The trustees of Junior Seau's estate have decided to shut down his popular San Diego sports bar, according to a statement on Wednesday, two weeks after the 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker committed suicide.
Seau's the Restaurant opened in 1996 and was a favorite hangout for Charger fans, especially during football season. The 14,500-square-foot establishment featured a wide-ranging menu of pizza, pasta, burgers and even sushi. One of the specialties was Mama Seau's Teriyaki Chicken and Beef, which pulled from the family's Samoan heritage. Seau's had 60 televisions and the owner himself used to watch games there with San Diego's loyal fans after his retirement in 2009.
His absence from the restaurant was cited as one of the driving factors behind the decision to close according to board member Bette Hoffman.
"The trustees made their decision to honor Seau's legacy and preserve the memories of the excitement, fun and warmth that were the hallmarks of the restaurant during the famed linebacker's lifetime," she said in a statement. "Without Seau's charismatic leadership, it was felt that the future profitability of the restaurant could be in question."
Fans have piled flowers and other remembrances outside the Mission Valley eatery. It's just one of several locations with an outpouring of support for the 20-year NFL veteran who spent thirteen seasons with the Chargers. Last week nearly 15,000 people turned out to celebrate Seau's life in a memorial at nearby Qualcomm Stadium.
The restaurant's Yelp page has also turned from restaurant reviews to farewells. Many posts recall favorite moments on the field, while others mourned the loss of traditions that come with the restaurant's closing. Seau's was an every Sunday event for some and the annual site of fantasy football drafts for others. One reviewer, citing the trustees' wishes to protect the family name, suggested a new moniker like Restaurant 55 or 1994, the year Seau led the team to the Super Bowl.
Still, true fans of the man who called everyone "Buddee" won't need a brick and mortar shrine to his memory. Whenever the Bolts take the field, Seau will be celebrated in the hearts and minds of every Charger fan.
And for those who want to remember him with their stomachs, maybe the restaurant will release Mama Seau's Teriyaki recipe.
-- Adam Watson is the food czar at ThePostGame. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamKWatson.
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