A soon-to-be restaurant in town has football flowing through its veins. And the blood in those veins is colored black and gold.

That’s because all three of the owners, Scott Middlebrooks, Gregg Gullickson and Tommy Hughes tossed around pigskin as football players at Milton High School.

Middlebrooks, who graduated from Milton High in 1980, took a toss in the dark when opening a restaurant for the first time in his career.

“I worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons for 25 years and retired as a warden at Saufley Field in Pensacola,” Middlebrooks said. “This was a new endeavor not just for me, but for all of us.”

And after hanging up his bulletproof vest and warden uniform, Middlebrooks decided it was time for a new venture. And the former Milton defensive end wanted that venture to be dedicated to his alma mater.

“We have a lot of feelings for Milton High School,” Middlebrooks said. “We wanted to open up something for the kids.”

And that’s exactly what the three teammates did.

Their new restaurant, Halftime Sports Grill, is currently being constructed inside the old Mama’s Place building on Stewart Street in Milton. And there was a reason why the three chose the building.

“You can see the high school from the building,” Middlebrooks said. “We thought it was a perfect spot.”

And the three players are not just opening any ordinary restaurant. They are opening a Panthers den decked out in black and gold paint, old team memorabilia and photographs.

Gullickson, who played as a halfback for Milton before he graduated in 1979, said the three alums started leasing the building in
September, and they are hoping to open up the restaurant by the start of November.

“We wanted a place where people could come in and have a good time and relax and have some good food,” Middlebrooks said.

Right now, the three players are reaching out to old Milton High School graduates to snag any old Panthers memorabilia to hang up in
their restaurant.

“By the time we open, these walls are going to be painted black and gold and filled with Milton memorabilia.” Middlebrooks said.

The sports grill, as it is being termed, will serve hot wings, subs and pizzas, but will not serve alcohol according to Gullickson and Middlebrooks.

“We wanted this restaurant to be family friendly when we opened it,” Middlebrooks said.

So far, the trio has been hard at work renovating the building. All that’s left to do now is get some true Panther fans.

“We want to give back to Milton,” Middlebrooks said.

What: Halftime Sports Grill
Where: 5382 Stewart Street, Milton
Opens: Thursday, November 1
Scott Middlebrooks-Class of 1980-Defensive end
Greg Gullickson- Class of 1979- Halfback
Tommy Hughes- Class of 1980 – Tight end