“Where the food is as good as the athlete”—that’s their typical tagline.
Athletes going into the restaurant business not only want a post-career source of income, nor a way of diversifying investments—many of their establishments also serve as a shrine to their well-talked-about athletic glory. We’ve featured 5 of them last February, and now we have more:
Michael Jordan’s one sixtyblue – Chicago, Illinois
Enter one sixtyblue in Google’s search box and you’ll see it tagged as “A Michael Jordan restaurant—stylish, American cuisine which easily captures the real essence of leisurely dining.” Which is true. The basketball legend’s restaurant is located in the sleek Chicago West Loop neighborhood, often offering the best deal in town. Their menu, in elegant menu covers and menu folders, include their famous “fried chicken and champagne” every Wednesdays. It might be an odd combination to some, but once the chicken is served with Asian pear slaw, potato wedges and seasonally spiced waffle, plus the Moncuit Blanc de Blanc champagne, customers can truly say it’s a real steal deal at $16.
They announced a temporary shutdown last January to give way to an intriguing new concept this late spring, and yup, everyone’s waiting.
Greg Norman’s Greg Norman’s Australian Grille – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The restaurant’s name really comes with the number one golfer’s moniker, which is its greatest advertisement. Greg Norman’s Australian Grille prides itself of innovative cuisine and a spectacular décor that could easily make its diners feel like they’re eating out at any of Sydney’s finest harbourside restaurants. Coming out from its open kitchen are sumptuous sea food offerings, like their famous baked ahi tuna glazed with bourbon-bacon, served on top of truffle risotto; lobster BLT stuffed with cornmeal-crusted tail meat; and jumbo diver scallops cuddling up with butternut squash ravioli and pomegranate gastrique. The restaurant’s list of spirits has also been recognized in the Wine Spectator Award for Excellence, which highlights its great-tasting bottles of rieslings and cabernets.
Wayne Gretzky’s Wayne Gretzky’s – Toronto, Ontario
Wayne Gretzky, once known as “the greatest hockey player ever,” didn’t leave any chance that his fans might see his restaurant otherwise and actually called his restaurant the way he wants it known – simply Wayne Gretzky’s. The restaurant promotes itself as a dining place, a bar and a merchandise store, as it also plays host to the athlete’s personal collection of memorabilia, selling autographed personal souvenirs and collector’s items. It also offers Toronto’s favorite local delicacies and Gretzky’s own brand of wine, No. 99.
Vince Young’s Vince Young Steakhouse – Austin, Texas
The famous quarterback who played for Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles went back to his college playing grounds in Austin, Texas and opened his first restaurant there. The chic fine dining place serves the finest steaks – from bacon and blue cheese bison sliders to the local Texas prime grade beef, to the rich wagyu brisket burgers—as well as great-tasting wines and desserts.
John Elway’s Elway’s – Denver, Colorado
John Elway’s venture into fine dining has been as successful as his career. The former football quarterback and current executive vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos co-owns two self-named restaurants in Denver – one in the stylish Cherry Creek neighborhood and the other in the Ritz-Carlton downtown. Both restaurants’ steakhouse menu in quality menu folders offer superb dishes that is said to bring out “a caveman’s appetite,” such as lamb chops in green chili fondue, duck confit fried rice and crispy calamari mixed with cherry peppers and stuffed olives.
Notice that four of the above restaurants are eponymous (self-named), consistent to what celebrity chefs and Hollywood stars do. Sports stars, just like the others, also bank on name-brand recognition to bring in customers and reach high restaurant sales.