Shaq expands Massive Hen, has location in Islanders $1.5 billion area

Shaquille O’Neal

Rich anger | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Shaquille O’Neal once signed the richest contract in sports history and then won four NBA titles. These days Shaq has a new business he’s trying to break into: Chicken Sandwiches.

O’Neal, who was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2016, is a co-owner of a restaurant business called Big chicken, which opened its first location in Las Vegas three years ago. Last year a second opened in Glendale, California.

Now O’Neal is focused on sports arenas, the kind of venue he knows best.

Big Chicken recently opened a location in Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, home to the National Hockey League’s newest team, the Kraken. And on Thursday, O’Neal made a quick stop through New York to catch a glimpse of UBS arena, the new $ 1.5 billion home for the NHL’s New York Islanders.

Big Chicken will sell its fried chicken sandwiches during NHL games and other events in the complex in the UBS Arena. Located behind the track for the Belmont Stakes, the arena is set to host its first regular season game on November 20, when the Islanders play against the Calgary Flames.

“Section 206,” said O’Neal, smiling into one of the many local television cameras that were in attendance to capture the promotional event. He was referring to the section where Big Chicken is in the arena.

“This is my ritual,” he told CNBC shortly after the television cameras disappeared. “Fried chicken with cheese, cucumber and hot sauce.”

O’Neal founded Big Chicken with friend Matt Silverman and Agent Perry Rogers. It’s not his first foray into the food industry. O’Neal owns various Papa John locations and even appears in a commercial for the pizza chain. In 2019 he joined the company’s board of directors.

But this is a very different job for O’Neal, because he’s starting the brand from scratch.

The UBS Arena will be the home of the New York Islanders.

Source: New York Islanders / UBS Arena

In the UBS Arena on Thursday O’Neal was accompanied by Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky. In honor of Veterans Day, they took photos with members of the military and then stood in an unfurnished suite to watch a chef prepare dishes that will appear on Big Chicken’s menu. O’Neal joked about not knowing all of the hockey rules but said he watched NHL games.

One of the sandwiches on the big chicken menu is called Uncle Jerome, named after O’Neal’s uncle. Another is Charles Barkley, a reference to the former NBA star and O’Neal’s “Inside the NBA” broadcast partner. Barkley’s eponymous sandwich comes with mac and cheese on top of the chicken, along with crispy onions and “Shaq sauce”.

Big Chicken also includes the MDE, which stands for the most dominant of all time and is designed to center around O’Neal’s career, mostly for the Los Angeles Lakers. He was eight times the first team in the entire NBA and three times the most valuable player in the final.

In 1996, shortly after arriving in LA from Orlando, the Lakers recognized O’Neal’s dominance. The team signed him to a seven year old, $ 120 million hand out. It was the richest in sports at the time and set the stage for the Lakers’ resurgence.

O’Neal led the Lakers to three straight championships from 2000 to 2002 and won his fourth title at the Miami Heat in 2004. He ended his career with 15 all-star game appearances and an MVP trophy. Last month, O’Neal became one of the 75 best players of all timeas the NBA celebrates its 75th season.

Shaquille O’Neal # 34 and Kobe Bryant # 8 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2004 NBA Playoffs

David Sherman | National Basketball Federation | Getty Images

Extensive business portfolio

O’Neal outdated $ 280 million during his playing career and Forbes It is estimated that he made over $ 700 million in total, including his extrajudicial efforts.

O’Neal bet early Google and Apple, and has branded sneakers at Walmart, a clothing line JCPenney and a men’s jewelry line. He also participated in one alkaline water Company this year.

He was a “strategic advisor” for Wynn Resorts” Sports Gambling Unit WynnBET. Due to NBA rules, he had to give up his minority stake in the Sacramento Kings for this deal.

Restaurants were one of the greatest O’Neal plays of his post-NBA life. He told CNBC that opening quick service restaurants (QSRs) has been a passion since his time at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. O’Neal said of the book that got him up and running, “The Dummies’ Guide to Starting Your Own Business.”

In May, O’Neal and his Big Chicken team hired Josh Halpern, a former executive at Anheuser-Busch InBev, as managing director.

“We do some things differently,” said Halpern in an interview. “We used a high quality chicken that is antibiotic, cage and hormone free. We want to get better value for money.”

