A steady stream of customers entered the D-Line Pub in Ballston Spa last Friday.
Some came to eat dinner or sit at the bar. But others came to get an autograph from one of the co-owners of the Prospect Street establishment Houston Texans defensive lineman and Saratoga Springs High School graduate Anthony Weaver.
It's very touching to me because I'm home," said Weaver during a small break in the action. "I know that upstate New York will always be my home."
The three-hour autograph session was not about an ego stroke. Weaver was raising money for June's Walk for Life in Saratoga Springs, an annual fund-raiser for cancer research. The pub sold T-shirts, baseball caps and mugs for anywhere from $5 to $20, and Weaver signed each one.
"We're doing a lot of things throughout the year through my foundation," said Weaver. "The weekend of the Walk for Life, we're hosting an event here where we're raffling off several things, including a 32-inch TV set and a barbecue grill."
Weaver and his parents, Ralph and Melanie, opened the modest-sized pub last September, just as he began his first season with the Texans.
"I went to school in Ballston Spa," said Ralph. "I wanted to bring something down to Ballston Spa for people to enjoy with reasonable prices (for food)."
"It sounds lame, but it's pretty cool (having my own restaurant)," said Weaver. "My parents are having a great time running it."
The D-Line Pub's primary theme centers on the Houston Texans. The official colors (dark blue, red and white) and logo (a bull's head with a star for an eye) are lifted from the NFL team.
The theme would have been different had Weaver stayed with his original NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens. But after four years with the Ravens, Ralph said, his son received an offer from Houston that he couldn't refuse.