Buffalo Bills Player opens own barbecue restaurant
One of the biggest dreams you can have is owning your own restaurant. It takes a lot of resources, patience, sacrifice and determination to get there. It is particularly difficult to open a restaurant in the past 16 months.
That didn’t stop Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie. The fifth-year NFL player recently opened his own barbecue restaurant in his hometown of Miami, Florida called La Traila.
According to ESPN, the Bills’ catcher and kickback return teamed up with pit master and Texas native Mel Rodriguez in 2020 to begin the process of opening their own brick and engine restaurant.
Rodriguez and McKenzie met in 2020, just at the start of the pandemic, and McKenzie shared a vision to open a food truck after cooking Rodriguez for the family function they were attending.
After serving great barbecue at a few Miami area pop-ups, they were finally able to open a permanent location as the country began to open up again. They called it La Traila.
Receiver Bills is very involved in his business. He learned what goes into cooking an amazing barbecue from his business partner and even greets customers and takes orders at the checkout. When people ask him who he is, McKenzie simply says, “I work right here.
What is amazing is that they now have customers lining up to enter their restaurant. They even sell food almost every day, with the breast being the most popular. La Traila also serves baby back ribs and pulled pork; among other traditional Texan-style barbecue staples right in the middle of Miami.
“We didn’t know we would have long lines,” McKenzie said. “We didn’t know we were going to sell. We just wanted to open up and cook food. We’re still learning on the fly, but it’s been good. . “
NFL players have even visited the McKenzie restaurant, including the tackle and his Bills teammate Dion Dawkins.
McKenzie is one of the funniest guys in The Bills and it’s great to see him open a successful restaurant in his hometown. Location in Buffalo someday?
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