“Don Shula is smiling down on us today,” CEO of Shula’s Restaurant Group Cody Plott said. “Don Shula’s American Kitchen will honor Coach Don Shula’s remarkable legacy in the birthplace of American professional football.”
He went on to mention the restaurant’s “food is simple, straightforward, yet affordable.”
Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter also shared his excitement for the opening of this restaurant.
“The entire Hall of Fame Village team worked together to make the opening of Don Shula’s American Kitchen happen. When guests experience Shula’s atmosphere and food, they will appreciate those efforts. This is special for Canton and Stark County,” Porter said.
Here are five things to know about the newly opened restaurant.
1. The food at Don Shula’s is flavorful
After the ribbon cutting, hors d’oeuvres were served, including a signature coney, chicken tender with Alabama sauce, meatballs with creamy polenta, chicken lollipops and cornbread bites with whipped butter among other small bites and cocktails. All of the food had great flavor, with some lending to a more complex mix of tastes and textures.
The menu includes starters, some of which are mentioned above; a variety of salads; soup of the day and other daily features; sandwiches, including a burger, chicken sandwich and seafood sandwich; entrees, including seafood, chicken, enchiladas, fettuccine bolognese, baby back ribs, short rib, steak frites and filet mignon; sides and premium sides; and a variety of drinks, including a full cocktail menu, a large wine list and champagne. A bar menu, dessert menu and kids’ menu also are available.
2. Don Shula’s American Kitchen is open daily
The restaurant offers an all-day menu from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Reservations, now open, can be made online at sevenrooms.com/reservations/donshulasamericankitchenhofv or by phone at 234-900-1972.
3. The restaurant has separate areas with different atmospheres
The large bar is the main attraction, offering seating for more than 20 people and featuring views of the TV wall. On either side of the bar, additional seating is offered, including tables in front of the open kitchen. Farther into the restaurant, you’ll find tables with views of Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
Toward the back of the restaurant is a private dining room with seating for up to 25. The upstairs level has a more corporate, quiet feel with only one TV and a wall of windows.
4. Memorabilia honoring Coach Shula is all throughout the restaurant
From Vince Lombardi trophies to signed photographs from players to signed footballs, the restaurant is like a museum honoring the late Don Shula. Inside the private dining room, you’ll find a letter dated Sept. 20, 1951, from Cleveland Browns general manager and coach Paul E. Brown to Don Shula sharing that Shula made the squad. Another highlight is a signed Dolphins jersey from the undefeated 1972 season, in which the team went 17-0. Don Shula’s gold jacket is also framed and hanging in the private dining room.
5. The restaurant has stellar chefs
The team in the kitchen at Don Shula’s includes Corporate Culinary Director Jeremy Shelton and Executive Chef Jerry Risner. Risner was most recently at Gervasi Vineyard as the executive chef from 2009 till taking this role. Shelton has been an executive chef for a decade with experience in restaurants from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and Washington, D.C.
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