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Roethlisberger, partner plan to open sports restaurant

ptrsteelers09081014
Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the sideline during preseason game against the Giants on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J.
ptrsteelers09081014
Chaz Palla | Trib Total Media
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the sideline during preseason game against the Giants on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Ben Roethlisberger is looking to bring his restaurant venture to Pittsburgh.

The Steelers quarterback and a restaurant developer are scouting spaces in the North Hills to house an incarnation of King Street Grille in Charleston, S.C., with a menu and sports programming tailored to Western Pennsylvania fans.

Roethlisberger is an investor in four King Street Grille restaurants, which has five locations in Charleston and two in Myrtle Beach. He bought into the restaurants when he met owner Scott Kier, who grew up in Greensburg, on a golf trip to Charleston. The two have been business partners for six years, Kier said.

“We’ve been kicking around the idea for a few years,” Kier said. “We’re really looking forward to the Pittsburgh market. I was raised up there. We just feel it’s going to be a good fit.”

The restaurant could open in six months, depending how long it takes to find space or build one, said Terri Sokoloff, president of Specialty Bar & Restaurant Brokers, which is representing the partners.

Sokoloff declined to put a cost to the project or disclose what Roethlisberger is contributing. The restaurant will host events for the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.

“There’s a lot of Steelers that live out in the North (Hills) area. That’s why we’re focusing a little bit in the north, because Ben lives in the area,” Sokoloff said.

King Street is more restaurant than bar, with a focus on scratch-made food, Kier said. Its South Carolina menu includes typical sports bar fare of burgers, wraps and appetizers, along with upscale entrees such as crab cakes and bourbon salmon.

Football players have a history of branding sports bars. Pittsburgh-native Dan Marino is an investor in Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, based in Florida. It has locations in Robinson, Monroeville and McMurray.

Former Steeler Jerome Bettis lent his name to Ft. Lauderdale-based G.R.E.A.T. Grille Group’s Jerome Bettis Grille 36 on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

Katelyn Ferral is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5627 [email protected].

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