9 NFL Players Who Own Restaurants
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9 NFL Players Who Own Restaurants

by: Penn Collins On  Friday, September 19, 2014
Tags:  Ditka's   Don Shula   Elways   Yao Ming  

9 NFL Players Who Own Restaurants

The grass is always greener on the other side, so it’s no wonder that NFL players are so eager to try to parlay their notoriety with ill-advised endeavors like rapping, selling cars, or opening restaurants. In general, I would say most athletes lack the refined pallets that the culinary arts require. So mostly, they just donate their name to a cause while some chef puts together a menu that is so inoffensive that it’s practically offensive.

Recently, we learned that Peyton Manning’s 20 Papa John’s franchises (UGH!) are booming due to what he believes is increased sales due to marijuana. Now, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not that’s real, but it’s fun to think about. It’s also fun to here Peyton Manning openly admit he’s profiting from drug legalization. You’d never hear Eli admit that stuff.

9 NFL Players Who Own Restaurants

The grass is always greener on the other side, so it’s no wonder that NFL players are so eager to try to parlay their notoriety with ill-advised endeavors like rapping, selling cars, or opening restaurants. In general, I would say most athletes lack the refined pallets that the culinary arts require. So mostly, they just donate their name to a cause while some chef puts together a menu that is so inoffensive that it’s practically offensive.

Recently, we learned that Peyton Manning’s 20 Papa John’s franchises (UGH!) are booming due to what he believes is increased sales due to marijuana. Now, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not that’s real, but it’s fun to think about. It’s also fun to here Peyton Manning openly admit he’s profiting from drug legalization. You’d never hear Eli admit that stuff.

9. Vince Young

It’s no surprise that Vince Young’s restaurant is located in Austin, and not one of the pro cities he inhabited during his rocky NFL career. In Austin, he’s still loved, and his career ended on a perfect note. No volatile personal issues in Tennessee will undo that. The Vince Young Steakhouse, unsurprisingly is just trading on Young’s name, and doesn’t feature much of its namesake in the dining experience. Which is probably a good thing. Hopefully, this will be around longer than his pro career was.

9. Vince Young Steakhouse

9. Vince Young

It’s no surprise that Vince Young’s restaurant is located in Austin, and not one of the pro cities he inhabited during his rocky NFL career. In Austin, he’s still loved, and his career ended on a perfect note. No volatile personal issues in Tennessee will undo that. The Vince Young Steakhouse, unsurprisingly is just trading on Young’s name, and doesn’t feature much of its namesake in the dining experience. Which is probably a good thing. Hopefully, this will be around longer than his pro career was.

8. Ditka's(read in Polish accent):

“If you’re tired of being jerked around by other restaurants, find your way to Ditka’s. We’ve got the food that satisfies. We don’t put anything on the plate that you won’t wanna eat. And that’s a Ditka’s guarantee.”

I just made up that tagline, but it seems about right, doesn’t it? Ditka’s is a member of the old guard of athlete (ok, coach) restaurants. Which means that rather than being run out of business for being overpriced and unremarkable, it’s an “institution.” Plus, it’s not like something as weak as the government or “economics” could ever shut down a Ditka enterprise. He’s got God on his side, and your liberal crying will never change that.

8. Ditka’s

8. Ditka's(read in Polish accent):

“If you’re tired of being jerked around by other restaurants, find your way to Ditka’s. We’ve got the food that satisfies. We don’t put anything on the plate that you won’t wanna eat. And that’s a Ditka’s guarantee.”

I just made up that tagline, but it seems about right, doesn’t it? Ditka’s is a member of the old guard of athlete (ok, coach) restaurants. Which means that rather than being run out of business for being overpriced and unremarkable, it’s an “institution.” Plus, it’s not like something as weak as the government or “economics” could ever shut down a Ditka enterprise. He’s got God on his side, and your liberal crying will never change that.

7. Favre

On Friday nights, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat cod at Favre’s. Why? I have no idea. But that’s a fun fact that seems quintessentially Favre. Aside from the bottomless fish offering, Brett Favre Steakhouse, located in Green Bay, offers predictable fare: Steak and steak-related sides. I don’t know if it’s going to win any awards, especially considering Brett’s Signature Steak is a 20-ounce London Broil. Gross. That’s the downside of an NFL player owning a restaurant.

7. Brett Favre Steakhouse

7. Favre

On Friday nights, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat cod at Favre’s. Why? I have no idea. But that’s a fun fact that seems quintessentially Favre. Aside from the bottomless fish offering, Brett Favre Steakhouse, located in Green Bay, offers predictable fare: Steak and steak-related sides. I don’t know if it’s going to win any awards, especially considering Brett’s Signature Steak is a 20-ounce London Broil. Gross. That’s the downside of an NFL player owning a restaurant.

