When Citi Field and Yankee Stadium 2.0 opened in 2009, there were inevitable and exhaustive comparisons between the two. The consensus was, at least among my friends, that the Mets park was much better than what the Yankees had built in that it felt more like a baseball stadium. It seemed that the Yankees didn’t build a baseball stadium as much as they openend an airport shopping mall with a baseball field in the middle of it, peppering it with a few hot dog stands. Also, Citi Field had better food offerings: a pair of Danny Meyer food stands, a beer garden, and vegetarian options.
Although both stadiums were built almost exactly where the old parks stood, the two parks were built as centerpieces of urban redevelopment in the South Bronx and at Willets Point in Queens.
The Yankees opened a Hard Rock Cafe that is open year-round, even when the Yankees aren’t playing. I don’t know a single person that would plan a trip to go there.
At Citi Field, however, there will be a much more compelling reason to schlep to Willets Point during the baseball offseason. Danish brewery Mikkeller is coming to Citi Field:
Mikkeller announced that it’s expanding, and will open its first East Coast Brewery this fall at Citi Field in Flushing, Queens. The forthcoming brewery “Mikkeller Brewing NYC” will be in a non-ticketed part of the stadium, and remain open year-round.
I think the Mets outdid the Yankees here, again. Mikkeller has a sterling reputation among beer nerds with their breweries in Copenhagen, Denmark and in San Diego, California and with two bars—also in California—in San Francisco and Los Angeles. This will be their first foothold in the US East Coast. And although the food options are “safe,” trafficking in established household names of contemporary cuisine, namely David Chang’s fried chicken and Pat LaFrieda’s burgers, it sure beats eating whatever passes for food at a Hard Rock Cafe these days.
Mikkeller NYC is due to open this fall, presumably shortly after the Mets have been eliminated from qualifying for the postseason.