Find venison, cocktails and 35 TVs at Big Game in Old Fourth Ward

Owner’s sandwich shop Motorboat to open this summer

More than three years after first announcing plans to open Big Game sports bar in Old Fourth Ward, Tim Catalfo’s project has finally come to fruition.

With more than 35 televisions spread throughout the space — including in the bathrooms and on the patio — Big Game strives to appeal to sports fans who want access to their favorite teams while drinking a cold beer.

But the bar, which opened in mid-February at 720 Ralph McGill Blvd., also offers a weekend menu with a focus on wild game, an option seen on few other menus in Atlanta.

Offered Fridays-Sundays, the Big Game and Trophy Fish menu includes a rotating selection of dishes. The opening menu’s protein options include cured rainbow trout, roasted pigeon and rabbit saddle.

Catalfo, a lifelong hunter and fisherman, said he worked with Forest Park-based Revere Meats to identify meats sourced to ensure that every animal taken out of a herd is replaced. He stressed that endangered species will never be used.

The menu will also feature dry-aged and longer-cured meats that could potentially come from animals raised on ranches.

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Credit: Big Game

Credit: Big Game

Catalfo, along with executive chef Mario Brinson, also created the “elevated bar food” Stadium Menu, with more cost-conscious options like sandwiches, sides and appetizers that will be served daily.

Dishes on that menu include starters like frog legs with a jalapeno aioli, a duck quesadilla and venison tartare; salads; sandwiches including the Big Game bison burger, cranberry boar sausage and seared tuna; and entrees like roasted mushroom risotto, duck meatloaf and grilled lamb chips.

Sides include rosemary duck fat fries and creamed spinach, and the offerings also include charcuterie and cheese boards.

The two menus allow Catalfo “to have a chef who I don’t burn out in the kitchen, who has full autonomy to be creative with new products and big game animals,” he said.

On the beverage side, look for several beers, more than 25 wines and five cocktails on the opening menu, with at least 10 more to be added in the coming weeks.

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A cocktail-focused drinks program was chosen, in part, to make sure Big Game wouldn’t be competing with Catalfa’s bar Bantam Pub, located across the street.

The Big Game has 253 seats spread between the interior and the Old Fourth Ward Park-facing patio, with 65 seats outside and 30 at the indoor rugby ball-shaped bar.

Design elements include steel, stone and wood, including live-edge tables made with maple, walnut and cypress and some exotic woods.

“It emulates the feel of a huntsman’s lodge in an urban setting,” Catalfo said.

The space also includes two raised sections designed for private parties or group seating. The patio features its own speaker system, five televisions and African-themed work from local metalsmith Neil Carver.

Now that Big Game is open, Cataflo is working on Motorboat, the New York deli and lounge concept he announced in 2019, and which he hopes to open in July or August.

Located at 752 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Motorboat will have a menu focused on sandwiches and a rooftop deck overlooking Ponce.

Big Game’s opening hours are 5 p.m.-midnight Mondays and noon-midnight Tuesdays-Sundays. After St. Patrick’s Day, the hours will be noon-midnight daily.

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