Consol menu goes from ordinary to exotic
Whether the Pens make the playoffs this season, one thing is certain: Nobody at their home games will go hungry watching them try.
Fans at Consol Energy Center can feast on everything from hot dogs to lobster and choose from more than 20 brands of beer. Twenty-five concession stands will feature Pizza Hut pizza, Wingstreet wings and turkey wraps. A food court on the lower level will sell Primanti Brothers sandwiches, while a carving and saute station will serve such items as pasta with seasonal vegetables and roasted elk loin.
"Obviously, the look and feel of the building is going to be much different, and we wanted the food to change in that direction as well," said Travis Williams, senior vice president of business affairs for the Penguins.
"That's going to be our best opportunity to bring in local and seasonal product, so the menu will change every game," said Carl VanWagner, executive chef for Consol Energy Center.
Philadelphia-based Aramark signed a 10-year agreement in 2008 with the Penguins to provide food, beverages and fan merchandise at the arena. Aramark had run the Civic Arena's concessions since 1991.
VanWagner said the opening of the new arena afforded an opportunity to introduce dishes that fans may find a touch exotic, such as elk stroganoff with morel mushrooms and bison ribeye sandwiches with thyme aioli.
"We wanted to build on the buzz surrounding the opening of Consol Energy Center with our menu," Wagner says. "Fans are expecting to be blown away when they enter the arena for the first time, and we want our menu to be a big part of why they feel that way."
Food prices were not available.
"We feel that it's very affordable within the confines of a professional sports venue," Williams said. "We are comparable to both PNC Park and Heinz Field when it comes to pricing."
Ron Dick, an assistant sports marketing professor at Duquesne University, said food prices at new sports venues typically increase about 10 percent from the old venues.
The arena's 30 portable food kiosks will sell sushi from Nakama Japanese Steakhouse in South Side, Dairy Queen ice cream, popcorn, Mexican food and other items.
The concourses are much wider than those at the Igloo, which means that fans lining up at concession stands will have a better view of the action on the ice.
On the upper level, with its panoramic view of Pittsburgh, fans can drink beer in the Brewhouse or sample beef brisket at the Smokehouse, which will smoke its own meats.
Premium ticket holders can dine buffet-style in the upscale Lexus Club, a 250-seat restaurant on the arena's suite level that will serve such dishes as braised bison sirloin and pistachio-encrusted pork tenderloin.
"Ultimately, what we determined after talking to our fans is that they still wanted the ability to come to the game, get their meal quickly and get to their seats," Williams said. "We kept the buffet concept we had over at the Igloo Club."
For premium ticket holders, the First Niagara Club and the Captains Club feature bistro and grille-style food, a bar and coat check service.
Consol Center vs. Civic Arena
Consol Energy Center — Category — Civic Arena
18,087 — Seats/hockey — 16,940
19,100 — Seats/basketball — 17,537
20,000 — Seats/center-stage concert — 18,039
14,500 — Seats/end-stage concert — 12,800
Aug. 2010 — Opening date — Sept. 17, 1961
Paul McCartney — First concert — Judy Garland
Aug. 14, 2008 — Groundbreaking — April 26, 1958
$321 million — Cost — $22 million
Populous (formerly HOK Sport) — Architect — Mitchell & Ritchey (now DRS Architects)
12 — Escalators — 2
Consol Energy Centersrc="http://photos.mycapture.com/PITT/1048420/30761896T.jpg" alt="Consol Energy Center" title="Consol Energy Center">
Due to Copyright, not all Consol Energy Center photos are available.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.