When spring comes, all will be quiet at Heinz Field. And yet Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be back in action on the North Shore.
His new restaurant, North Shore Seven, is expected to make its debut during the Pirates home opener in April.
The 7,300-square-foot eatery will be located inside a seven-story building that’s under construction on North Shore Drive beside Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse. In addition to indoor seating, the restaurant will boast two outdoor patios.
Roethlisberger and his long-time friend and business partner Scott Kier have been planning to open a Pittsburgh-based establishment for years. The pair first met on a golf course in South Carolina, where Kier, a Greensburg native, owned several sports bars.
“After becoming close friends, Ben and I were golfing one day and he asked if there were any new stores coming up,” Kier says. “Kiawah Island [in Charleston, S.C.] had been on my radar, and Ben and I were familiar with the island from golfing out there over the years. So we started looking and agreed upon a spot that ended up working out very well for us.”
They now operate two King Street Grille locations in South Carolina and the Savannah Taphouse in Savannah, Ga. Finally, they decided, it’s time for a place in Pittsburgh.
North Shore Seven will offer a scratch-made food menu, 50 draft beers and a state-of-the-art TV package in an upscale sports bar environment. Kier says he and Roethlisberger have invested a lot of time on the interior design of the restaurant, which will have an industrial motif.
“I was actually at Ben’s house on Thursday reviewing plans and going over the finishes with him and Ashley,” Kier says. “Collectively, they really have an eye for design. They travel during the off-season and eat out when traveling, so they are always sending pictures of things from various restaurants that they liked as well as food they ate while traveling.”
While Big Ben has been running up and down the gridiron, Kier has been busy running bars and restaurants up and down the East Coast. He started his career at Donzi’s in the Strip District and then headed to Maryland, where he did stints at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Cheesecake Factory and DuClaw Brewing Company.
The pals felt the timing was right to open in Pittsburgh.
“The North Shore is hot right now and only going to get better,” Kier says. “We’re very excited.”