Training diet of ex-49ers owner: Pizza, pasta and Ed & Eddie's Ice Cream
To set the record straight, Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. says he never really went away. He just changed coasts, companies and careers.
Now a resident of
"It was my choice to go in the other direction," said the president of DeBartolo and Associates. "I just wanted to do some interesting things."
Along with ex-Oakland Raiders tackle Ed Muransky,
DeBartolo opened Tomatina, a pizza-and-pasta eatery named for the annual
tomato-throwing festival in
Next door to Tomatina, they established Ed & Eddie's Homemade Ice Cream, a fledgling franchise with a logo depicting the height differential between its owners.
Indeed, DeBartolo has maintained a sense of humor
throughout his well-chronicled ordeal in which he pled guilty in 1998 to
failing to report a felony in a federal investigation involving the issuance of
a riverboat casino license in
DeBartolo paid a $1 million fine and agreed to two years' probation, then was fined another $1 million by the National Football League, which suspended him for a year. His sister, Denise DeBartolo York, took over ownership of the 49ers, which won five Super Bowls while Eddie DeBartolo owned the franchise.
"We really had an interesting run that 23 years," he said.
Although the siblings continue to settle the $1 billion-plus estate of the late Edward J. DeBartolo, Forbes magazine recently stated that Eddie DeBartolo may have gotten the better end of the deal: $570 million in family stock in the Simon Property Group and various private real estate estimated at $60 million.
And the 49ers have since played less-than-Super Bowl football, going 4-12 last year and 4-8 so far this season.
DeBartolo is now using his wealth -- reportedly $780
million -- to develop new concepts such as Tomatina and Ed & Eddie's, which
he described as a starting point for more retail development in the
He and Muransky are studying a broad range of potential
strip center and mall locations in
"It would be sort of a déja vu," said DeBartolo,
who practically grew up watching his father's company develop about half the
malls in central
"We just haven't been in that business because of other things that have been going on, but those relationships and friendships are still there."
Muransky, who knows DeBartolo from their hometown of
DeBartolo and Muransky moved to
Had it not been for DeBartolo's prior relationship with
Greco, who worked for his father's company as a vice president, he and Muransky
say they probably wouldn't have come to
"With the redevelopment and growth in
DeBartolo, who is completing a 20,000-square-foot home on
6.5 acres in
He said DeBartolo and Associates has hundreds of millions of dollars in the pipeline for future development, primarily involving retail space but possibly including offices, restaurants and hotels.
As for Tomatina, a restaurant concept inspired by a similar
one in the
"We're not going to put one on every street corner," he said. "It's going to be done with a lot of common and financial sense."
He's already heavily hawking the Ed & Eddie's ice cream brand, saying it has the right balance of quality and texture between Ben & Jerry's and Dairy Queen.
"You will say without any question that this is the best ice cream you ever ate," he said. "It is absolutely phenomenal."
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