Michael Jordan to open Mag Mile steakhouse

March 24, 2011 6:34:28 AM PDT
A Chicago Bulls basketball legend is planning to open a new restaurant.

Chicago-based Strategic Hotels and Resorts said Michael Jordan's Steak House will open at the InterContinental Hotel on Michigan Avenue. Construction will start sometime in the summer.

Jordan's previous Chicago restaurant in River North closed about 12 years ago.

The new restaurant is only the third Michael Jordan Steakhouse location in the country. The others are in the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut and in New York City's Grand Central Terminal.

Plans call for construction of the restaurant, which will have a street-level bar and second-floor dining room, to begin in June, replacing the eatery currently in the space.

"It really didn't provide what that hotel needed, which is a very special occasion restaurant," Richard Moreau, an executive vice president of Strategic Hotels told the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday.

While the new restaurant will bear Jordan's name, InterContinental will manage it. The Michael Jordan name is being licensed from Chicago-based Jump Higher LLC., which is managed by The Cornerstone Restaurant Group, which has a relationship with Jordan dating back to the original Michael Jordan's Restaurant.

"I think the Michael Jordan brand has to be in a very sort of landmark location," said Cornerstone's CEO David Zadikoff.

He and Jordan were initially looking to lease a third location and own and operate the restaurant themselves, Zadikoff said.

"But given the hotel, the make-up of the kitchens, and other issues, it was simpler just to do it this way," he told the Tribune. "So we went with a simple solution for a major location."

Zadikoff in 2004 planned to close a restaurant west of Chicago's Loop in which Jordan is a partner and replace it with one of the steak houses, which were operating then. But Jordan objected, saying he wanted a more visible downtown location.

Jordan and Zadikoff will receive a percentage of the restaurant's annual revenue, known as a licensing fee.

The original Michael Jordan's Restaurant closed in 1999 during a legal dispute with its controlling partners. Jordan, who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships, won the legal battle the following year, freeing him to launch the steakhouse chain.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.