Barclays Center, the new home of the New York Nets, is gearing up to open this coming September. An important part of the atmosphere at the Center is going to be gastronomic, co-mingling gourmet offerings with some of the best tastes from Brooklyn. To find those perfect Brooklyn food vendors, Center officials are handing out a survey to restaurants and other food service businesses.
“We are committed to bringing the best of Brooklyn to Barclays Center and to draw on the borough’s dynamic food scene” said developer Bruce Ratner. “Our goal is cast a wide net to make Barclays Center’s culinary experience as quintessentially Brooklyn as it gets.”
To be in the running the vendor must be located in Brooklyn and have the highest rating by the health department. They also have to be equipped for large-scale production.
“It has to be a company that can fulfill the orders for an 18,000 seat arena” said Barclays Center spokesman Barry Baum. He added that the Center is hoping to attract a large number of hopeful vendors by distributing the surveys widely and also placing newspaper ads.
“We’re looking for everything from pickles to pizza and from silverware to sandwich picks” Baum said. “We really want to showcase all Brooklyn-based items that might not otherwise have an opportunity to be considered for an arena.”
Barclays Center officials have not yet decided what percentage of food vendors will hail from Brooklyn. The Center already forged contracts with national companies like Coca-Cola and others. A Chicago-based company, Levy Restaurants, will be overseeing the food aspects of the Center.
Steve Hindy, the president of Brooklyn Brewery said he is hopeful that he will be able to get his beer sold at Barclays. His capacity will be limited, he says, because he does not have the financial stamina such beer giants as Anheuser-Busch can muster.
“We hope to be there the same way we’re at Citi Field and MetLife Stadium and Madison Square Garden, but we are not in a position to be a big sponsor the way the international brewers are” he said.