Last updated on October 18th, 2019 at 11:11 am
The Milwaukee Bucks are gearing up for another basketball season at Fiserv Forum, but those preparations go far beyond what happens on the court.
Just less than two weeks ahead of the team’s home opener, Fiserv Forum’s senior executive chef Kenneth Hardiman unveiled a number of new food and beverage items that will now be sold throughout the one-year-old arena.
Those items include fried pickle chips from Sobleman’s, a Fiserv Forum-exclusive “Gyro Dog” from its official sausage provider Klement’s, a Curry Chicken Bowl from FreshFin Poke, Pork Carnitas Torta from El Rey, a hand-carved brisket plate from Iron Grate BBQ, Happy Chicken from Dan Dan, and a margarita slushy from Casamigos.
Fans can also expect to see new vegetarian options, including a veggie pizza from Canal Street Pizza, Rajas con Queso Tacos from The Laughing Taco and the “Beyond Gyro” from Gyro Step.
Hardiman said those new offerings were specifically based on feedback indicating a lack of non-meat options at concession stands.
“The Bucks team is always looking at how they can get better,” he said. “It’s one of the things that’s set within the organization. We’re not just going to sit there and just settle and say ‘we’ve made it to the top and this is what it is.’ We’re going to continue to look, to elevate and edit, and make the best decisions for the guest experience.”
Milwaukee-based Ardent recently became a new partner of the arena’s locally focused F&B program, formally dubbed MKEat. The restaurant will sell burgers and hot dogs exclusively from its stand located in the mezzanine-level Jockey Club.
Owners Justin Carlisle, a James Beard-nominated chef, and his wife Lucia Munoz also operate Laughing Taco, which has a restaurant in Walker’s Point in addition to its stand at Fiserv Forum.
“It’s great partnering with them on a professional level, but also on a personal level,” Hardiman said. “Just to be able to pick (Justin’s) brain and sit back and cook– and we cook together and come up with things– is phenomenal.”
For those craving more traditional concession stand snacks, Wauwatosa-based Treat Sweet Popcorn will debut its gourmet popcorn and nuts at concession stands and in the upper-level “candy lab.”
The Bucks have also brought on Absolut as a new beverage partner, rolling out two new craft cocktails: the Absolut Elyx Martini and Absolut Juice and Red Bull Cocktail.