NEW CITY, N.Y. -- A Facebook post that went viral has led to Rockland's Greatest All Star Sports Grill in New City at 190 South Main St.
The restaurant, which will have its grand opening in October, was inspired by a Facebook group called Rockland's Greatest.
The group started after Andre Chiavelli posted a picture of Rocky Balboa with the caption, "The eye of the tiger, do you still have it?"
Over the next two weeks, Chiavelli's posts had more than 4,000 comments with many Rockland athletes reminiscing about their exploits on the field. Chiavelli eventually turned it into a Facebook group, which gets thousands of posts a week at all hours of the day.
Bill Willows decided he wanted to open a restaurant and partnered with Chiavelli to bring the Rockland's Greatest concept to life, featuring memorabilia and jerseys hung on the walls. The restaurant recently held a soft opening, which was a reunion of some of Rockland's best athletes, including Roy White, who won two World Series for the Yankees.
"It was an unbelievable night," Chiavelli said. "We were packed to capacity."
Willows, who has been in the restaurant business his whole life, said the restaurant will be about Rockland. While patrons watch the Rangers and Knicks, other TVs will be showing highlights of high school games and Little League.
"We're all about community and local sports," Willows said. "We're about honoring the old athletes and marketing the new. So far, it's been working really well.
The restaurant is designed to be a place where the family can come together, which is why Willows is referring to the restaurant as a sports grill rather than a bar.
"Most of the menu items are under $10," Willows, who loves the steak sandwich, said. "We're not fine dining, but everyone loves it. It's affordable. We've been getting good feedback."
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