Courtesy: Shula's Steak House, photo by Neil Burger

Former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula probably has the most outlets of his eatery of anyone on this list. What may have once been a signature restaurant is now a resort-y collection of casual dining along the lines of a Bennigan’s or TGI Friday’s. However, if you’re in the Florida Keys, and can’t possibly take any more conch fritters, then this chain restaurant will stand out like a beacon of light. Like a Hard Rock to an American tourist in Egypt.

6. Shula’s

Courtesy: Shula's Steak House, photo by Neil Burger

Former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula probably has the most outlets of his eatery of anyone on this list. What may have once been a signature restaurant is now a resort-y collection of casual dining along the lines of a Bennigan’s or TGI Friday’s. However, if you’re in the Florida Keys, and can’t possibly take any more conch fritters, then this chain restaurant will stand out like a beacon of light. Like a Hard Rock to an American tourist in Egypt.

5. Sims

Again, BBQ is permissible. Even favored. So it should come as little surprise that this NFL player owns 30 outlets in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Michigan, with more on the way. NFL players, upon retiring, are given a secret scroll that offers up long-hidden recipes of how to make award-winning barbecue. They then take that knowledge to Missouri. Then they become even richer.

5. Billy Sims Barbecue

5. Sims

Again, BBQ is permissible. Even favored. So it should come as little surprise that this NFL player owns 30 outlets in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Michigan, with more on the way. NFL players, upon retiring, are given a secret scroll that offers up long-hidden recipes of how to make award-winning barbecue. They then take that knowledge to Missouri. Then they become even richer.

4. Elways

It’s really hard to imagine a world in which John Elway has an excellent restaurant. Elway’s is a steakhouse, and looks exactly like you think it would. Warm modern, clean, forgettable. He’s also go four locations, which may go to show that my opinion on athlete-owned restaurants is complete crap. It’s got creamed corn, though, which does buy it some extra consideration. Creamed corn is delicious.

4. Elway’s

4. Elways

It’s really hard to imagine a world in which John Elway has an excellent restaurant. Elway’s is a steakhouse, and looks exactly like you think it would. Warm modern, clean, forgettable. He’s also go four locations, which may go to show that my opinion on athlete-owned restaurants is complete crap. It’s got creamed corn, though, which does buy it some extra consideration. Creamed corn is delicious.

3. Rndy White

Fine. I’m willing to put up with NFL players getting involved in restaurants so long as the fare of those restaurants is limited to: southern, BBQ, burgers, or hot dogs. Anything else is too far from home. That doesn’t always mean that the venture will offer good food (Randy White’s is more a name than an experience), but it probably won’t end up pissing you off.

3. Randy White’s Hall of Fame BBQ

3. Rndy White

Fine. I’m willing to put up with NFL players getting involved in restaurants so long as the fare of those restaurants is limited to: southern, BBQ, burgers, or hot dogs. Anything else is too far from home. That doesn’t always mean that the venture will offer good food (Randy White’s is more a name than an experience), but it probably won’t end up pissing you off.

2. Bubba''s Q

Al “Bubba” Baker wanted to open a restaurant with his wife following his playing days. If your nickname is Bubba, and you’re opening a restaurant, you better make damn sure the cuisine you present is southern barbecue. Fortunately, Bubba’s Q IS southern barbecue, and it routinely makes the shortlist of Cleveland’s “must visit” spots.

2. Bubba’s Q

2. Bubba''s Q

Al “Bubba” Baker wanted to open a restaurant with his wife following his playing days. If your nickname is Bubba, and you’re opening a restaurant, you better make damn sure the cuisine you present is southern barbecue. Fortunately, Bubba’s Q IS southern barbecue, and it routinely makes the shortlist of Cleveland’s “must visit” spots.

1. Shorts

I love that this place has a gibberish name. I love that it’s in Iowa City, Iowa. And I love that it’s owned by San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding. This is why you open a restaurant. To offer the best of something in a town that’s missing it. Not to add another faceless steakhouse to a second-tier city’s dining roster. They have something called the Popejoy Burger, which I initially misread as the “Popeye Burger.” Oh well. It works either way.

1. Short’s Burger and Shine

1. Shorts

I love that this place has a gibberish name. I love that it’s in Iowa City, Iowa. And I love that it’s owned by San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding. This is why you open a restaurant. To offer the best of something in a town that’s missing it. Not to add another faceless steakhouse to a second-tier city’s dining roster. They have something called the Popejoy Burger, which I initially misread as the “Popeye Burger.” Oh well. It works either way.



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