Buffalo Bills Player Opens His Own BBQ Restaurant
One of the greatest dreams anyone could have is owning their own restaurant. It takes a lot of resources, patience, sacrifice and determination to do so. It’s especially hard to open up a restaurant in the last 16 months.
That hasn’t stopped Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie. The fifth-year NFL player has recently opened his own BBQ restaurant in his hometown of Miami, FL called La Traila.
According to ESPN, the Bills receiver and kick returner teamed up with pit master and Texas native, Mel Rodriguez in 2020 to begin the process of opening up their very own brick and motor restaurant.
Rodriguez and McKenzie met in 2020, just as the pandemic began, and McKenzie shared a vision to open a food truck after having Rodriguez cook for the family function they were attending.
After serving up great BBQ at a few pop-ups in the Miami area, they finally were able to open a permanent location as the country began to open up again. They called it La Traila.
The Bills receiver is very hands on with his business. He’s learned what goes into cooking amazing BBQ from his business partner and even greets customers and takes orders at registers. When people ask him who he is, McKenzie just says, “I just work here.”
What’s amazing his they now have customers lined up to get into their restaurant. They even sell out of food most days, with brisket being the most popular. La Traila also serves up ribs and pulled pork; among other staples of traditional Texas-style BBQ, right in Miami.
"We didn't know that we would have long lines, said McKenzie. We didn't know that we would sell out. We just wanted to open up and make some food. We're still learning on the fly, but it's been good."
NFL players have even visited McKenzie’s restaurant, including Bills tackle and teammate Dion Dawkins.
McKenzie is one of the funniest guys on the Bills and it’s awesome to see him open a successful restaurant in his hometown. Location in Buffalo one day?