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Lakers Legend Shaquille O’Neal Is Opening Restaurant in Downtown LA

The iconic big man isn’t saying much on the project, yet

Shaquille O’Neal overlaid with an up-close shot of rotisserie chicken.
The many foods of Shaq
Shaq photo: Getty/Kevork Djansezian; Chicken photo: Getty/Cate Gillon
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Legendary Los Angeles Laker Shaquille O’Neal is heading back down to the Staples Center area for one last run at glory, this time with a restaurant at L.A. Live that might be called Shaquille’s.

The news of the big man’s impending restaurant at one of the most tourist-friendly hubs in all of Los Angeles has come swift, with an ABC license from the city drawn up just a couple of days ago that clearly indicates the proposed restaurant’s name as “Shaquille’s.”

The address on the paperwork points to the former The Farm of Beverly Hills at L.A. Live, which for a time morphed into Cleo’s. Now it’s Shaq’s turn to try turning the convention and tourist-riddled zone into a big time restaurant.

While O’Neal’s name isn’t officially listed on the ABC license, like most celebrities who open restaurants, there’s a managing limited liability company behind the project that shares the exact same address as PRP in Las Vegas. PRP is a prominent sports management company that counts Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, and yes Shaq among its client base. Eater reached out to them directly to discuss the news, but so far hasn’t heard back. L.A. Live proper is also being similarly mum on the incoming restaurant.

As for what form Shaq’s restaurant will actually take, it’s anyone’s guess at the moment. Former athletes tend to love the upscale steakhouse genre, though O’Neal has already begun dipping his toes into the chicken game, with plans to open his own place in Las Vegas and, naturally, film the whole thing for a show. However, with Fleming’s steakhouse next door, it’s possible that Shaquille’s will take on a more casual vibe. More on this as it comes.

Shaquille’s. 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA.