The grand opening is this weekend for world-famous bodybuilder Victor Martinez’s Muscle Maker Grill in Edgewater, which already is fast becoming a people magnet, thanks to in large part to Victor’s magnetic personality and a crack staff that runs its own form of circuits every day. Several local athletes and celebs plan to attend (we promised not to reveal names). Noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
The place is going great guns — pun intended. “Nice portions, not too skimpy,” Victors says. No kidding: Steaks, chops, wraps, salads, pasta, burgers. You name it, Victor’s got it, in generous sizes. Even protein smoothies are 32 oz.
His business also features nutritional supplements and just about any kind of workout drink you thirst for. You can eat clean AND hang out in a cool place with big screen TVs, with no hassles from friendly, hard-working staff. Makes it even more enjoyable with the kitchen right behind the counter.
Victor also designed a VIP lounge in back for athletes and celebrities who live in the area (ssshhhhh!).
As spokesman for the company, Victor is hoping his restaurant becomes the showpiece: Owner Rod Silva sold 150 Muscle Maker Grills nationwide in less than 18 months and isn’t showing any signs of stopping. There’s one coming to Hoboken, another to Jersey City.
mmg flyerIt will be interesting to see whether they become the beehives that Victor’s is. Drop in any time of day, or night, and a large and knowledgeable staff is hustling full-time. Victor’s business partner, Ande Taylor, keeps them hopping — though Victor’s presence doesn’t hurt.
Much as he would like to, Victor can’t lace into some of the offerings now that he’s in training for the Mr. Olympia competition in Las Vegas next month (For a brief video, click here: Pro Bodybuilder Victor Martinez).
The purposeful, single-minded approach he takes to training comes with him to the store. He’ll notice the slightest thing off center that most others miss. Yet once he points it out, he’ll follow with a huge, warm smile that hides the fact that he could lift you, and me, over his head without much effort.
People have marveled at Victor’s genuine kindness amid intense pain. Earlier this summer, his sister was murdered in a downtown Manhattan office building. The case made national headlines: Sister’s murder drives bodybuilder.
Although Victor had to identify the body, he somehow found his way back to the store, helping to fill the drink machine and make certain that shifts were covered leading up to the opening. It was only after police made an arrest that he was finally able to exhale: Arrest in sister’s murder pumps up popular bodybuilder.
“That man has an inner strength that most people could only hope to have,” Taylor said of her partner. “He just refuses to be brought down. He takes whatever challenge he has and uses it as a catalyst to rise above.”
That strength draws people to him, the same way he hopes Muscle Maker Grill will draw customers.
Try the steak. And don’t forget to tell Victor or Ande you read about them here.
Muscle Maker Grill, 725 River Road, Edgewater. 201.699.0893. Hours: 10:30 AM to as late as 9:00 PM, Monday thru Friday, and 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturday. For more, click here: MUSCLE MAKER GRILL