FORT WAYNE – Guests attending tonights exhibition hockey game between the Komets and the Wheeling Nailers at Memorial Coliseum are in for a treat – or several treats if they wish.
It will be the first major public event since the nearly $4 million renovation of the main arenas 200 level. The project includes three new food concessions in two concourses. Each concourse includes an informal dining area flanked by stunning floor-to-ceiling windows. Nearby restrooms were also remodeled with state-of-the-art fixtures.
New concessions include traditional American fare at Appleseed Burger Co., Italian cuisine at Sliced Pizza & Submarines and Asian dishes at Wok This Wayne.
The names are unique to the Fort Wayne area, said Andrew VanDeweghe, general manager of food services. His company, Aramark, came up with the tailored names, he said.
The food staff also worked with local vendors to produce a unique Fort Wayne hamburger yet to be named.
The Coliseum Burger – for now – is available at Appleseed Burger Co. The one-third pound fresh burger includes cheddar cheese, bacon, pulled pork, lettuce, barbecue sauce, tomato, an onion ring and twisted fries.
The public is invited to try the Coliseum Burger and suggest a permanent name at the Memorial Coliseums Facebook page at facebook.com/acwmc.
A winner will be chosen in the next couple of weeks, said Nathan Dennison, coordinator of marketing and media services.
In addition to burgers, Appleseed Burger Co. will also offer hot dogs, vegetarian fare and Chapmans American Ale Cider.
On the other side of the arena, the menu of Sliced includes various pizzas and subs and even freshly piped cannoli.
For those who would rather dive into some freshly made General Tsos chicken or vegetable lo mein, then walk this way to Wok This Wayne.
General Manager Randy Brown hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday surrounded by contractors who had worked on the renovation along with county and city officials and Coliseum employees. Brown then opened the new concessions and invited the crowd to enjoy free samples.
Elizabeth Knight, a new concession worker whose first shift will be at tonights hockey game, stood near Wok This Wayne enjoying food samples with another employee.
Knight does not work in the new concessions, but in one of the older, established stands on the 200 level, but that didnt matter, she said.
Im a new employee, and I am so excited about this renovation, she said.
The Coliseum hosts dozens of events every year, attracting more than a million visitors.