Troy Aikman was anything but a flashy quarterback. A typical line for the former Dallas Cowboy and NFL Hall of Famer might be 12-for-17, 181 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
He won a lot of football games and championships by being steady, dependable and simply among the best ever.
So don't expect anything flashy when his new restaurant, simply named Troy's, opens in August at the new Texas Live! development in the Arlington Entertainment District.
And Troy's looks to be a major attraction.
"This was inspired by all the great Texas beer halls," Aikman said, making a surprise appearance at a media tour of Texas Live! on May 8. "I've been thinking a while about jumping in, opening a restaurant, something I can put my name on."
Designed by Jeffrey Beers International, the space will have a refined rustic interior and an outdoor patio space centered around a live oak tree. The 10,000-square-foot restaurant will include a beer garden, live music, a patio and, of course, some big-screen televisions to keep track of all the games.
"I can't have a restaurant with my name on it without games, especially the games I'm broadcasting," he said with a laugh.
Aikman transitioned from one hell of a quarterback to one hell of a broadcaster.
What it will NOT have, however, is sports memorabilia. That's just not Aikman.
"My home is not that way and my restaurant won't be," he said. "I want them to experience great food. I'm not going to push anything on them.
"I do like live music, and we'll have that seven days a week."
There will, however, be a piece of art in the restaurant that is dear to Aikman. Call it memorabilia if you like, but he prefers to call it special.
On one wall will be a mural of the so-called Triplets (Aikman, Emmett Smith and Michael Irvin). It's from a photo by Ron St. Angelo, official photographer of the Dallas Cowboys for three decades.
"It's one hanging in all three of our houses. It captures what we're all about," Aikman said.
Troy's will offer gourmet burgers and he promises to have his own touches on the menu.
"I try to eat as healthy as I can, so there will be healthy options," he said. "I'm trying to put my own individual touches on the menu without hitting people over the head that this is Troy's restaurant."
And it will include his wife's artichoke dip. Don't ask him what else is in it, but he will gladly talk about its deliciousness.
"It's not on the healthy side," he said. "But she makes it every weekend – and I enjoy it."
Aikman also promises some of the best margaritas in the state. And when pressed by a reporter on his favorite beer (though he admitted he loves margaritas), he grinned and responded, "I'm a Miller Lite guy. I like a lot of different ones, but for the record I'm going to stick with Miller Lite."
It was a funny commercial. If you don't remember it, it's worth a YouTube search.
Aikman, of course, plans to show up at the restaurant from time to time. After all, the place has his name on it. But no big autograph sessions or parties are planned. Like his playing style, it's going to be cool and classy.
But don't be surprised if you see a former – or current Cowboy – in there.
"I imagine a lot of my former teammates will be stopping in," he said, pausing and following up with a smile. "I sure hope so."