If the Carolina Panthers win Super Bowl 50, they might just have some special sauce from a restaurant on Montford Drive to thank.
The Roasting Company is a favorite of star linebacker Luke Kuechly, who eats there regularly and has praised the restaurant in interviews.
“That’s one of my go-tos before a game,” Kuechly said Wednesday.
But after the Panthers’ Dec. 27 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, owner Doug Bell said Kuechly confessed to a manager that he had broken his streak and hadn’t eaten there the week before.
“He was going to make sure he ate at the Roasting Company next time,” said Bell. And Kuechly kept up the streak, eating at the rotisserie chicken-centric restaurant before the next two regular season victories and the team’s playoff wins.
So when the Panthers won the NFC Championship and punched their ticket to Super Bowl 50, Bell talked with the Panthers about sending Kuechly some chicken to satisfy any superstitions. But concerns about food safety made them decide that wasn’t the best idea right before such a big game.
“We decided the risk was extremely low, but we didn’t want anyone to get sick from shipping food across the country,” said Bell. So, in a compromise, he decided to send the restaurant’s bottled “Tico” sauce, so Kuechly can put it on whatever he’s eating out there.
And even if you’re extra-superstitious, don’t worry: Bell said Kuechly ate at the restaurant before departing for Santa Clara.
“Technically, Luke ate at the Roasting Company last week,” after the NFC Championship and prior to Super Bowl 50, Bell said.
Observer staff writer Katherine Peralta contributed.