The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced changes to its food and beverage offerings on Wednesday that will include price cuts on draft beers of up to 33 percent, as well as a significant reduction in the price of two Saratoga staples, lemonade and popcorn. The changes are part of a continued effort to make Saratoga Race Course more affordable than ever for fans, while offering several new dining options at various track locations.
Patrons will also notice a significant upgrade to the Jim Dandy bar, while the relocation of the waitress stations on the Clubhouse porch will allow for a more relaxed dining experience with more room between tables. Fans will also be treated to additional open space on the main pedestrian thoroughfare outside the clubhouse and grandstand that will ease congestion.
“There’s no question that lowering prices is the right thing to do,” said Stephen Travers, NYRA’s Director of Hospitality and Group Sales. “It’s right in line with what Saratoga Race Course is all about with its $3 grandstand and $5 clubhouse admission prices – it’s an affordable summer getaway experience like no other.”
Among the changes for 2011 are family-friendly meals in the backyard; additions to “A Taste of Saratoga” (formerly known as Restaurant Row); a new Dunkin’ Donuts concession stand; and some tasty new menu items at fan-favorite establishments such as Blue Smoke and Shake Shack.
For example, NYRA and its vendors will offer a new $5 value meal in the backyard, consisting of a hot dog or slider, chips and soda – great for families on a budget that are looking for lighter fare.
Fans will now be able to enjoy a 12-ounce draft domestic beer (Coors Light) for $3 and a 12-ounce draft import (Heineken) for $4. These draft specials will be available daily at The Bar at The Post (across from Shake Shack and Blue Smoke) and at every other bar on track. Comparative prices last year were $6.75 for a 20-ounce draft domestic and $8 for a 16-ounce draft import (12-ounce options were not available).
Additionally, the prices of lemonade and popcorn on track have been cut significantly. A 16-ounce size lemonade will be available for $3.50 and a 32-ounce popcorn will be available for $3.75. Both items cost in excess of $4.50 last year.
Big news for French fry lovers – Box Frites thick-cut Idaho French fries are making a special guest appearance this year all the way from the outfield concourse of Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. Conveniently housed in the Blue Smoke location, Box Frites will be available in two sizes with three great dipping sauces: smokey bacon aioli; blue cheese; and chipotle ketchup.
The popular Shake Shack is offering a New York hot dog this year, available with all the trimmings such as Weberkraut and Shack Cheese Sauce, for just under the price of its Shack-Cago dog. For dessert, the Shack has added a Double Dip Cup of its famous vanilla frozen custard with choice of fudge or strawberry sauce – sweetly satisfying to the taste buds and the pocket.
Blue Smoke authentic pit barbeque patrons will now find on the menu, in addition to the succulent pulled pork and chicken wings: a new sweet Italian sausage complete with peppers and onions; a grilled chicken sandwich; tangy sesame cole slaw; a grilled hot dog; and a barbeque beef bologna sandwich.
Fans can still enjoy the incredible eats, excellent beverages and great live music all season long at The Bar at The Post at Saratoga Race Course with its well-made specialty cocktails, beer & wine. Brand new this year is The Post’s smokin’ summer series offering a stellar lineup of live music every Friday night from great bands from across the Capital Region, including MIRK, Buck2Fifty, Digger Jones and Los Blancos.
Box Frites, Shake Shack, Blue Smoke and The Bar at The Post are properties of Union Square Events, the event services business from Danny Meyer’s renowned Union Square Hospitality Group.
For the first time, Dunkin’ Donuts, America’s all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods, will have a concession at Saratoga Race Course. It will be located by the bandstand across from customer service and will feature the full line of Dunkin’ Donuts hot and iced beverages, as well as a selection of donuts, bagels and muffins. The concession will open for breakfast at 7 a.m. and will remain open through the day’s final post.
“A Taste of Saratoga” (formerly known as Restaurant Row) will feature the fare of four local restaurants. Hungry Saratoga Race Course visitors will be able to enjoy the mouthwatering menus of new and delightfully familiar dining spots including: Irish Times (new for 2011); Old Daley Inn (new for 2011); Cantina; and Putnam Market.
In addition, a portion of proceeds from the sale of all Coca-Cola beverages on track will benefit the Travers Celebration and its charities – the Backstretch Employee Service Team and the Times Union Hope Fund. The Travers Celebration, which will be held on Thursday, August 25 at Saratoga Race Course, is the official party of the Travers Stakes.
Saratoga Race Course will celebrate Opening Day of the 143rd racing season on Friday, July 22, with gates opening at 11 a.m. and first post scheduled for 1 p.m. The traditional Opening Day race, the Grade 3, $100,000 Schuylerville for juvenile fillies, will be run for the 93rd time at Saratoga.
About Union Square Hospitality Group Union Square Events is the catering, culture, sports and events business of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG); which includes some of New York City’s most beloved establishments: Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Blue Smoke/Jazz Standard, Shake Shack, The Modern, Cafe 2 and Terrace 5, located at The Museum of Modern Art, El Verano Taquería and Box Frites (both at Citi Field and Nationals Park, D.C.), Maialino, Union Square Events and Hospitality Quotient, a learning business. USHG is best known for its blend of excellent food and its unique style of warm hospitality. Actively involved in the community, USHG and its employees are committed to extending its enlightened hospitality beyond the walls of its restaurants. The company supports an array of hunger relief organizations including Share Our Strength and City Harvest; civic organizations such as NYC & Company, Union Square Partnership, and the
Madison Square Park Conservancy; and other causes including the Hospice Unit at Beth Israel Hospital for which it prepares and delivers meals to its patients.
Meyer, his restaurants, and chefs have earned an unprecedented 21 James Beard Awards, as well as numerous other media accolades. For the past decade, Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe have vied for #1 and #2 among Zagat’s Most Popular Restaurants in New York. www.unionsquareevents.com www.ushgnyc.com
Smokin’ Summer Series lineup
Friday July 22 – MIRK (Capital Region-based funk/soul band) http://mirkmusic.com/_1./MIRK-Home/MIRK-Home.html
Friday July 29 – Party at the Spa
Friday August 5 – Buck2Fifty (Capital Region-based New
Orleans-style funk/jazz band) http://www.buck2fifty.com/
Friday August 12 – Digger Jones (Ithaca-based
blues/funk/rock band) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Digger-Jones/118018495408
Friday August 19 – MIRK
Friday August 26 – Los Blancos (Syracuse-based blues/rock
Friday September 2 – Party at the Spa
For lineup information, visit the events calendar at nyra.com/thepost and www.facebook.com/unionsquareevents. For more information on USHG establishments and events, please visit: Bluesmoke.com