The Houston Astros are definitely swinging for the fences with their new ballpark food deals — and they’ve managed to decisively beat the reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs in one critical category.
The Astros are bringing Shake Shack and Torchy’s Tacos into Minute Maid Park in 2017. Talk about a home run.
By adding the most coveted gourmet burger chain out there (sorry In-N-Out devotees, it’s not even close in terms of quality) and the beloved Austin-import taco chain to its concession stand offerings, Houston’s baseball franchise reaches a new level. OK, there’s still that pesky needing to win a World Series hangup. But hey, let’s keep things in perspective…
Just two days after Shake Shack announced that it would be coming to Wrigleyville — the neighborhood around the beloved historic ivy-draped ballpark — the Astros bring the Shack right into the park. That’s a win for Houston. At least, for anyone who cares about food in the Bayou City.
Suddenly, just a few years after having some very mediocre ballpark food, the Astros can compete with cities like New York, San Diego and Seattle in stadium food. The New York Mets are the only other Major League Baseball team with a Shake Shack inside their ballpark.
The credit for this transformation belongs to Astros owner Jim Crane, who took over control of the club before the 2012 season, and the much newer Astros president Reid Ryan, who has obsessed over turning Minute Maid Park into one of the best ballpark experiences in the Majors.
“Our partnerships with Torchy’s Tacos and Shake Shack are highlights of the new center field area,” Ryan says. “Torchy’s Tacos brings not only great food, but a local, Texas flavor to the ballpark. And Shake Shack’s reputation for fresh, high-quality food precedes them.”
Shake Shack will be located on the main concourse (100 level) area in center field. Torchy’s will be on the mezzanine level of the new center field area, but it will be accessible from the main concourse.
Of course, the Astros are infamously removing Tal’s Hall — its quirky, raised centerfield — this offseason and moving in the fences (to the delight of players such as Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman), giving the ballpark more room for restaurants, shops and distinctive big-dollar seating areas. Having a Shake Shack certainly softens any blow from that transition.