Grille 86: A new home for sports fans, Will Open in Storrs

Grille 86 is coming to the Storrs center soon. Grille 86 is an American eatery featuring inviting, fresh, and honest food utilizing locally sourced products, served in a casual setting. The restaurant will be located at 33 Wilbur Cross Way, Suite 101. (Zhelun Lang/The Daily Campus)

Grille 86, a new American restaurant, will soon open in Storrs Center offering a new location for fresh food and sporting event viewings for the University of Connecticut community and beyond.

The restaurant was originally set to open in the holiday season of 2016 but due to a change in the location’s design the opening has been postponed to a rough estimate of late March, managing partner Marc Alderucci said.

“We don’t want to rush it. We want to get everything done the right way,” Grille 86 operations representative Shelby Krause said.

The restaurant will be the hub of sport viewings in Storrs Center, Alderucci said.

“There has been a huge demand for a larger place downtown that will stay open late and host informal gatherings of friends and families who want to watch a televised sporting event while enjoying some great food and drink. With the opening of Grille 86, that demand will be met,” CEO and Principal of Leyland Alliance LLC and developer of Storrs Center Howard Kaufman said.

There will be around 42 flat 55-inch TV screens, each one set to a different channel covering matches ranging from the NFL to the UFC, Alderucci said.

The restaurant will also host special events and deals relating to sports from the professional level to the local community, according to Alderucci.

“A diverse group of people come in from the local community from the kids across the street to the students from UConn, so we have a bit of everything for everyone,” Alderucci said.

The restaurant will feature its investor Jordan Reed, the tight end for the Washington Redskins football team and a Connecticut native, with wall memorabilia, in addition to his presence along with other NFL players for special events, Alderucci said.

The name “Grille 86” came from Reed’s jersey number with the Washington Redskins, 86, Alderucci said.

Grille 86 will also pay homage to UConn’s sports teams with its own wall for Husky memorabilia, Alderucci said.

There will also be opportunities for UConn students to reserve a private function room for various gatherings, Alderucci said.

The eatery will use locally sourced products and feature food items. This will include skewers with different items ranging from chicken teriyaki to roasted vegetables, sandwiches, chicken wings and burgers, according to the menu.

Executive Chef Willis Stepp will prepare meals with free reign to contact local butchers and acquire locally produced items, Alderucci said.

The restaurant will accommodate for a little bit of nightlife with a closing time of 1 A.M. on weekdays and 2 A.M. on weekends. There will also be nightlife events like bar trivia and DJs on weekends, along with happy hour deals.

“I’m pumped for it. It will be nice to have an upgrade from Ted’s [Bar and Restaurant],” sixth-semester resource economics major Kim Dineen said.

Though anyone can legally enter the restaurant, a system will be in place for checking ID cards at the door during later hours, if need be, to prevent underage drinking, Alderucci said.

Alderucci said he does not want people to be discouraged of coming in, as there are non-alcoholic options and people will not be excluded from watching a game and eating with friends due to their age.

Alderucci also said he hopes to host other events and fundraisers with organizations like the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Grille 86’s website, which is not live as of yet, is currently being worked on by a graphic designer. Once the restaurant is open, they will be present on all social media including their website, Facebook, Twitter and even Snapchat, Krause said.


Daniela Doncel is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at daniela.doncel@uconn.edu.