Former Steeler Jerome Bettis to open 3 Papa John's pizza shops

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Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis is opening three new Papa John's pizza shops in Pittsburgh, the company announced in a statement this morning.

Mr. Bettis purchased the shops through a partnership with Bajco Group, a Pittsburgh-based firm that already owns 12 Papa John's locations throughout the city.

The partners have also said that they plan to open more Papa John's locations in Pittsburgh in the next few years.

"After getting to know him over the years I have no doubt that he will be able to replicate his success on the field at the restaurants," John Schnatter, Papa John's chairman and CEO, said in the statement.

Papa John's is one of the NFL's main sponsors.

Bettis, an NFL Hall of Fame finalist, is not new to the Pittsburgh restaurant business. His first venture, the sports bar Jerome Bettis Grill 36 on Pittsburgh's North Side, opened in 2007.

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Michelle Hackman: mhackman@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1969.


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