn realized he loved the area filled with lakes, mountains and beaches, but wanted something different professionally.
A bar and grill called Hotshots out of St. Louis was a popular, thriving business looking to expand, and Gunn thought it would make a fun place to own.
So on Sept. 13, 2013, the Mooresville location of Hot Shots opened.
“The first one to open outside of St. Louis,” Gunn said proudly.
The business can be described as a bar with a restaurant attached. The main area is purposely open so customers can see everything that is available, according to Gunn.
There are pool tables, dartboards, jumbo Jenga cornhole and beer pong to be played.
High and low top tables with cushioned chairs mingle with neon beer signs and plenty of big screen televisions.
In fact, there are 25 televisions with two jumbo screens measuring 140 inches and 195 inches.
“We are different because we are a true sports bar,” Gunn said. “It is our primary focus.”
But there is also a concentration on the food.
There are chewy pretzel bites baked in the pizza oven, fries or chips tossed in garlic Parmesan sauce and crisp salads. There are also giant potatoes stuffed with various items such as pulled pork, scrambled eggs or pot roast.
Or for a splurge, try the grilled cheese bacon burger, which uses a complete grilled cheese sandwich as the bun.
Hotshots strives to have the very best in American bar food.
They make many items in-house such as potato salad, coleslaw and wing sauces. They also hand patty the fresh, never-frozen ground beef and try to get as much produce as possible from local vendors or farmer’s markets.
There is an emphasis on St. Louis-style food items.
For example, the jalapeños are stuffed with cheddar cheese for the poppers and then served with a spicy ranch dipping sauce. There is toasted ravioli with a marinara dipping sauce.
And the pizza is St. Louis-style, which means it has a very thin crust, and topped with Provel cheese, which is a mix of cheddar, Swiss and provolone cheeses.
Hotshots boasts a full bar with many choices and daily specials.
There is a ‘Beat the Clock Happy Hour‘ every Monday through Friday with prices increasing as time goes on. There are also food specials with $3 burgers, wings and pizza.
Although it does have a bar atmosphere, it also is a family place during lunch, early evenings and on weekends.
Gunn is happy to have found the Mooresville location.
“I looked at many different areas including Pineville before settling here,” Gunn said. “The people have been so nice and welcoming. I feel very supported here.”
The fun, laid-back atmosphere paired with bar food and sports should please many a customer. Hotshots Mooresville is ready to be your sports bar.
Want to go? Hotshots Sports Bar and Grill, 247 E. Plaza Drive, Mooresville, 704-799-0748.