Shaquille O’Neal, NBA star and chief fun officer of Carnival Cruise Line, gives guests a taste of his highly anticipated dishes at sea as part of Big Chicken in the Mardi Gras summer landing zone during Carnival’s NYC cruise Cruise Line will be offered a summer event to celebrate the 2020 arrival of Mardi Gras at Pier 59 on June 18, 2019 in New York City.

Mike Coppola | Getty Images

For expanded distribution, Halpern said, Big Chicken would use what are known as ghost kitchens, which allow it to put items on a menu alongside items from other restaurants so consumers can mix and match in a single order.

Big Chicken in collaboration with Ghost Kitchen brands and will present items on digital menus in front of large retail chains. There’s already one in there a Walmart in Rochester, New York.

The strategy “takes us to some neighborhoods and cities in the US that may not have been early adopter cities,” Halpern said for Big Chicken. He said a location in Rockport, New York will be opening soon.

Big Chicken started accepting franchise applications earlier this year, Halpern said. The cost ranges from $ 450,000 to $ 1.4 million. There’s a $ 40,000 franchise fee and the company pays 5% of sales and 2% combined for national and local marketing.

O’Neal understands the franchise model from his experience with Papa John’s.

“He told me, ‘You better never hurt a franchisee because I’m a franchisee and you would hurt me,'” Halpern said. “He means that 100 percent.”

Another place that consumers can try big chicken sandwiches is on a carnival Cruise. Carnival chairman Micky Arison owns the Miami Heat, which won its first NBA title in 2006 with O’Neal at its center.

Shaquille O’Neal

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Restaurant franchising has been an attractive investment for many ex-NBA players. Magic Johnson previously owned over 100 Starbucks Locations and has several TGI Fridays restaurants and more than 20 burger kings in his portfolio.

Former NBA player Junior Bridgeman bought numerous Chili and Wendy franchises before selling them for $ 400 million in 2016 want to invest $ 100,000 in QSRs.

“It’s like investing in stocks,” Ratliff told CNBC. “Let it grow, and if you decide to sell it, you sell it or keep it going and take the rest of the growth. But I think it’s a great opportunity. “

Halpern said that QSRs “give you an opportunity to create wealth for a broad mass of people”.

While Big Chicken is O’Neal’s biggest leap into the restaurant business, he’s had others. He owned Shaquille’s, a restaurant in LA Live, an entertainment district around the Staples Center where the Lakers play. After Covid-19 hit and the traffic dried up, O’Neal closed the shutters Shaquilles. He said paying the $ 90,000 monthly rent wasn’t worth it.

“And I didn’t get a PPP loan,” added O’Neal, referring to the Small Business Administration’s paycheck protection program. “So I closed it and we’ll try to reopen one day.”

In February, officials in Atlanta did Suspected arson caused the fire to become a historic Krispy Kreme Franchise that O’Neal bought in 2016. O’Neal told CNBC that he recently approved a new design for the donut shop and plans to reopen in 2022.

“As an athlete, you have to learn to adapt on the fly,” said O’Neal. “You ever see a guy practice a move and then when he takes that move away, [players] don’t know what to do. You have to be able to adapt. “

But O’Neal’s work with Papa Johns could be his best-known role in the industry. He was appointed to the board of directors of Papa John in 2019 to repair the company’s image after former CEO John Schnatter surrendered the previous year racially disparaging comments which he made public.

“Another difficult decision”

One of O’Neal’s former teams, the Phoenix Suns, is now facing a similar controversy.

Earlier this month, a ESPN article Alleged Suns owner Robert Sarver abused employees and made racist and misogynistic comments during his 17-year tenure with the franchise company. Sarver has dismissed the charges and the NBA has opened an investigation into the matter.

“I’m not a draft horse – I’ve had interactions with the man 10 times and I haven’t seen any of them,” said O’Neal. “But if there are allegations of this magnitude from employees, there has to be an investigation.”

The issue rocked the NBA seven years after former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling sold his team when audio recordings of Sterling surfaced with racist comments.

“If the allegations are true, Adam Silver will have to make another tough decision,” said O’Neal of the Sarver situation. Silver has been an NBA commissioner since 2014.

Shaquille O’Neal will DJ Diesel at the SHAQ Bowl for Super Bowl LV on February 7, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.

