David Beckham was recently linked as a partner for Gordon Ramsay's new restaurant, Union Street Café, before pulling out last minute. Maybe a café wasn't posh enough for Mrs Beckham?
Launching in December is Café Football a new venture owned by Manchester United legends, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. It's due to open in December at the giant Westfield Stratford complex. Will it be the new Planet Hollywood of the footballing world? Or will it end up like the infamous Fashion Café fronted by the supermodels, Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington?
The food at Café Football isn't just named after footballers, but other famous sporting heroes like Kevin Pietersen and popular presenters like Kirsty Gallacher. Given the massive footfall at Westfield Stratford, it's a project that is unlikely to go awry matched with an easy to please menu with food like pie and mash. All they need is some West Ham memorabilia, and they'll guarantee match day crowds when West Ham FC takes over the Olympic Stadium.
Some footballers love their favourite restaurants so much, they just buy into them, like Steven Gerrard buying into The Warehouse Kitchen+Bar at Southport. With two AA Rosettes and a Bib Gourmand, this is no pie and mash restaurant. Lobster and Crayfish cocktail and risotto of Wood Fired Peppers, Grilled Halloumi & Chard are the diet of the day.
It isn't just England footballers, European footballers have long been at the game of buying into restaurants. Clarence Seedorf owns the famous Finger's Garden, a Japanese/Brazilian fusion restaurant in Milan. Luis Figo currently owns a restaurant in the Algarves. He previously owned a Japanese restaurant in Barcelona, but had to close it down when he moved to rivals Real Madrid. In fact, in the Algarves, he doesn't just own the restaurant, he owns the whole hotel, the Suites Alba Resort & Spa.
However for every success story, there's another telling us they might be great with their feet, but they don't necessarily have the business brain to survive in the cutthroat world of the restaurants and bars trade.
Jamie Carragher's Liverpool city centre restaurant and bars have recently gone bust having racked up debts of more than £1 million. The Stanley Street restaurant and cocktail bar in Thomas Steers Way in Liverpool One went out of business recently due to stiff competition from other bars in the Liverpool One complex. A word of warning to Jamie Carragher's former England colleague, Gary Neville; what's the former name of his venture? Café Sports Express. It sounds mightily similar to Café Football if you ask me.
Do you have any views on footballers buying into the restaurant scene? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments box below.
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