After giving Queens a championship in 1986, Darryl Strawberry is now serving his Alma mater borough barbecue and beer on tap.
Strawberry chose to open Strawberry’s Sports Grill in Queens “because Queens is a family place,” he said.
“The Mets fans are here and you know I’m a true Met.”
Strawberry’s, which opened in August 2010, is located right off the Long Island Railroad at 42-15 235th Street in Douglaston. Along with wooden tables for families to sit at and eat their burgers off the grill, a bar takes up a good portion of the restaurant for those who want to go out.
“And I just felt like it was an area where I wanted an atmosphere for family and children to have a sports atmosphere where they can enjoy watching baseball [and football] games,” Strawberry said.
Strawberry, who lives between St. Louis and Manhattan, said owning a restaurant in Queens is more than what he hoped for.
“You have families, you have kids that want to come out and be a part of an experience,” he said.
Owning a restaurant is easier than playing professional baseball because “I don’t have to deal with the media,” he said as he sat across from a reporter at a table in the back of the grill, while fans tripped over each other, asking to take pictures with the 1986 champion.
“Playing baseball you have to deal with the media all the time and you have to deal with the ups and downs,” he said.
The restaurant is decorated with reportedly $300,000 in jerseys and other paraphernalia from both the Mets and the Yankees.
It represents Strawberry’s love for both teams.
As much as he loves the Mets, “I love the Bronx, I love the Yankees,” he said. “I love what I’ve been able to do.”
He said his heart lies with neither team, but rather with the city as a whole.
“I’m a New Yorker.”
As for the Mets as a team this summer, Strawberry said he’s proud of how Manager Terry Collins has handled obstacles he faced.
Collins “has done a great job with what he’s had this year,” the former Met said. “He’s had a lot of injuries, a lot of ups and downs, struggle with the team, but he’s done a great job.”
When he’s not running his restaurant and reminiscing with former teammates, Strawberry focuses on his foundation for children with autism, the Darryl Strawberry Foundation, which he founded in 2006 with his wife, Tracy Strawberry.
Strawberry’s publicist, Tracy Davidson, said he and his wife were touring a children’s hospital and were personally touched by the children in the autism wing and their families.
“They were very affected by it and wanted to help however they could,” Davidson said.
Strawberry said the foundation is doing well.
“We love it, it’s going great,” he said.
For more information on the Darryl Strawberry and his foundation, visit Darrylstrawberry.com.
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