Months after a food-safety violation scandal involving major Denver event venues and the recent announcement of a new partnership with New York-based Legends Hospitality, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment unveiled a fresh culinary lineup this week at the Pepsi Center.
Five new dining concepts will replace about half of the existing food venues, offering Colorado-inspired dishes such as bison pastrami melts and pork green chile fries; the other half of the concession stalls will continue dishing up traditional stadium eats so chicken tender and popcorn loyalists can still get their fixes. Updated vendors include: Wyncoop Crispy Chicken (fried birds), Bristlecone BBQ (smoked meats), Verde Y Rojo (Mexican street food), the Barrel Burgers and Floats (diner faves), and Denver Potato Co. (loaded fries). “We have plenty of items to keep traditionalists happy but will also give them an opportunity to try new things, as well,” says Legends executive chef James Versfelt.
The menus in the suites have also received a makeover, thanks to partnerships with the who’s who of Denver chefs and sommeliers. Jennifer Jasinski (Rioja, Euclid Hall, Ultreia, and others) worked with Versfelt to redesign the culinary packages and will also star in guest chef nights at the stadium throughout the year. A dessert program was created with Füdmill, the baking commissary from Alex Seidel (Mercantile Dining & Provision and Fruition) and Keegan Gerhard (D Bar); and the wine program in the VIP areas and lower concourses was curated by master sommelier Bobby Stuckey (Frasca Food and Wine, Tavernetta). “Let’s make the food match with what the rest of Denver is doing,” Jasinski says. “People should remember us for more than a great show.”
Since the Pepsi Center opened in 1999, concessionaires Aramark and Levy Premium have supplied the food and drinks for the facility, which hosts more than 250 events per year. Contracts with those companies ended on September 25, the same day a multi-year agreement with Legends was announced; the change reflects efforts to bring Denver’s well-known food scene to the Pepsi Center, says James Hull, general manager for Legends at the venue.
Denverites can also anticipate new menu rollouts within the next few months at Dick Sporting Goods Park and the Paramount, two other venues managed by Legends.