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Athletes and their Restaurants

Hitting Home Runs

• 3 minute read

Bruce Grindy, chief economist for the National Restaurant Association, reports that the U.S. Census Bureau figures released on August 12, 2016, indicate that sales in eating and drinking places totaled $54.6 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in July, 2016, and that a record-high sales volume of $54.7 billion occurred in June. Also, sales were up 5.0 percent between July 2015 and July 2016.

Many athletes appear to love to gravitate toward the restaurant industry during or after their competitive years. The amount of physical activity athletes engage in regularly requires a substantial amount of fuel, so athletes are very familiar with the quality and quantity of food consumption.

Athletes can call upon their culinary expertise, can use their name and fame recognition to gain attention of investors and customers, and normally have the necessary earnings that need to be used for the requisite start-up cash.

Here are just a few examples of successful undertakings by famous athletes:

Michael Jordan

This Chicago Bulls legend is busy with plans to open another Michael Jordan’s Restaurant in Oak Brook, Illinois, inside the Oak Brook 22, by the summer of 2017. It will feature an “interactive kitchen”, USDA Prime grass-fed cuts of beef, and will have wines on tap.

Jordan and 12 other owners are also moving forward on plans to open a 18,000-square-foot 375-seat waterfront restaurant, to be called 1000 North, in Jupiter, Florida, on the Loxahatchee River just north of West Palm Beach on the Atlantic Coast. They want to tear down the restaurant that currently exists on the property and construct a new one to hopefully open by the end of 2017. The town council has granted a 12-month extension to build the restaurant.

There will be views of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse as well as boat slips and a dock. Additionally, there will be a connection to Riverwalk, the 2.4-mile waterfront lane for pedestrians and bicycles that goes along the Jupiter Inlet and the Intracoastal Waterway. Jordan is especially interested in this area because he owns a home in the private community Bear’s Club in Jupiter.

Cornerstone Restaurant Group originally opened MJ’s in the Hotel InterContinental Chicago in 2011. Cornerstone also owns Jordan steakhouses in New York and Connecticut as well as a Jordan cafe in Connecticut.

Brett Favre’s Steakhouse

The former Green Bay Packer quarterback and his family run his popular restaurant in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The establishment is filled with his one-of-a-kind “#4” memorabilia on display and on the walls, which you can take your time viewing. Out of 20 years in the NFL, 16 of those for the Packers resulted in winning Super Bowl XXXI and three straight MVP titles. This is an excellent place to eat after you have visited the Packers Hall of Fame.

Enjoy specialties such as Steaks as big as 32 ounces, Brett’s Seafood Platter, BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Smoked Pork Bellies, a Watermelon/Feta Cheese Salad, Bayou Pasta, their popular Jambalaya, and their Red Velvet Cake. If you eat there on Friday, the fish fry is excellent and is at a good price.


John Albert Elway Jr., born June 28, 1960, is the former football quarterback and current general manager and executive vice president of the NFL Denver Broncos who helped Denver to again reach the Super Bowl. He retired after winning his second back-to-back Super Bowl in 1999 and went into fine dining. He is the co-owner of two Denver restaurants, one inside the downtown Ritz-Carlton and the other in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. Added to a normal menu are creative recipes such as calamari with stuffed olives and cherry peppers, lamb chops in green chili fondue, grilled artichoke with garlic aioli, and Elway’s Fried Rice in a duck or crab confit.

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