Hines Ward to open Table 86 restaurant in Seven Fields
No. 86 is coming to Butler County.
By late summer, retired Pittsburgh Steelers great Hines Ward will open a restaurant and companion wine bar in Seven Fields, township officials and associates of Ward said.
“We are delighted to have them. I think it will go gang-busters. He is just such a great guy,” said Markay Harlan, owner of the buildings on Northpointe Circle, just off Route 228.
Table 86 restaurant will open in the spaced occupied by SiBA Cucina restaurant, which Harlan and her husband closed last year. VINES wine bar will open in the former site of BOhem Bistro & Bar, which they also owned.
The buildings are separated by a courtyard. The restaurant seats about 200 people and the wine bar 86.
“We are very excited as a community that he has chosen this location,” said Seven Fields manager Tom Smith.
Ward, a longtime Steeler who broadened his appeal by performing on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” is an automatic draw, said Howard Shiller, Ward's business partner and an owner of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Great Grille Group, which operates Jerome Bettis' Grille 36 on the North Shore. Bettis', an upscale sports bar, opened in 2007 between Heinz Field and PNC Park.
“With Hines Ward and his reputation, he is well-received in Pittsburgh. These restaurants will do great,” Shiller said.
He is spending about $1 million in improvements.
“We are changing the interior — new furniture, a new bar, new carpets and fixtures — so that it does not look like the old place,” Shiller said.
Ward was not available for comment. He was part-owner of the now-closed Lockerroom Bar & Grill on the South Side but was never billed as an owner, Shiller said.
His visibility will attract customers and attention, but does not guarantee success, said John van Decker, a restaurant consultant with Enormous Creative in Ossining, N.Y.
“The notoriety of someone like Hines Ward, that helps at first, in months one through six. It won't help in the long run. What will ultimately matter is the quality of the food and the ambience,” van Decker said.
Table 86 will be a casual-dining restaurant serving salads, appetizers, seafood, steaks, pastas and some Asian selections.
“It will be a nice blended mix,” Shiller said. “The food presentations will look good, and the meals are mid-priced.”
VINES will be a Napa Valley-style wine bar.
“It will serve small plates and tapas. It will be a nice, casual wine bar with a great selection,” Shiller said.
Three years after retiring, Ward divides his time between his native Atlanta and Pittsburgh, where he remains visible through advertising and charity events.
“We have discussed doing a restaurant together. He is really looking forward to it,” Shiller said.
Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or email@example.com.