Gerardo Mora | Getty Images

As a businessman, one of O’Neal’s most important qualities is making people laugh. During his interviews in the UBS arena, he made a cameraman laugh and caused laughter in the surrounding audience by making fun of the chef who prepared the sample rolls.

O’Neal credits his mother, Lucille, with the motivation behind his approach.

“I just keep making people happy,” he said. “That’s my mission. I’m just trying to grant her wishes and do whatever she says. I have to make people feel good.”

The chicken restaurant market is overcrowded, with Chick-fil-A and Popeyes fighting for the best fried chicken sandwich and MC Donalds and other fast food chains that advertise their own offerings.

When asked if he intended to compete with brands like Popeyes, O’Neal said “absolutely”. Then he added, “And we never run out of chicken – never,” a blow to Popeyes that expired in 2019 amid a social media crush.

Before O’Neal left the event to catch a flight, he was asked to pick the best restaurant in his portfolio.

“I never think about it,” he said. “What I’m proud of is getting my mother what she wanted.”

SEE: Two-time NBA champion Shane Battier is taking his next step as a Yext board member

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect victory in the Miami Heat Finals.

Blessing Nook Ministries asks for neighborhood’s assist to lift cash to stay at Union Avenue location

Posted: 7/30/2021 / 10:00 PM PDT
Updated: 7/30/2021 / 10:00 PM PDT

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Blessing Corner Ministries is a staple of compassion in Bakersfield and they seek help from the community before they are forced to sell their property over the next few weeks.

The organization is known for its generous giveaways, clothing promotions, and food distributions.

Pastors John and Bonnie Turner have served the most vulnerable in Bakersfield on Union Avenue and 1st Street since 2005.

Bonnie Turner says the church raised $ 46,000 of its $ 75,000 goal through its barbecue fundraisers and donations. She says they have until the end of August to raise the remaining $ 29,000 and asks the community for help to continue their work there.

Anyone who can support Blessing Corner Ministries can Donate through the Church’s website.

Location Change: Metropolis of Moscow Strikes ‘Leisure within the Park’ Occasion to Hamilton Indoor Recreation Middle | Idaho

MOSCOW – The city of Moscow has announced that the July 1st “Entertainment in the Park” event will be relocated to the Hamilton Indoor Recreation Center due to the excessive heat warning for the Palouse area.

This FREE family-friendly event opens with a special story time for local youth presented by the Moscow Public Library.

The Sesitshaya Marimba Ensemble will perform in the first act of the evening. This Moscow-based group plays traditional and contemporary African songs from sub-Saharan Africa and shares the lively rhythmic sounds of Zimbabwe’s Kwanongoma marimbas mixed with marimbas from the Pacific Northwest.



Sesitshaya Marimba Ensemble

Sesitshaya Marimba Ensemble

Izzy Burns, an 18 year old indie / folk singer-songwriter from Moscow, will close the event. Burns is a self-proclaimed folk music, jamming and hats lover who sings originals and reinvented classics.



Izzy Burns

Izzy Burns

The Hamilton Indoor Recreation Center is located at 1724 E. F St. For more event details, please visit the Moscow City Facebook page or visit https://www.ci.moscow.id.us/196/Entertainment-in-the-Park.

The entertainment in the park is sponsored by Moscow City, Moscow Art Commission, Friends of Moscow Public Library, Latah District Library District, and Avista.

Portillo’s now serving Chicago-style meals at Orlando location

It was a long wait, but hopefully it was worth it: Portillo’s is now officially open in Orlando.

The Chicago-style restaurant celebrated its grand opening Tuesday, making its newest location official and ready for business.

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Portillo’s opens its first Michigan restaurant in Sterling Heights. (Portillos)

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer attended the official opening of Portillos Tuesday. Restaurant officials said the site brings about 100 jobs to the area and they are ready to hire even more people.

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“There are a lot of vacancies, especially in the tourism and hospitality industries, so it was a bit strange coming back as a lot of restaurants and hotels are being prevented from opening fully because they can’t fill all of the positions,” said Dyer.

Portillo’s Orlando general manager Jeremy Sasso said they have employment signs inside and outside the restaurant.

[PHOTOS: Portillo’s now serving Chicago-style food at Orlando location]

“We also want managers and team members who believe in our core values, family, fun, energy and greatness,” said Sasso.

Portillo fans waited patiently as the restaurant’s opening was postponed several times before it became final on June 15th.

