A perfect match!
On Thursday, February 18, Barclays Center debuted its latest innovation: The first Taste NY Bar, the result of a partnership with Taste NY, an initiative launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013 to promote New York’s food and beverage industries. The bar is located in the main concourse at Barclays, which a majority of attendees walk through.
CEO of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment Brett Yormark was joined by Howard Zemsky, president, CEO and commissioner of Empire State Development (ESD); Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Richard Ball; and Assemblymember Latrice Walker as well as representatives from New York State’s craft beverage industry for the announcement.
“Since opening the Barclays Center, we have taken immense pride in representing the local flavors of Brooklyn through our Brooklyn Taste Program, featuring 55 popular restaurants and culinary establishments,” Yormark said. “Taste New York is the perfect complement to our program and furthers our commitment to servicing local producers. We are proud to enable visitors from around the world to experience why New York is such a special place.”
The bar will offer a full selection of New York products, such as wine, beer, spirits and cider, to Barclays Center’s approximately two million visitors annually. It will also be heavily promoted throughout the arena.
“It’s great to be partners with the Barclays Center. We’re excited about the exposure and opportunity for all of our local products,” said Zemsky, noting that the craft beverage industry is a $27 billion business in New York State. “It has grown by leaps and bounds. We have craft breweries now in 59 of 62 counties of New York State.”
Ball was also pleased with the new alliance. “This industry is grown in the last year 164 percent,” he said. “This innovative new partnership with Barclays, a leading sports and entertainment destination which has hosted six million visitors since 2012, is such an awesome showcase and opportunity to expand this business for our craft beverage producers.”
He also discussed the products that will be featured at the new bar.
“We’re going to rotate in producers throughout the year as we take this whole thing to a level that we haven’t seen before, which is so exciting,” he added.
The Taste NY- Barclays Center agreement is part of the Cuomo’s promise to continue to support and provide resources for this growing industry.
“New York’s craft beverages are some of the best in the industry – and through this new partnership, we’ll be introducing them to more consumers than ever before,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The Taste NY Bar at Barclays Center will give visitors the chance to enjoy some of the greatest beer, wine and spirits that this state has to offer. This is about raising the profile of craft beverage producers and stimulating economic growth across the state, and I’m pleased to see this partnership moving forward.”