The Nationals hosted their annual ballpark tour for food-deprived local media on Tuesday to showcase what’s new at Nationals Park in 2016. There will be no shortage of new concessions, including a wider variety of offerings on the Gallery (300) Level.
Two Mike Isabella concepts — Catchfly and Kapnos at the Park — will open behind Section 301. Catchfly will feature Southern-style cuisine, including a hot chicken sandwich, St. Louis BBQ ribs, coleslaw, popcorn chicken with three homemade sauces and waffle fries. Kapnos at the Park, a take-off of Isabella’s Greek-themed restaurant, will offer several different kinds of gyros, including falafel, fried chicken and chili cheesesteak, as well as fried Greek potatoes, tzatziki and hummus.
A second location of the Virginia Country Kitchen stand that debuted last season will open in Section 315. On the Mezzanine level, Shake Shack was expanded to occupy the space previously occupied by El Verano Taqueria, which was moved to a stand behind Section 233. Shake Shack will also feature an e-cash line for Nats Plus members, which could mean that fans will only miss half an inning while waiting for their Shack Stacks instead of a full inning … or more.
Pour a sweet tea out for Hard Times Cafe, a staple at Nationals Park since it opened in 2008, which will not be returning for 2016. Haute Dogs and Fries, one of two winners in the Nationals’ pitch-your-product contest, will move into Hard Times’ old space in the left field plaza beyond Section 106. Haute Dogs’ Nats Park menu will include four different styles of hot dogs (including a Banh Mi dog), lamb sliders and tater tots.
Pinch Dumpling, the other winner of the pitch-your-product contest, will offer three different kinds of dumplings (beef and onion; pork and cabbage; cabbage and carrot) in Section 302. Six dumplings (steamed or fried) will cost $10 and come with a side of Asian slaw, Daikon salad or fried peanuts.
Thirsty yet? The re-branding associated with the Nationals’ switch from MillerCoors to Anheuser-Busch was on full display.
There will be a pregame happy hour deal at the Budweiser Terrace, the area behind the center field scoreboard previously known as the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk. From the time the gates open two-and-a-half hours before first pitch until 30 minutes before first pitch, beers at the Budweiser Terrace bar will be $5, which is $1 cheaper than last year’s deal. Only Anheuser-Busch beers will be included in the happy hour deal, but MillerCoors products will be available elsewhere in the park.
Fear not, there will still be craft beer. In fact, the District Drafts program will be expanded and there will be at least one additional District Drafts stand (up from four last season). The four taps at each stand will include a rotating selection from Port City, Atlas, Mad Fox, 3 Stars, D.C. Brau and — new for 2016 — Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn and Heritage Brewing Co. in Manassas. Beer prices throughout the park will be unchanged from last season, with the exception of the greater happy hour discount.
Other concessions-related additions and changes for 2016:
On Rye (Norfolk Southern Club, Section 210)
Jewish-style deli sandwiches, including Reubens, veggie Reubens and corned beef on rye, as well as a “babka” ice cream sandwich.
Field of Greens (Section 136)
An expanded menu, including a vegetarian buffalo chicken wrap, vegetarian chicken empanadas, vegetarian beef tacos, vegetarian chicken salad sandwich and a portobella Reuben.