You can eat Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, and famous chocolate cake at the 7,800-square-foot restaurant, which has two walkways and two covered outdoor patios, officials said.

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[RELATED: Chicagoan shares 7 things you must try at Portillo’s]

The location is in the Village at O-Town West at 7715 Palm Parkway in Orlando, which is also where the new White Castle is located. Other restaurants and shops in the Village of O-Town are also under construction.

“We’re very lucky that Orlando is where everyone wants to be,” said Dyer.

Portillo opens office in Orlando (Image: Bob Kotek) (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

Inside the restaurant, the theme is that of a diner with an “Ode to Rock ‘n Roll with an electric guitar ceiling installation”.

If you’ve never had Portillo and wondered? what’s good on the map, a News 6 manager shared his inside knowledge and rated the menu items you need to try. He also explained the different ways to order the Italian beef sandwich.

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The Orlando location is the fast-casual chain’s first restaurant in central Florida and the third in Florida after Tampa and Brandon.

Portillo opens office in Orlando (Image: Bob Kotek) (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

Stars and Strikes Household Leisure Celebrates 16 12 months Anniversary of First Location with Upgraded Arcade

Tip ranks

2 large dividend stocks that yield 7%; Analysts say “buy”

Let’s talk about defending your portfolio. It is a general stimulus for most investors when the economy starts to turn sour. We are now in a growth phase in which economic activity is recovering strongly from the closings of the corona crisis and the reopening is in full swing, economists forecast GDP growth of up to 8% for this year. But there are clouds on the horizon. Inflation is rising, and the April job report was, simply put, a disaster. The Biden administration is pushing billions of dollars in spending plans that are likely to boost inflation, while expanded unemployment benefits artificially boost the unemployment rate. But in all of this, the Federal Reserve has signaled that it does not intend to hike rates. In a letter from investment banking firm Canaccord, analyst Tony Dwyer acknowledges the turbulent market conditions. “While major market indices remain near record levels, there has been incredible volatility among them due to confusion over the inflation path and the Federal Reserve’s insistence that it is temporary. We expect rotational volatility to continue in the coming weeks as investors debate the inflation outlook ahead of the latest economic data in early June, while the Fed moves ahead of the FOMC’s June 15-16 meeting. June goes into its dormant phase, ”noted Dwyer. All of this leads to a market environment that is suitable for defensive stock prices as a hedge against uncertainty. And that, of course, brings us to dividend stocks. These are the classic defensive ways of playing that offer investors a dual path to return, both from stock appreciation and dividend payments. Wall Street analysts did some of the footwork for us, pinpointing dividend stocks that have held up their high yields, at least 7% to be precise. When we open the TipRanks database, we examine the details behind two such stocks to see what else makes them attractive buys. Black Stone Minerals (BSM) We’re starting out with a hydrocarbon exploration and development company, Black Stone Minerals. This company owns rights to more than 20 million acres across 60 productive pools in 40 states. The lion’s share of operations are spread from Texas through Alabama, but Black Stone also owns rights and hydrocarbon production in Montana and North Dakota, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and the Rocky Mountain states. Black Stone released its financial results for the first quarter of 21 in early May. The results showed that the company has still not fully recovered from the COVID pandemic – sales and earnings are both still lower than last year. On a positive note, sales increased sequentially for three consecutive quarters. Revenues were $ 87.1 million and net income was reported at $ 16 million. The company confirmed its creditworthiness through its $ 400 million revolving credit facility during the quarter. During the quarter, Black Stone entered into several new property development agreements in Texas and acquired mineral and licensing rights for $ 20.7 million in cash and shares in the northern portion of the Midland Basin. Also in the quarter, Black Stone announced a dividend of 17.5 cents per common share. At the current price, the dividend yield on the common shares is 7.07% and the annual payout of 70 cents per common share. Raymond James analyst John Freeman is impressed with Black Stone’s development deals in the first quarter and writes of the company: “BSM had an incredibly strong first quarter of … the pandemic. We have already seen phenomenal results in the very early development of Austin Chalk and expect more useful downhole catalysts in the near future, this time from the Shelby Trough … “The analyst summarized:” Due to the strong progress we are increasing our production estimate for 2021 to