Friday, September 6, 2013

Ryan Braun loses restaurant chain deal

A Wisconsin corporation, which licensed Ryan Braun's name in affiliation with its restaurants all over the state, will be the latest company to cut ties with the shamed ballplayer.

On Thursday, the SURG Restaurant Group announced that it has decided to end its business relationship with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder, who is under suspension by Major League Baseball for violations of baseball’s joint drug prevention and treatment program regarding his ties with the Biogenesis scandal.

The new special on the menu could be called "Chicken Catchanomore."

The action, which had been expected, was confirmed by SURG late Thursday in a press release. SURG said it will keep Ryan Braun’s Graffito in Milwaukee’s 3rd Ward open until the end of 2013 “to honor its pre-existing obligations to its customers and employees.” However, Graffito will close after the holiday season.

SURG will change the name of the 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill in Brookfield — which gets its name from Braun’s uniform number 8 and his old friend Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers number 12. The name also will change for SURG group’s planned 8-Twelve restaurant at Bayshore Town Center.

“We’ve appreciated the relationship we had with Ryan over the last several years, and the entire SURG family wishes him success in the future,” said Michael Polaski, CEO and co-owner of SURG Restaurant Group.

Things just keep falling apart for Braun, who also lost a deal with convenience store Kwik Trip and a shoe deal with Nike after he was suspended.

A month after accepting the suspension, Braun apologized in a statement through the Brewers, admitting that he had used a banned substance in cream and lozenge form.

"It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately," Braun said in the statement.

"By coming forward when I did and waiving my right to appeal any sanctions that were going to be imposed, I knew I was making the correct decision and taking the first step in the right direction. It was important to me to begin my suspension immediately to minimize the burden on everyone I had so negatively affected -- my teammates, the entire Brewers organization, the fans and all of MLB."

Plans for the two 8-Twelve locations still are evolving, but they will be re-branded into “exciting restaurant experiences,” said Omar Shaikh, president of SURG. Both restaurants will focus on locally-sourced products, including beef and pork from Polaski’s Hidden Creek Farms in New London.

Rodgers will continue his relationship with SURG with a focus on community relations and charitable activities, Polaski said.

Braun said in a press release from SURG that he supported the company’s decision and wished the best of luck to the SURG Restaurant Group.

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