Off the field, Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has earned the reputation as an unabashed food nerd. He’s a spokesman for a Chicago-area beer/wine retailer, he showcases Cabernet Sauvignons he enjoys during post-game press conferences, and Ava, the Italian restaurant in Tampa Maddon co-owns—where he previously coached—received a four-star review, the highest rating in the Tampa Bay Times.
Long before Maddon became involved in baseball, he grew up in the restaurant business: Maddon’s mother spent many years working as a waitress at Third Base Luncheonette, a diner in Hazelton, Pennsylvania known for their steak hoagies, and where Maddon grew up. In 2015, Maddon consulted on an Italian hoagie recipe—with Genoa salami, ham, plus American and white cheese—which was offered as a menu item at Wrigley Field concession stands.
Now comes news that Maddon—who’s become a folk hero in Chicago after bringing home a World Series championship for the Cubs in 2016—is opening a restaurant adjacent to Wrigley Field. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Maddon and Chicago chef Tony Mantuano (he’s known for his Michelin-starred Italian restaurants) will be opening a restaurant at Wrigley Field’s newly built entertainment complex The Park at Wrigley. Given the pedigrees of both restaurateurs, we’ll go out on a limb and say it’ll be an Italian restaurant, likely with some punny baseball references on the menu.