New food, drink to expect at Cleveland Browns games at FirstEnergy Stadium in 2021


CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland Browns fans can expect three key additions when it comes to food and drink at FirstEnergy Stadium this season.

Aramark and the Browns have beefed up a few concession offerings as positive predictions and energy about the Browns are expected to lead to a full house on Sundays. Restaurateurs – and longtime Browns fans - Michael Symon (B Spot) and Rocco Whalen (Rosie and Rocco’s) will maintain a presence in the stadium. But three additional stands have been brought in:

Located on the main concourse near section 129, the new stand showcases chicken sandwiches – a spicy version and signature sandwich - country-style, fried-chicken cutlet with thick-cut apple-smoked bacon, Vermont cheddar, Roma tomatoes, leaf lettuce, house pickle and herb remoulade on a butter-toasted sesame-seed potato bun. It also will have premium chicken tenders with a variety of special sauces and more.

The stand “is being added because we have recognized how much fans enjoy some crispy chicken and French fries at the game,” said Jessie Jacobson, Aramark general manager.

Aramark had a trial run Thursday night at the stadium during the Paraguay-U.S. women’s soccer match. Jacobson said the stand was “a huge hit” as the U.S. team went on to a 9-0 rout.

“We had people flocking to the location,” she said.

Additional “Walk Thru Bru” stations have been installed. Basically, it’s a beer store on site. The first one was put in on the 100 level in 2019.

“It was so successful, and we were able to get a lot of people through the location,” Jacobson said. “So as we look for having a full-capacity crowd this season we wanted to add some more.”

That means there will be five stations total: One on the 300 mezzanine level on the west side, one on each side of the 500 level, and a second one coming in October on the 100 level. They will offer about 10 craft and domestic beers, canned cocktails, hard seltzers and wine.

Similar stations in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and other sports venues are automated via an AI-based self-checkout system, but the ones at FirstEnergy use a standard cashier, said Kevin Kearney, Aramark district manager of sports and entertainment.

“It’s very effective,” he said. “I think you’re going to see more and more of this type of technology evolve.”

Vic Searcy’s Sauce the City will open in FirstEnergy Stadium. Aramark is familiar with Searcy, who had participated in Taste of Black Cleveland events at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and has a presence in the arena. He also operates Sauce the City Cleveland food hall at West 25th Street and Detroit Avenue.

It will be available to ticketholders in the Moen Lake Club and the 7UP City Club. Menu items include the D’ETE chicken sandwich, Cleveland hot-chicken sandwich, chicken tenders with signature sauces, fries and street corn. It will debut Sunday when the Browns host Houston at 1 p.m.

“He is a fun and young and energetic entrepreneur and he’s really working hard at growing his business,” Kearney said. “It’s been fun to work with Vic the last few years.”

I am on cleveland.com’s life and culture team and cover food, beer, wine and sports-related topics. If you want to see my stories, here’s a directory on cleveland.com. Bill Wills of WTAM-1100 and I talk food and drink usually at 8:20 a.m. Thursday morning. And tune in at 7 a.m. Wednesdays for “Beer with Bona and Much, Much More” with Munch Bishop on 1350-AM The Gambler. Twitter: @mbona30.

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