One thing sports guys know how to do is eat, but it’s an entirely different ballgame (pun intended) to own a restaurant. Now that the football season is in full swing and the World Series is on the horizon, here’s our tribute (or condemnation) of all culinary ventures a la celebrity athletes.
1) Brett Favre’s Steakhouse
Will it stay open, or will it close? Will it move to New York, or to Minnesota? Will it say it’s going to retire, only to reappear twice on different teams one of which is a major rival? Ok, so you get the point, but this surely doomed shrine to Favre that happens to sell steaks and wine sits down the path from Lambeau Field. After Favre’s Viking move, we’re guessing the place, which is plastered with Favre pictures throughout, is probably not the most happenin’ spot in town.
2) Alice Cooperstown
Perhaps you’re wondering, why is a place named after a rock legend on this list? Wonder no more. Randy Johnson, pitcher for the San Francisco Giants and previously a pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks and several other teams, is a co-owner of the place that boasts a foot long hot dog aptly named, The Big Unit.
We’re still not exactly sure how to pronounce the name of the place or the last name of the owner (as they’re one in the same), but the former NFL running back Amos Zereoue is giving diners more than just his name. The West African influenced dishes come directly from Zereoue’s childhood, spelling out more than just another ex-NFL player’s wings and burger spot. Maybe this one stands a chance.
4) Baumhower’s Wings Restaurant
If you can get past the song on the home page of the website, that starts off, “just wing it,” then you might actually enjoy the food here. True, it’s the typical, man-becomes-college-football-star-turned-NFL-pro-athlete-retires-starts-sportsbar-in-college-town kinda place, but the food actually tastes good. Bob Baumhower started the place in 1981 after some successful Crimson Tide and Miami Dolphin footballin’ and has several locations throughout the great state of Alabama.
5) The Shula’s Franchise
Because being the winngingest coach in the NFL, owning the title of “most games coached in the NFL,” and currently holding the record for the most consecutive seasons coached was not enough for Don Shula, he had to go and start a steakhouse. Now the name Shula is synonymous with not only the NFL and legendary, but since he opened up the first Shula’s Steakhouse in 1989: beef.
6) Greg Norman’s Australian Grille
Somehow, we’re not surprised the word “grille” made it into the name of this Outback themed seafood and steakhouse in Florida. Officially located in Florida because old people love steakhouses, the wine list offers plenty of Greg Norman Estates wine (and surprisingly, plenty of non-Greg Norman Estates wine as well).
7) Yao Restaurant and Bar
Too tall and talented to stay in China, Yao brought more than just mania to the streets of Houston when he joined the Rockets. He brought his parents, who opened up a restaurant in Houston featuring, what else, Chinese food. Although Yao is not associated with the restaurant directly, we thought it was sporty enough to make the list. He’ll probably be spending a lot of time there for the 2009-10 season, since he’s out with a foot injury.
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