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Sporting News Restaurants to Debut

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Sporting News Restaurants to Debut

Article excerpt

Sporting News restaurants to debut

If USA Today can offer a line of clothing, why shouldn't the Sporting News open some restaurants?

In midsummer, the first, The Sporting News Cafe, is expected to open in the St. Louis area.

The venerable 104-year-old weekly bible of sports has licensed its name to a Minnesota-based firm that hopes to franchise The Sporting News Cafe restaurants throughout North America and Europe.

Steve Ringler, who runs the restaurant group, says The Sporting News Cafes will be considerably different from the usual sports theme bar or restaurant.

"We will be known for our food," he said in a telephone interview.

"It will be a more serious treatment of sports, in the tradition of the Sporting News," Ringler said.

"As far as ambience," he added, "it will be as though you were dining inside the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown [N.Y.]. Or at the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Or the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield [Mass.]. Or the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto."

The biggest difference, however, will be the presence of a separate walk-in retail shop at every restaurant. In addition to a line of Sporting News Cafe merchandise, the stores will sell the many Sporting News publications.

Ringler said his group decided on the Sporting News theme after researching the crowded sports bar and restaurant industry.

That research convinced him that restaurants identified with a sports celebrity were sure losers, Ringler said. …

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