When Kauffman Stadium wanted a “youthful, urban environment” to showcase craft beers, it called on Kansas City’s Clockwork Architecture + Design.
The whirlwind project, which replaces the .390 Club in the left field corner of the stadium, has come together in the last four weeks, with workers putting in the finishing touches Sunday so Craft & Draft could debut on opening day.
.390 Club’s windows have been removed for an open-air venue that will allow for a “ballpark experience.”
“Before, it almost felt you were watching it on TV,” said Neil Sommers, founding partner of Clockwork.
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But the lack of windows also meant the space had to be weatherproof. So the new design called for tile and concrete floors instead of drywall and carpet. Dugout seating also has replaced .390’s dining room tables and chairs.
The walls are covered in reclaimed wood from an 1880s Odessa, Mo., barn that was originally built by the great- great-grandfather of a Craft & Draft carpenter. The ceiling is a dramatic, dark, charred redwood made in Sommers’ blacksmith shop in Louisburg, Kan.
“It’s a Japanese technique called shou sugi ban, invented to prevent insects from entering the building and to make it more fire-resistant,” Sommers said.
Craft & Draft represents an expanded partnership of the Kansas City Royals, Boulevard Brewing Co. and its wholesaler, Central States Beverage. It will have 74 local, regional and national craft beers — 24 on tap and 50 in bottles — including Boulevard ’s Unfiltered Wheat Beer, Single-Wide I.P.A. and Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale.
Menu items will include “bar snacks” such as C&D Nuts with chili-dusted Marcona almonds, candied pecans, dried cherries and dark chocolate for $8, as well as artisanal cheese and charcuterie for $10, and house-made potato chips with a beer cheese fondue/bacon lardon/chipotle sour cream for $8.
“Crafted Plates” will include a Kobe beef burger for $14, street tacos for $12, and barbecue braised beef short ribs for $13.
The Custom Crust Shop within Craft & Draft will let customers create their own pizzas from a choice of sauces, cheeses and toppings for $10. They will be made to order and served within minutes from an Italian state-of-the-art oven.
▪ New to the right field patio is Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen Skewers. The menu will include flatbread sandwiches grilled to order and Crispy Smashed Potatoes with vegetable mayonnaise for dipping.
Zimmern is a three-time James Beard award-winning television personality, chef, writer and teacher, perhaps best known for the Bizarre Foods franchise on the Travel Channel.
▪ The new World Series & Postseason merchandise store will be open in the Commerce Bank Royals Hall of Fame. Items such as Take the Crown decals, T-shirts, hoodies and shot glasses from the 2014 postseason will be 30 percent off.
Amanda Turk, spokeswoman for the Royals, said fans haven’t lost their enthusiasm for the 2014 season, and the merchandise was a strong seller during the holidays.
▪ The Royals Team Store at the main entrance also has added “big and tall” sizes in men’s apparel.
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