St. Louis restaurant drops Albert Pujols' name, but statue stays
The owners of the Pujols 5 Westport Grill in St. Louis, named after former Cardinals star and new Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, are dropping the slugger's name from the restaurant, but a larger-than-life-sized bronze statue of Pujols pointing to the heavens will remain in front of the establishment.
The statue, which is 10 feet high and weighs 1,100 pounds and was unveiled in November, was a gift to the Pujols Family Foundation from an anonymous donor, and the land it sits on is owned by the surrounding Westport Plaza complex, not the restaurant.
Todd Perry, chief executive of the Pujols Family Foundation, said there were no plans to remove the statue in response to the restaurant name change or Pujols' decision to leave the Cardinals to sign a 10-year, $240-million deal with the Angels in December.
The restaurant was formerly known as Patrick's, named after owner Patrick Hanon, but it was changed to Pujols 5 in 2006 after a licensing agreement in which Pujols lent his name to the restaurant in exchange for 5% of restaurant profits being donated to his foundation, which primarily supports children with Down syndrome and poor families in the Dominican Republic.
But business at Pujols 5 has slowed since Pujols signed with the Angels, and Dan Lozano, Pujols' agent, said "it didn't make sense" for Hanon to continue his relationship with the slugger.
The restaurant will retain its sports theme, but all Pujols-related items have been removed from the menu. According to a radio report in St. Louis, the new name of the restaurant will be the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame grill.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo: Albert Pujols. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.