To kick off 2013, the BMO Harris Bradley Center has polished itself up and added some new food to the menu available at all events in the arena.
The venue has added more theater box seating and renovated and updated all 44 of its luxury suites for the first time in a quarter-century. The Backcourt hospitality area has been added to the service level, too.
But today, I went over to check out The South End. Up on the 200 level, along State Street, the BC has expanded on its popular Grill 71 adding The Carvery – a sliced meat sandwich place operated in partnership with Jake's Deli – the Tap House bar with more than a dozen beers on tap and a couple new seating areas.
"We wanted a place where people would come together really to celebrate and enjoy each other's company in a fun and festive kind of casual kind of accommodating atmosphere," says BMO-BC president Steve Costello.
"We're focused on continuing to find ways to enhance the experience of our fans at all events and as we thought about the upcoming season of several months ago, we thought that this was an area of the building that's open for all events. Doesn't matter how small, or how big or what form of event. At virtually all our events this area of the building is open."
To help add the seating areas, Costello says his team had to get creative.
"We challenged ourselves to find some new space that didn't exist. And we've been doing that for years, for a couple decades now," he says. "
We thought we'd run out of ideas, but we've really put our thinking caps on. We took two spaces (that) were working parts of the building, pantries, food production, other types of things that were vital to producing our events and supporting our operations. We found a way to relocate those services elsewhere in the building to create a new zone."
The new food on offer includes a giant, 1.5-pound double-stuffed baked potato, a range of new hot dog creations built upon Klement's sausages, nachos using chips from El Rey and some new riffs on Italian panini.
"A lot of people ask how we come up with these things and it's about what our fans and what our guests are looking for," says Executive Chef Dave Zakroczymski, who spent nearly a decade running the food operations at the InterContinental before joining Levy Restaurants at the Bradley Center.
He says in testing done with guests, the brisket dog, with slow-cooked brisket topped with barbecue potato chips was a particular favorite.
Other dogs are a Chicago-style frank, the "Tailgate on a Plate" with baked beans and potato salad – "it's kind of everything in one bite," says Zakroczymski – and a "Big Kid Dog" with mac 'n' cheese and Fritos corn chips.
"Its a gourmet hot dog," says Zakroczymski. "It's not just a hot dog with ketchup and mustard."
Another new dish that caught the attention during research was the potato.
"One of the comments (we kept hearing) was, 'what's with the potato?,'" says Zakroczymski. "We figured needed a wow factor. We needed something that would stick out in everybody's head. It is meant to be shared, it is meant to be something to be different, something that you wouldn't expect when you come to an area."
The new panini include a patty melt with a thick burger and cheese, a reuben and a grilled cheese made with four Wisconsin cheeses and tomato.
Over at The Tap House – which will be joined by a new Leinie Lodge, just around the bend, in 2013 – you can sample Miller's new Third Shift Amber Lager, which is exclusive to the BC until mid-February, when it's released nationally.
So, next time you stop in to see Elmo, the Bucks, the Admirals, monster trucks or Carrie Underwood, come hungry, because the BMO Bradley Center ain't dishing up your daddy's arena food anymore, folks.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published July 4, 2015
As the 11-day music blowout was about to get underway, we caught up with the Big Gig's Talent Buyer and Production Supervisor David Silbaugh - who explained his work as Summerfest drum tech back in 2008 - to learn a bit more.
Published July 1, 2015
As the 11-day music blowout we all call Summerfest was about to get underway, we caught up with the Big Gig's associate booking director Scott Ziel to get a peek behind the scenes.
Published June 29, 2015
Thanks to my co-worker Jill Jensen-Matelski, I saw this cool Summerfest 1970 poster that you can see above. She found it on the Facebook group "You know you are from Milwaukee WI if you remember..." My eyes immediately went to "Roland Kirk" and I was blown away. Then I saw Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, Sarah Vaughan and so many other amazing acts.
Published June 29, 2015
As the 11-day music blowout we all call Summerfest was about to get underway, we caught up with the Big Gig's associate entertainment director Vic Thomas to get a peek behind the scenes.
Published June 28, 2015
How on Earth does one explain the ongoing success of The Flaming Lips? Don't get me wrong, frontman Wayne Coyne and company make interesting and engaging music and put on a hell of a show, but since when has that been enough? We found out Saturday night at Summerfest.
Published June 27, 2015
Saturday night marked Maritime's first Big Milwaukee Gig since it released its paean to its hometown, "Milwaukee," in April. So, did Brew City turn out to return the love?
Published June 26, 2015
U2 is in the midst of an eight-day, five-gig run at the United Center in Chicago as part of its iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour. We went down to have a look and a listen.
Published June 24, 2015
Living rock and roll legends the Rolling Stones took the stage at the Marcus Amphitheater Tuesday night for what may well be their last Milwaukee appearance. Here's what happened when the Zip Code Tour steamed into 53202.
Published June 23, 2015
When Paul Weller came to Chicago's Vic Theater last week I had to go. And, because Weller is so defined by Britishness, I decided to make the jaunt an English themed trip.
Published June 23, 2015
Word emerged today that Top Shelf Guitar Shop in Bay View sold the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards a guitar.