The owners of Gramsky’s, T-Rex Cookie and Be Graceful Bakery and Catering joined the starting menu lineup at U.S. Bank Stadium on Tuesday at a media-only event.
Aramark’s M Hospitality unveiled the additions to the concessions offerings, with smaller and minority-owned businesses rounding out the menu. Already announced as local flavor at the stadium were Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen along with two Twin Cities restaurants: Revival and Ike’s Food & Cocktails.
Most of the newly added vendors are smaller, lesser-known operations. All the local vendors big and small will supplement the more traditional fare that Aramark serves at stadiums throughout the country. Hot dogs, cotton candy and nachos with liquid cheese will be sold throughout the $1.1 billion building when it opens for a soccer match Aug. 3. With only three weeks to go until opening day, Jamie Hodgson, Aramark general manager, said prices aren’t available for the concessions items.
One of the new vendors is Robert Grace, proprietor of Be Graceful, who will sell his roast turkey sandwich on wild rice cranberry bread with Havarti cheese and maple bacon jam. The sandwiches — along with homemade soups — will be sold at “The Stack” on the upper level of the stadium.
Grace’s vending contract at U.S. Bank Stadium is one of several for his three-year-old catering business that he’s built mostly through contracts with beaches and water parks as well as TCF Bank Stadium.
Other vendors throughout the building include Kramarczuk’s, Lola’s Cafe, Prairie Dogs, Twin Cities Foodie, Curds & Cakes, Cinniesmiths and 612 Burger Kitchen.
Some smaller concessionaires will only be available in the clubs and suites because they can’t produce as much. Those include Gramsky’s, T-Rex, Thomasina’s Cashew Brittle, Murray’s, Just Truffles, Chappy’s Street Eats and Chocolat Céleste.
Gramsky’s chef/owner Jeannette Nevilles runs a bricks and mortar restaurant in Brooklyn Park. Her grinders with richly flavored Italian sausage, ground beef and sauteed peppers will be on the menu for the 200-300 catered events in the building annually.
“These are hardy. They’re delicious and they’re good with a beer,” Nevilles said, standing in front of platters decked out with the sandwiches.
Nevilles said she had not been told how much she would need to produce — nor had Tina Rexing, owner of T-Rex, who said, “It’s kind of scary as a small business.”
Asked if the stadium work would help the bottom line of her company, Rexing said, “I hope so.”
The ribbon-cutting for the stadium is July 22.