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It’s the dawn of a new era for Rupp Arena at the Central Bank Center. A lot has changed recently — from cosmetic renovations down to the food being served.
So let’s dig into what Rupp’s cookin’ up.
Rupp Arena has five different food partners you’ll be able to choose from:
- Taylor Bell (yes, soft serve ice cream will still be served)
- Hunt Brothers Pizza
- City Barbecue
- Skyline Chili
There are two additional partnerships that we are particularly excited about: Kroger + Hardwood & Oak Hospitality.
Kroger has partnered with Rupp Arena and installed the Kroger Corner.
- Details: This is a new grocery-style shopping experience inside the arena — think quick convenient shopping.
- What we like: The market will feature healthy, interchangeable items that will change based on that night’s performance.
- Example: For kids’ shows, the grocery will be stocked with healthy, fun snack items. Salads, sandwiches, and even grab-and-go sushi will be available for adult concerts.
Hardwood & Oak Hospitality is also on board as Rupp’s exclusive caterer.
- Details: This ain’t your average concert food — no chicken fingers here. The menu was created by Senior Executive Chef Chris Ross, a proud Kentuckian and UK basketball fan.
- Quote: “I try to think of it as made-from-scratch cooking for 20,000 people. Kentuckians spend their hard-earned money here, and we try to think about each individual person,” said Chris.
- What we tried: Braised short rib nachos + buffalo mac n’ cheese.
- Need to know: The jalapenos and onions that are served on the nachos are pickled in-house with Kentucky Bourbon. And the beef short rib is braised just like an old-fashioned pot roast.