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NFL player opening Smyrna sports bar during lockout

Former University of Georgia and New Orleans Saints defensive end Charles Grant plans to open Grant’s Bar & Grill in the coming weeks.

Who doesn’t want to come to Smyrna-Vinings? From Miss America, to the walking dead to an apparent U.S. presidential candidate frontrunner, people of late want and need a piece of this Patch.

They’ve all quickly moved on, though, but another headline grabber is looking to stay, and he’s wearing a Super Bowl ring.

A Smyrna City Council meeting usually contains its mixture of public hearings and updates on city projects and upcoming events. But the most recent affair featured former Georgia Bulldog and New Orleans Saint defensive end Charles Grant successfully gaining approval for a liquor license for his soon-to-be-open sports bar.

Grant’s Bar & Grill will be at 2997 Cumberland Boulevard, just east of Cumberland Mall in a former Roasters restaurant. It will be the Colquitt native’s second establishment by the same name with the first located in Grant’s hometown and set to welcome its first anniversary in September.

The Smyrna locale should open in late July-early August according to Grant, who repeatedly chatted up his chicken wings and “great food for a great price’’ to the Smyrna council.

“The atmosphere will be outstanding; I’ve already got different deals for people to do things there,’’ Grant told Patch, hinting that some familiar football faces could be seen there. “The people want a change and need something different.’’

Grant is looking for some change, too. The 25th overall selection in the 2002 NFL draft, the former Bulldog was a force off the defensive edge for most of his first five seasons in the league, but his play in New Orleans declined in subsequent years following an ankle injury in 2007.

The following year he received a four-game suspension for use of a diuretic, which can be used to conceal steroid use. Due to litigation involving other NFL players accused of using the same diuretic, Grant’s suspension was and continues to be delayed. He started for much of the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl championship season, but missed the postseason title run with a torn triceps.

Released weeks after the Super Bowl, Grant accomplished little on the field with the Dolphins and Bears last season. Off the field last year, he pleaded no contest to affray, which means public fighting, for an incident that took place outside a Blakely, Ga., night club in Feb., 2008.

In the melee, a pregnant 23-year-old innocent bystander was shot and killed. Grant, who was one of seven men charged in the incident and did not have the gun that killed the woman, was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $20,000 restitution.

The 32-year-old Grant is ready to put that chapter of his life behind him, but hasn’t closed the door on football. If the owners and players can figure out how to split the more than-$9 billion figure in annual revenue the NFL generates and conduct a season this fall, Grant knows he can contribute on the field.

“I hope I play for the Atlanta Falcons,’’ Grant told Patch. “I’m just blessed to be living and you will never see me with a sad face. If I can get in the right system with the right opportunity, I know I have at least five years in me. I know I can play, I just need a chance.’’

Whether he gets one or not remains to be see. That’s one reason why he’s expanding his restaurant business to the Jonquil City.

“It’s a great area,’ said Grant, who indicated that he had researched the entire metro area before settling on his Smyrna locale. “I did the demographics and this is the best place. There is life after football and I want to help the community of Smyrna be a better community. ‘’

Contenna Williams July 28, 2011 at 02:11 AM
Enjoyed the radio show with chef!.....I will hold you guys to my home cooked meal. Congrats on your place you will do well!!
Concerned Citizen December 05, 2011 at 03:59 AM
He needs to pay his bill. He owes money to a tailor for custom suits about $5000. That's ashame. He needs to make things right if he wants to be blessed!
Paul Smyrna December 05, 2011 at 04:41 AM
The sign is finally on the building, guess it will be opening soon.
TeeQue February 05, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I have personally known CGrant since 1997. I met him at UGA and I did not play football with him. He is black and is from as far south in GA as you can get. I'm white and from as far north as you can get in GA. I knew him when he had .47 cents and 47 million he is the same guy. We all have our issues and there are two sides to every story. Not condoning, defending or calling you a liar. I know his heart and I am sure there is a reason. Thanks Tee Que
My3Sons February 22, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I know Charles personally and he is a great guy! He is spiritually grounded, has a good heart and helps those in need without expecting anything in return. If he's not welcomed to play in the NFL again, he'll make a great businessman. He is also a very smart guy.

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