HOUSTON – Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is looking to score with his latest venture, Lefty’s Famous Cheesesteaks, Hoagies & Grill. He became part-owner of the restaurant in August and plans on opening multiple franchises in Houston.
“Lefty’s is a family business,” Watson said. “It was only right that after I met Sam and tried it, I brought it to my home in Houston.”
The Michigan-based cheesesteak shop is opening its first Texas location at 8057 Kirby Drive near the NRG Stadium. The restaurant is expected to open on Dec. 15.
Lefty’s Famous Cheesesteaks is a fast-casual, counter-service founded in 2010 by Sam Berry, a 36-year-old cancer survivor. In addition to cheesesteaks, the restaurant also features the Southpaw, topped with cheese sauce and crushed Hot Cheetos; Italian Stallion, topped with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni and The Winfrey, topped with shaved chicken, grilled onions, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños and chipotle aioli.
The restaurant promises to name a Houston hoagie after a local food influencer in the coming weeks.
The menu also includes burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, cold cuts, hot dogs, salads, desserts and sides such as the popular cheesesteak egg rolls and corned beef egg rolls.
Lefty’s Famous Cheesesteaks has grown over the last 24 months, boasting 23 locations in Michigan and adding 20 more stores in the next four months. In January, a second Houston-area location will open at 1010 Federal Road at East Freeway. Then, they plan to open 150 stores in Texas and employ between 16 to 20 people per location.
The restaurant will be open seven days a week, open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Customers can order takeout or delivery via DoorDash and GrubHub.
“We are so excited to be in Houston with Deshaun Watson as the new face of our brand,” said Berry, the founder and CEO of Lefty’s Famous Cheesesteaks. “I’ve always been a fan of Houston and always wanted to go to Texas. It’s exciting for us, and I’m excited for people in Houston to try our food. Lefty’s can be imitated, but never duplicated. Everybody in Houston is going to realize that if you don’t eat left, you don’t eat right.”
“Deshaun is approaching business off the field with a unique mindset for an NFL player,” said Bryan Burney, head of NFL Player Marketing at Athletes First. “It’s about having ownership, putting his name on something that he can be proud of and really being involved, from product to overall message of the company. He was ready to not only be an ambassador but also be a voice in the boardroom.”