10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants

Where the food is as good as the athlete.


For a variety of reasons — an effort to diversify investments, to create a post-career business opportunity, ego or challenge — many gridiron heroes and ballpark messiahs have splashed their names on an establishment that also serves as a shrine to their athletic glory.  For most, the formula is pretty standard: generic pub food, lots of TV’s, and even more memorabilia covering the walls. The only thing usually missing is the athlete. Don’t expect to spot Brett Favre greeting guests at his steakhouse in Green Bay.

Like a celebrity chef, sports stars have the name-brand recognition to pull in patrons, even if they are dead. Deceased New York Yankee great Mickey Mantle, Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi, and Chicago Cubs' announcer Harry Caray, have some of the country's most popular sports-themed restaurants.

But the reality is that while a ballplayer’s endorsement might bring you in the door, many of these restaurants don’t have winning dishes. So we’ve compiled a top ten list that delivers, scores, is a slam dunk, home run, hole in one... however you want to call it.

On the West Coast, skateboarder Tony Hawk has invested in a restaurant whose kitchen is run by a James Beard Foundation “California Chef of the Year.” Meanwhile NFL quarterback Vince Young not only has a steakhouse in Austin, Texas, but also supplies his own brand of smoked meat to area grocery stores.

Often the most alluring restaurants don’t even hang the athlete’s name on the door. Michael Jordan’s first restaurant in Chicago, named after him, went belly-up. However his second Windy City attempt, one sixtyblue, is buzzing. Go figure.

Click for 10 Best Athlete-Owned Restaurants Slideshow.


Be a Part of the Conversation

Have something to say?
Add a comment (or see what others think).

Comments 37
2.87097
Ratings62


Like this story? Get updates by email, facebook and twitter
Get daily food and wine coverage


Latest from The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal Video Network
How to Make Matzo Ball Soup with a Mexican Twist

37 Comments

greg ubanks's picture

I have been to mickey mantle's steak house in oklahoma city best steak and service i have had in a long time very good wine list a must try.....

tdm-35-icon.png

Bob Baumhaoer has some fun sports restauratnts and the food is good.

tdm-35-icon.png

We have been to Michael Jordan’s
Steakhouse at the Mohegan Sun Hotel/Casino in Uncasville, CT. The food was GREAT and we had good time at the casino. We should STOP taking what some one else say's and go see for ourselfs. Maybe just maybe things would be a lot better in this world. Jusst some thing to think about.

tdm-35-icon.png

Stay away from Michael Jordan's Steakhouse at the Mohegan Sun Hotel/Casino in Uncasville, CT.

On our wedding day, my wife, best friend, and her date got food poisoning from the American Kobe Beef. The result, my wife ended up having to have an emergency appendectomy 4 days later.

And we were treated by lepers when we emailed them about it. They did sic their insurance company on us....who will, no doubt, find no liability...and no problems at Michael Jordan's.

tdm-35-icon.png

You wouldn't get an appendicitis from food poisoning!!

tdm-35-icon.png

JEROME BETTIS' GRILL 36PITTSBURGH PA

AWESOME !!!!!!!!!

tdm-35-icon.png

Why does this upset you all soo much?

tdm-35-icon.png

And you forgot Joe Theismann's in Alexandria, VA that has been in business since the 70's

tdm-35-icon.png

Elway's Cherry Creek rocks. Elway's Ritz-Carlton downtown Denver is borderline bad. The R-C is a franchise deal run by the R-C. Elway's gets a fee. Don't look for the agreement to be renewed next year. The R-C has done nothing but hurt the Elway brand. The Vail bistro will be operated by the Elway management team. It will do extremely well in the Vail Valley.

tdm-35-icon.png

Ray Bourque's "Tresca" in Boston is a gem! Can't believe it was overlooked for a bunch of burger joints with athlete names attached.

tdm-35-icon.png

Can people write comments without adding chunks of hatred? There is no need for personal attack on the athletes. However, we can provide objective criticism on menu and services provided at the restaurants or businesses establishments owned by the athletes.

tdm-35-icon.png

Emorald(sp) has the best food, leave it to a real chef and not some wanna be to make a profit!

