Carmelo Anthony invests $5 million in sports bar, pizza chain near stadiums

Carmelo Anthony invests $5 million in sports bar, pizza chain near stadiums
Carmelo Anthony invests $5 million in sports bar, pizza chain near stadiums

The basketball pro has big big plans to roll out a chain of sports bars and pizza joints nationwide.  (AP/Google Maps )

Carmelo Anthony just made a big bet on beer and pizza.

The NBA star, along with Somerset Hospitality Group, is leading a $5 million investment to roll out a chain of sports bars and pizza joints nationwide, The Post has learned.

Anthony is an investor in Nobodys Pizza, a South Bronx venue from Keith Rubenstein’s real estate empire Somerset, which is now forming a partnership with The Ainsworth, a 10-year-old chain of pubs owned by Brian Mazza and Matt Shendell.

The Ainsworth is still basking in a viral internet hit. It’s controversial “24-karat chicken wings” got launched in collaboration with self-proclaimed “foodgod” and Kardashian clan pal Jonathan Cheban.

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Now, the plan is to roll out the Ainsworth alongside Nobodys Pizza at between 20 and 30 locations near sports stadiums across the country over the next seven years, according to Rubenstein.

“I am excited about the prospects of partnering with The Ainsworth and Nobody’s Pizza — combining food, entertainment, sports and real estate,” Anthony said in a statement to Side Dish.

They’re just beginning to scout locations, but Rubenstein says it’s likely that the first partnership between the two brands will be in Nashville, where The Ainsworth is already planning to open.

“We plan to … use our investor base of professional athletes and influencers to promote operations and growth,” Rubenstein said. “Side-by-side openings are just being planned and it is too soon to know where.”

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Nobodys Pizza was formerly known as La Grata, with a southern Italian menu created by Serafina vet Chef Erminio Conte. The menu, which features items like pesto linguini and a chicken paillard, has now added crowd-pleasers like chicken wings and burgers.

The Ainsworth will also open a 7,500-square-foot space in a warehouse Rubenstein is converting into a food hall at 9 Bruckner Blvd. on the South Bronx waterfront.

That Ainsworth space will also feature around 5,000 square feet of outdoor space on two levels “with multiple bars and possibly a pool,” Rubenstein said.

This story originally appeared in the New York Post.

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