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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Miles to open "Great Day" restaurant

BATON ROUGE - In the tradition of former LSU football coach Gerry DiNardo, LSU coach Les Miles has decided to open a restaurant here called "Les Miles' Have A Great Day" restaurant.

"We will serve capable and quality food," Miles said Thursday. "It's going to be a damn strong restaurant."

The restaurant's name comes from one of Miles' signature moments as LSU's coach. Amid mistaken reporting by ESPN that he was going to Michigan in 2007, Miles held a hastily called briefing with reporters shortly before the SEC Championship Game in which he said he was staying at LSU and closed with, "Have a great day." A month later, Miles won the national championship.

"Great Day" will be open for lunch and dinner.

"Customers can have a great day and a great night," Miles said.

Great games of the Miles era will be played on video screens throughout the restaurant, but nothing after 2007.
At the moment, Miles was unsure what type of food would be served at the restaurant, which will open next fall at the sight of the old Alex Box Stadium at the corner of Nicholson Drive and Skip Bertman Drive.

"After I decide what I'm going to do with Russell Shepard and how I'm going to divide up the duties of offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, who likes to pass, and passing game coordinator Billy Gonzales, who also likes to pass, I'll figure out what type of food we will serve," Miles said. "But it will be winning food in three areas - offense, defense and special orders."

After turning around the LSU program from 1995-97 after six consecutive losing seasons from 1989-94, DiNardo - a New York City native - opened an Italian restaurant under his name before the 1998 season and promptly had two straight losing seasons and was fired.

"I don't see that happening," Miles said. "I'm way too popular."

Miles, who hails from Elyria, Ohio, said he is experimenting with Midwestern food for the restaurant.

"So there will definitely be meat and potatoes and very little flavor," he said. "We are currently studying several of the Applebees and Red Lobsters throughout Ohio. I can't say anymore because of the HIPAA laws."

In order to boost business, current LSU football players will work in the restaurant but may not be able to get paid, according to NCAA rules.

"We're still looking into that," Miles said. "We are already about to be under investigation anyway, so what's the difference?"

Former LSU assistant coach D.J. McCarthy has been named restaurant manager and is looking into getting signees who are not yet eligible and have no place to stay to also work and live in the restaurant.

Waiter tryouts have already started, and Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee are neck and neck for the No. 1 server job. Jefferson has had trouble hitting the table with the food, while Lee keeps bringing his dishes to the wrong tables.

"Some of the dishes that we haven't had them serve are dishes that they would've been really good at," Miles said. "We don't want to show the other restaurants what they're doing."

Should "Good Day" get bad reviews, Miles said he would continue to blame Ryan Perrilloux, Crowton and whoever is playing quarterback.

Miles has hired several cooks and other restaurant personnel from the very successful C'est Bon (pronounced Saban) restaurant in Ponchatoula.

"Anybody who has C'est Bon's talent is going to win," said restaurant expert Tom Fitzmorris of New Orleans. "Now the question is will it still be a good restaurant after C'est Bon's players are gone."

April Fool!


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