Rupp Arena Food Updates for 2022-2023

Rupp Arena at the Central Bank Center has changed up some key menu items in the last year — here’s what you need to know.

an arena

Our city’s historic arena — complete with eight championship banners and infinite food options. | Photo by LEXtoday

Table of Contents

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.

The classics

Rupp Arena has five different food partners you’ll be able to choose from:

What’s new

There are two additional partnerships that we are particularly excited about: Kroger + Hardwood & Oak Hospitality.

a concession area

The new Kroger Corner is helping bring fresh, healthy options to Rupp Arena. | Photo by LEXtoday

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.
a local chef

Chef Chris Ross grew up in rural Kentucky + works to bring a bit of that country flavor to Rupp Arena. | Photos by LEXtoday

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.
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