Pistons fans will get a first-look at the $3 million upgrades to The Palace of Auburn Hills' East Terrace during Tuesday's pre-season opener. The basketball arena and concert venue is in the midst of ongoing renovations, the first phase being a revamp of the Palace's concessions. The East Terrace now boasts three restaurants — Maplewood BBQ, The Linkery, and Eastside Tacos — and 1,000-square-feet of new dining space.
The new food and beverage options are being marketed as an upscale alternative to traditional stadium options. "As we saw the fans move to more food consciousness at higher price points, that's where we introduced these concepts," concessionaire Levy Restaurants director of operations Chad Gregory tells The Oakland Press. Here's what visitors will dine on this season:
— Maplewood BBQ: This spot offers prime rib, pork belly, and chicken sliders with sauces — bourbon, Carolina, and sweet and spicy — by Street Eatzz. Expect traditional Southern sides and desserts like collard greens, baked beans, sweet potato pie, and fried apple pie. There's also a 30-foot bar with 16 bourbons and whiskeys and three cocktails on the menu. Diners will chow down in a "rustic, communal dining area."
— Eastside Tacos: Find Mexican street tacos with fillings like shrimp, carnitas, and vegetables, as well and plates of nachos and corn. A choice of salsa will come on the side. Eastside also features Mexican sodas, margaritas, and beers.
— The Linkery: This fancy sausage stand will serve proprietary tube meat from local purveyors including Corridor Sausage, Dearborn Sausage, and Alexander Hornung on rolls. Diners can also find sides here like duck-fat fries, jalapeno slaw, white bean and kale salad, pinto beans with chorizo, and pickled onions. Both domestic and craft beers will also be on hand.
— Other stands will also be serving Coney dogs complete with chili, mustard, onions, and a Koegel link.
In addition to the new eateries, the arena is now outfitted with WiFi so sports fans can login to the Pistons app and find deals on beer and other foods at the concessions. Once the full renovations are completed (sometime in 2017) the visitors will be able to order food without ever leaving their seats.