Colts-themed restaurant in works in betting parlor space

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A South Florida restaurateur has plans to open a Indianapolis Colts-themed restaurant in Claypool Court, a retail and hotel center near Circle Centre mall downtown.

Indianapolis Colts Grille would be located in 9,965 square feet vacated by Hoosier Park Racing and Casino’s off-track betting facility, which plans to move to smaller space in the first block of North Pennsylvania Street.

A construction application filed with the state identified the project owner as Howard Shiller of Fort Lauderdale. He is a food-service veteran who has developed other sports-themed eateries.

In 2000, he and two partners in a Fort Lauderdale-based company called Celebrity Ventures opened Eddie George’s Sports Grille—named for the Heisman Trophy winner and then-Tennessee Titans player—in downtown Nashville, Tenn. They later introduced a second eatery tied to the former Ohio State University player in Columbus, Ohio.

The venture opened similar restaurants tied to Florida Marlin's baseball player Jeff Conine and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis, according to a 2006 story in industry publication Nation's Restaurant News.

In addition to Colts Grille, Celebrity Ventures plans to open three other restaurants in 2011, according to the website for Jerome Bettis' Grille 36: Houston Texans Sports Grille in that city, Emmitt Smith's Grille 22 in Dallas, and Doug Flutie's Grille 22 in Boston.

Shiller was not available for comment Wednesday morning, and architect David M. Goth of Columbus, Ohio, did not return phone calls from IBJ.

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