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Sports Figures Restaurants

By Editorial Staff

sports figure restaurantsby Info Guru Oliver Vandervoort

When you are out on the town and looking for a great place to eat, how many times have you said “I wonder if there are any great restaurants in this town that are owned by former or current athletes?”

Okay, that questions probably hasn’t occurred to you all that often, but the fact of the matter is that it seems that athletes from the world over are finding that sports and haute cuisine go hand-in-hand.

More and more current and former professional athletes are trying their hand in the restaurant business and while some are finding the going a bit rough, there are plenty who have found real success. Just in case you do decide to try one of these places out, we thought we ought to give you a helping hand with a listing of the top ten sports figures restaurants out there.

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10. Ditka’s in Chicago

Ditka’s in Chicago

A hugely successful football player and coach, Mike Ditka is now also a hugely successful restaurateur. Ditka’s in Chicago was the original location but Iron Mike has now expanded to Pittsburgh, PA. Ditka’s isn’t a sports bar, but rather a higher end restaurant, which adds the place a bit of extra class.

9. Elway’s


Former Denver Bronco and future hall of fame quarterback John Elway has managed to put together a pretty successful restaurant business with three Colorado locations of Elway’s. The menu is high end and even includes a sushi bar. This is one a lot of lists when it comes to the best eateries in Colorado, let alone those owned by sports figures.

8. Brett Favre’s Steakhouse

Brett Favre’s Steakhouse

It seems like quite a few former athletes tend to go into the Steakhouse business. Brett Favre is no exception as he has launched a higher end steakhouse in (where else) Green Bay, Wisconsin. In fact, the restaurant is actually located on Brett Favre Pass. Has there ever been a business better suited for its surroundings than Brett Favre’s Steakhouse?

7. Wayne Gretzky’s

Wayne Gretzky’s

The simple name Gretzky’s, belies what is actually a fairly complex menu that combines American and Canadian cuisine to bring a unique taste to Toronto. This restaurant has the distinction of being the only one on the list that isn’t located inside the United States.

6. Cheli’s Chili Bar

Cheli’s Chili Bar

Former Detroit Red Wing great Chris Chelios has managed to get a different kind of approach thanks to adding a line of chilis to their menu. Other than that this is a very high quality sports bar located in the heart of Detroit.

5. Jerome Bettis Grille 36

Jerome Bettis Grille 36

Jerome Bettis is one of the most beloved former Pittsburgh Steelers of the modern era and Bettis’ restaurant has been named the best sports themed eateries in Pittsburgh for several years running.

4. Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse

Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse

Another Chicago area superstar that has managed to turn his sports success into success in the restaurant business. Jordan’s Steakhouse actually has three locations, one in Chicago, one in New York City and one in Connecticut.

3. Billy Sims Barbecue

Billy Sims Barbecue

Former Oklahoma Sooner running back Billy Sims has managed to turn his fame into an incredibly successful chain that boasts 15 different BBQ locations in Oklahoma and Missouri. This is the only restaurant on the list that specializes so specifically on one genre of food.

2. Arnold Palmer’s

Arnold Palmer’s

Is it just a coincidence that former golfers take up the final two spots on this list? Arnold Palmer’s is a restaurant that has an original look and feel to the place. The restaurant has a motto that speaks to their clients by embracing “the good life.”

1. Greg Norman’s Australian Grille

Greg Norman’s Australian Grille

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One of the best golfers in the world for more than a decade, he now has the top restaurant on this list thanks in large part to offering up authentic Australian cuisine and wine and because the location in Myrtle Beach, SC gives visitors a great view with their meal.


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