Never may not be the right answer.
Danny Meyer is doing a Shake Shack and three other concessions at the Mets new stadium: a taqueria, a barbecue restaurant, and a Belgian Frites stand. Plus the entire catering operation of Citi Field’s Delta Sky360 Club, the premium seating area, the equivalent of the Diamond Club at Citizens Bank Park.
Considering Starr's ever-expanding move into corporate catering, something like that is not outside the realm of possibilities. (Especially, since Aramark is running the concession recruiting at both Citi Field and CBP.)
Moreover, we’re not suggesting that Starr would open a Continental outpost in Ashburn Alley. (Please, that would be a disaster.)
We are suggesting, however, that, similar to how McNally's has a stand for basically one famous menu item from its restaurant, the Schmitter — Stephen Starr could have a successful concession gig at CBP with a concept that was based on a particularly delicious and accessible menu item. Like perhaps a high-quality burger concept, which is probably the most obvious possibility.
Not a Barclay Prime Kobe Slider stand — rather a relatively normal burger operation, but one that sells burgers of significantly higher quality than the ones available at the generic Aramark-run “Hatfield Grill” stands at CBP.
Intriguingly, Stephen Starr is sitting on such a burger concept and he is just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself to break it out. Citizens Bank Park could be a good option.
Similarly, a Distrito-themed burrito window operated by Jose Garces could work too. A quality burrito is both accessible and delicious — and would certainly garner attention from the food-obsessed fans at CBP.
The idea here is not that these additions are or would be absolutely necessary — no, CBP already is a fine place to eat and gets rave reviews to that effect — but rather that it is never a good idea to rest on your laurels.
And the more diverse the offerings at CBP, the more diverse a crowd you will attract.
The Mets are clearly making the food offerings at Citi Field a focus. (Dining and food, in general, have simply become so high profile and important to a project’s success, that they have to be a focus.)
The New York Times profiled ballpark food across the country last summer and there were some pretty impressive offerings.
So next time, don’t just swap out Rick’s for Geno’s. Think outside the box. See who else you could attract to CBP… who would continue to raise the ante, food-wise, making CBP not just a great place to watch a game, but also one of the greatest parks to eat at in the entire country.
(And to everyone who thinks nothing should ever change in South Philadelphia, and that all foods served at CBP should either be roast pork or cheese and steak — get over it; change equals progress, something Philadelphia is going to be very good at.)
More Plans for Meals at Mets Games [ A Diner’s Journal / New York Times ]
Buy Me Some Sushi and Baby Back Ribs [ New York Times ]
Stephen Starr's Top Chef Appearance To Air Tomorrow; Starr Events Catering Arm Lands Another Big Gig
Sunday Times Does A Ballpark Food Tour, Can’t Help But Love The Offerings At Citizens Bank Park
[ Photo via the New York Times ]