Upscale tavern to open as first full-scale restaurant concept under new Starr Restaurants and Aramark strategic collaboration
New restaurant to replace The Grille and debut this fall alongside brand-new Club Level at Wells Fargo Center
Wells Fargo Center, Aramark Sports + Entertainment, and Starr Restaurants, led by entrepreneur and James Beard award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr, today announced plans for a new sit-down restaurant concept at Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) and Philadelphia 76ers (NBA). This will mark Aramark and Starr Restaurants’ first full-scale restaurant project as part of the strategic collaboration announced by the two Philadelphia-based organizations in 2021. The restaurant will replace The Grille at Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia and is expected to open in October at the start of the 2022-23 NHL and NBA seasons.
Designed by Rockwell Group, the restaurant’s décor will embrace the history of Philadelphia’s sports teams with traditional accents and lighting reminiscent of an upscale tavern. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the iconic Philadelphia skyline, the dining space will seat approximately 300 fans and serve a full menu of American-style cuisine, all while offering direct views of the action happening on the court or on the ice. More menu and design details will be released later this summer.
“The sports and entertainment industry is one that I’ve yet to leave my mark on, so this opportunity to collaborate with Aramark and Wells Fargo Center on an in-arena restaurant concept is really special,” said Stephen Starr, founder and CEO of Starr Restaurants. “I look forward to using my creativity and passion for developing elevated dining concepts to help create a unique hospitality experience for Philadelphia sports fans.”
Aramark and Starr Restaurants’ strategic collaboration was designed to provide best-in-class hospitality experiences for Aramark clients across the U.S., including the more than 150 award-winning food and beverage, retail, and facility service programs it serves in stadiums, arenas, convention centers, cultural attractions, performance venues, and entertainment destinations. As the official food and beverage partner at Wells Fargo Center, Aramark will staff and operate the new Club Level restaurant.
“As we work closely with Starr Restaurants and Wells Fargo Center to develop this new concept, Aramark is focused on the ways in which we can showcase our culinary agility and customize the game-day experience to meet the needs of our client and the expectations of fans,” said Alison Birdwell, President and CEO of Aramark Sports + Entertainment. “This is an exciting collaboration between three industry leaders, and we can’t wait to deliver a brand-new experience that leverages the creativity and expertise of all parties involved.”
The restaurant comes as part of a $300+ million Transformation project at Wells Fargo Center and will debut alongside the brand-new Club Level this fall. The new level, which will become Philadelphia’s premiere sports and entertainment experience, will be themed to honor Philadelphia’s rich sports and entertainment past while also showcasing the latest in entertainment and service technologies. Highlights of the Club Level include a Premium Seating Entrance & Lobby, new seating options and open-floor layout, exclusive retail, and themed whiskey and tequila bars. The arena started construction on the level last week.
“Stephen Starr is synonymous with culinary excellence here in Philly and all around the world, and this new restaurant concept at Wells Fargo Center is just one more way to ensure our arena remains cutting edge and world class for decades to come,” said Valerie Camillo, President of Wells Fargo Center. “Our ongoing Transformation project is all about honoring the great history of Philly sports– while also celebrating the latest and greatest that Philadelphia has to offer. That’s what this restaurant is all about, recognizing the best of the City’s world-renowned culinary offerings.”
The Wells Fargo Center’s Transformation is a direct, private investment in the Stadium District – a phenomenal urban planning success of the City of Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania. The Stadium District is a key anchor for future investment in South Philadelphia, including plans to revitalize FDR Park, invest in local roads and infrastructure, and redevelop underutilized areas.
About Aramark Sports + Entertainment
Aramark Sports + Entertainment serves more than 150 award-winning food and beverage, retail, and facility service programs in premier stadiums, arenas, convention centers, cultural attractions, performance venues, and unique entertainment destinations across North America. The company has received accolades for industry innovations including autonomous markets, dining concepts powered by artificial intelligence, and high-profile events like NBA All-Star 2022 and MLB at Field of Dreams. In 2021, Aramark entered into a strategic collaboration with the Philadelphia-based Starr Restaurant Organization, led by entrepreneur and James Beard Award-winning restaurateur, Stephen Starr, which will bring the renowned culinary visionary’s highly sought-after concepts to clients throughout Aramark Sports + Entertainment’s portfolio. Aramark ranked No. 1 In the Diversified Outsourcing Services Category on FORTUNE’s 2022 List of ‘World’s Most Admired Companies’ and has been named to DiversityInc’s “Top 50 Companies for Diversity” list, the Forbes list of “America’s Best Employers for Diversity,” the HRC’s “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and scored 100% on the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Starr Restaurants
Founded in 1995 by Stephen Starr, Philadelphia‐based Starr Restaurants is one of the largest multi‐concept restaurant groups in the country. STARR continues to lead the pack in merging culinary artistry with cutting edge design; so much so that in 2017 Stephen Starr was bestowed with the “Outstanding Restaurateur” award by the James Beard Foundation.
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