tdm-35-icon.png

yao ming has a wonder chinese restaurant in houston great entrees beautiful atmosphere and have very reasonable prices

tdm-35-icon.png

Is the Dan Marinos restaurant in Fort Lauderdale Riverfront still open? Heard it closed down.

tdm-35-icon.png

Here's my question: WHERE'S THE STORY!? I have to sit through a slide show to see the "10 best athlete owned restaurants"? Why can't I just have a list? Is that too much to ask?

tdm-35-icon.png

Yeah

tdm-35-icon.png

Elway's is overpriced and underdelivers much like the 'legend' himself. To think the expanding Elway empire is moving to Vail to spoil what is already there and established with a steakhouse. Sheeze, low class, no class.

tdm-35-icon.png

yeah...elway underdelivered...we're much better off with Orton, Plummer, Greise and Tebow. I'm glad we're not in the playoffs anymore or, heaven help us, winning super bowls.

tdm-35-icon.png

With your comments I have to ask...did you even eat there? You obviously have some animosity for Elway, arguably one of the best quarterbacks ever (with stats to prove it). I can only imagine he would put his name on the best--whatever it is.

tdm-35-icon.png

Have to be an Oakland fan. Back to back super bowl wins. You miss that? Spoil Vail or Aspen, lol. Yeah, like 40 years ago. Hard to spoil Hollywood east now. I had a lot of family there, at one time. They made a nice profit selling out to occasional, but rich, visitors. It's to expensive to live there for most.

tdm-35-icon.png

Rosco's New Orleans Club
= A Lou Rawls Tribute Club/Restaurant & Museum =

Owner: Lon "Rosco" Dorsey
The Lou Rawls Look/Sound-alike
http://www.facebook.com/londorsey

tdm-35-icon.png

Ritchie Pettibone (former coach of the Washington Redskins) had Pettibone's in D.C. once upon a time. Is it still there? They had great ribs and steaks.

tdm-35-icon.png

Vince may have won a National Championship for Texas, but in Austin, Texas the best steakhouse is still Ruth's Chris Steakhouse on 6th Ave. Yeah, the Longhorn coaches and recruits will go to Vince's, but not the folks!! It reminds me of his NFL career.........Over-hyped and a FACADE!! To put it in Texas language...... "All hat...No cattle !!!!!!!!!!

tdm-35-icon.png

You forgot Ditka's in Chicago and Drysdales in Kona Hawaii Both wonderful places

tdm-35-icon.png

If you want great BAR BQ in a celebrity rest. try Randy Whites in Frisco Tx.

tdm-35-icon.png

I've had randy white's bbq. it was ok. However, the manager at the mesquite, tx location was highly RUDE whenthe restuarant opened a few years back. Based on that poor customer service My family and others that were eating after church have not been back since. The party totaled over people. Risky's BBq in Ft. worth is alot better than Randy White's. The Railhead for that matter too. Also located in Ft. Worth

tdm-35-icon.png

Shula's beats them all just like Coach Shula did

tdm-35-icon.png

I like the looks of that cheese-burger and fries picture on one of these. PLEASE gawd let those fries be pure lard fried and there's season salt at the table.

soonerfan1970's picture

Although I truly enjoyed reading the article, and seeing all the worldly names come to play and get free advertising on your site, I am equally disappointed in your lack of research about athletes and there establishments across the country. Oh you hit the really big names, and they probably paid a nice little gratuity to have there name on the list, but by doing so your not only making it out like your playing favorites but it makes you look small minded in the eyes of those who look at restaurants not only as a place to eat but a place to invite others, enjoy the atmosphere and spread the word to others of the fine dining and great service. Just off the cuff, I can name 3 restaurants you might want to try and see if your list changes.
1) Billy Sims Barbecue in Oklahoma, http://billysimsbbq.com/
2) Ziggy and Mad Dogs Steak house in Islamorada, Florida, http://ziggieandmaddogs.com/
3) Mike Ditka's restaurant in Chicago, https://ditkasrestaurants.com/

So how about looking into your research next time....
Thank you for your attention and patience

tdm-35-icon.png

"there" establishments? How about their establishments?

Add a Comment

Upload a picture of yourself no larger than 3MB, please see Terms for details
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human