the top of the BSM – Guide (up 3%) and are now modeling a return to growth in 2022 (offering an attractive .. dividend yield and rock-solid balance sheet. “Unsurprisingly, Freeman rates the stock as a strong buy and sets a price target of $ 15 which suggests an upside of ~ 50% for the coming year. (To see Freeman’s track record, click here) Overall, Black Stone has drawn the attention of 5 Wall Street analysts whose ratings break down 2 to 3 buys versus holds and give the stock a consensus rating of Moderate Buy, which sells for $ 9.90 and has an average K Price target of $ 11.40, which means room for 15% upside over the next 12 months. (See BSM stock analysis on TipRanks) Blackstone Mortgage Trust (BXMT) Of course, when we look at dividend stocks, we’re drawn to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Spreading the line between real estate managers and financial services providers, these companies are known for their high dividend yields and long-term dividend reliability. Both result from a regulatory requirement that REITs pay back a certain percentage of the profit directly to the shareholders. Dividends are a convenient mode of compliance. Blackstone Mortgage focuses on secured senior mortgage loans in the North American, European and Australian markets. The company has more than $ 368 billion in real estate portfolio worldwide and $ 649 billion in total assets under management. Assets under management include real estate assets of $ 196 billion. While BXMT’s revenue has been declining sequentially recently, revenue for the first quarter was still $ 185.75 million, and earnings per share of 54 cents per share were dramatically higher than the 39 cents loss for the year-ago quarter. In the first quarter, Blackstone completed $ 1.7 billion in new home loans, exceeding its total lending in 2020. The company also reported $ 1.1 billion in available liquidity. The solid results supported the dividend payment of 62 cents per common share. The dividend has been paid at this rate since 2H15, and the company has made steadfast payments for the past 8 years. At the current price, the dividend is annualized to $ 2.48 per share and gives an impressively high return of 7.74%. BTIG analyst Tim Hayes is bullish on Blackstone: “The pipeline is robust and management believes that earnings will benefit from continued portfolio growth and higher fee income as additions / repayments normalize. ROEs for new issues are expected to be in line with pre-pandemic levels as lower funding costs offset pressures on investment returns. Credit performance remains strong and continues to trend in the right direction…. BXMT recognized 100 percent interest collection in 1Q21, with 98% of the loans being successful [sic]… “The analyst concluded:” We think stocks are attractively valued, are currently trading at a discount to historical multiples and offer a dividend yield of 7.7% – a spread of ~ 600 basis points to the yield on US Treasuries at 10 years compared to the 2-year average pre-pandemic spread of ~ 475 bps. “Based on the above, Hayes rates BXMT stock with a Buy and a target price of $ 35. Based on the current dividend yield and expected price increase, the stock has a potential total return profile of ~ 16%. (To see Hayes’ track record, click here) Like BSM above, BXMT has 5 analyst ratings, including 2 for buy and 3 for hold, for an analyst consensus rating with moderate buy. (See BXMT stock analysis on TipRanks) To find great ideas for trading dividend stocks at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly introduced rth tool that brings together all of TipRanks’ stock insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the analysts featured. The content is provided for informational purposes only. It is very important that you do your own analysis before making any investment.

Chicago-style pizza chain Lou Malnati’s confirms 86th Avenue location

Chicago-style pizza parlor, Lou Malnati, has announced that its second Indianapolis location will open this spring at 2902 W. 86th St. in the Willow Lake West Mall east of Michigan Road.

The Northbrook, Illinois-based chain confirmed to IBJ In March it was planned to open a pizzeria at this address. However, at the time, the company also said it didn’t know when it would open this store as the pandemic brought uncertainties.

The 86th Street location will be 1,600 square feet and will only offer roadside pickup, pickup, and delivery.

Lou Malnati’s opened its first local store on The Bridges development in Carmel at 11435 Spring Mill Road in October.

“We’re excited to be bringing our authentic deep dish pizza to West 86th Street and making it our second home in the Indianapolis area,” said owner Marc Malnati in a written statement.

Malnati also said that a previously announced full-service pizza place in Broad Ripple will open later this year. The restaurant will be located in a 5,145-square-foot building at 6320 Ferguson St., north of the Central Canal.

Malnati is the son of Lou Malnati, who founded the company with his wife Jean and opened his first restaurant in the Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood in 1971.

Today the company has 57 locations in the Chicago area, four in Arizona, three in Wisconsin, one in Schererville, northwest Indiana, and one in Carmel.