3/27/2014 1:22 P.M. ET
Houston Astros and Aramark unveil concessions and retail renovations at Minute Maid Park
Eight new concessions concepts will greet hungry Astros fans on Opening Day
By / MLB.com
HOUSTON, TX - When hungry Astros fans walk through the turnstiles at Minute Maid Park for the home opener on April 1st, they will be greeted by significant changes to the general concessions on the main concourse. Today, the Houston Astros and their exclusive food and beverage partner, Aramark, unveiled a $1.8 million renovation to Minute Maid Park's main concourse, featuring eight new food and beverage concepts.
As part of the transformation to enhance the dining experience, the Astros and Aramark completely overhauled the look and feel of the stands by re-branding each concept with a new name and menu, adding more vibrant signage and lighting, and introducing contemporary color schemes and décor. Other re-design elements include installing new cooking equipment, hanging new digital menu boards to make it easier to order, adding points of sale for faster service, and enhancing directional signage on the concourse to locate food stands.
"Improving the fan experience here at Minute Maid Park is always a top priority," said Senior Vice President of Business Operations Marcel Braithwaite. "We want to create the best baseball experience we can, and the decisions to renovate the concessions on the main concourse and expand the team store were based largely on fan feedback. Each offseason is an opportunity for us to reinvest in our fans and improve the quality of their experience in our facility."
"We've been hard at work during the offseason and are excited to unveil the new concession improvements to Astros fans," said Mat Drain, Aramark Resident District Manager at Minute Maid Park. "We're confident that the renovations will enrich the game day experience for our guests and will showcase our commitment to providing great service."
The new stands, many of which are themed to reflect the history and culture of Houston, include:
Street Eats (section 126) - featuring rotating menus, similar to a food truck. Some examples include:
Chicken Fried BLT - chicken fried bacon on Texas toast with lettuce, tomato and three pepper mayo
Smoked Pork Sandwich Dip - slow roasted with roasted peppers, cheddar cheese and crispy jalapenos
Texas Hold'em - barbecue chicken with golden cheddar cheese, tomato, fries and slaw on Texas toast
Chicken Bahn Mi - Asian chicken with cucumber, pickled, carrots, cilantro and chili mayo Pulled Pork Taco - two pulled pork tacos in corn tortillas with cabbage slaw and hot sauce
Texas Legends Grill (section 134) - featuring Nolan Ryan Beef Burger options include:
8oz. Single Burger, Bacon Burger and Mushroom Swiss Burger
NY Strip Steak Sandwich - NY strip topped with white cheese horseradish sauce and fried onions
H Town Grille (sections 109, 125) - classic ballpark items including burgers featuring Nolan Ryan Beef, grilled chicken sandwiches, brisket sausage, veggie dogs and more
Home + Away Ballpark Classics (sections 113, 129, 156) - traditional ballpark fare including hot dogs, chili cheese dogs, Bavarian pretzels and more
Texas Smoke (section 124) - Chef Bryan Caswell's newest venture with Chef Ronnie Killen, serving country-style barbecue, burgers and other fare
Brisket Sandwich - Oak smoked beef brisket on an onion Kaiser bun, served with pickle chips, sliced onions, and jalapenos
Loaded Baked Potato - topped with butter, sour cream, shredded cheese and green onions
BBQ Baked Potato - topped with chopped BBQ, butter, sour cream, shredded cheese and green onions
Classic country sides- includes baked beans, potato salad and coleslaw
Casa Nacho (section 111) - featuring traditional and enhanced nachos like Astros fan favorite, Monster Chicken Nachos
Stockyard Bar (section 156) - serving a variety of domestic and imported beers including, St. Arnold Amber Ale and Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale, as well as a variety of wines
Corona Cantina (section 119) - featuring newly available Corona on draft, Negra Modelo, Pacifico and other bottled beers, as well as a variety of wines
Last season, premium dining at Minute Maid Park underwent a significant transformation with the creation of the Houston Astros Hospitality Group. Together, the Astros and Aramark launched Houston Astros Hospitality Group, a portfolio of world class food, beverage and service enhancements offered exclusively within Minute Maid Park. Elevating the premium dining and catering experience on game days and for non-game day special events, Houston Astros Hospitality Group features exclusive recipes from local celebrity chef, Bryan Caswell, and service experiences inspired by Houston's premier caterer, Jackson and Company.
The Houston Astros also made a major renovation to the Majestic Team Store, located behind home plate on the main concourse, doubling the square footage of the store to over 4,000 square feet. The new space will have a large assortment from our best vendors including Majestic, Nike, New Era, '47 Brand and Rawlings. Majestic, the #1 vendor for the Houston Astros and official on field manufacturer of uniforms for Major League Baseball, will have an expanded section in the store featuring both On Field and replica collections of our new uniforms including a new Batting Practice Jersey which the Astros also wear as a Sunday alternate jersey. The new construction will be made of a more performance based material and still feature our side gusset rainbow pattern, a design unique to all of Major League Baseball.
The new space will feature double the amount of registers to allow our fans a faster check out process so they don't miss a minute of the action on the field. The store will be accessible from Texas Avenue on game days, beginning at noon. Based on guest feedback, we have also added a dressing room to allow our fans to try on their favorite selections to select that perfect size.
In addition to a full array of men's, women's and youth apparel, hats and novelties, the space will also feature a dedicated section for our MLB Authentics merchandise, which will allow our fans to take home a piece of the game with them.
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) is in the customer service business across food, facilities and uniforms, wherever people work, learn, recover, and play. United by a passion to serve, our more than 270,000 employees deliver experiences that enrich and nourish the lives of millions of people in 22 countries around the world every day. Aramark is recognized among the Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE and the World's Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.