NEW YORK — It is no longer a novelty when a major sports arena offers a kosher menu. Events like the Super Bowl and the US Open now routinely offer kosher food. Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, recently showed off its capacity to woo kosher consumers. The occasion was an “Eternal Echoes” concert by world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot. Some 6,000 people, including many Orthodox Jews got to taste what kosher Nets fans get at every game.
The Avenue K Deli (under the supervision of the Star-K Kosher Certification, based in Baltimore MD) offers deli sandwiches, knishes, and hot dogs. It is operated by Kosher Sports which also has stands in Citi Field and the US Open. For the concert, Barclays went one step further, bringing in additional entrees prepared by Abigael’s, a Glatt Kosher restaurant on Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, headed by renowned chef Jeffrey Nathan. Not surprisingly, the main concourse was full during intermission, a throbbing hallway of black, white, and pastrami.
“It was important to us to provide our kosher guests with significant food options, which we have done by opening Ave. K on the main concourse and a food cart in the Calvin Klein Courtside Club,” says Barclays Chief Communications Officer Barry Baum. “In addition, we offered additional selections from Abigael’s on Broadway for the Itzhak Perlman-Cantor Helfgot concert. The food stands have been very popular and are an important part of our Brooklyn Taste culinary program.”
The Brooklyn Taste program is the brainchild of majority owner Bruce Ratner, and brings an eclectic mix of New York’s familiar ethnic foods to the stadium. Barclays accommodated the Orthodox guests in other ways as well, providing separate men and women’s seating for the first time since its opening.