New food, beer and giveaways coming to Nationals Park this season

Ahead of Opening Day on April 7, the Nationals offered a media tour to show off the new additions to the park, including an expanded menu. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

Members with access to the Diamond Club will see a renovated space. The tent is gone. Instead, the club has two levels, a pizza oven and an expanded bar.

The Diamond Club overflow is now a space that can be rented for parties. Set up for corn hole and other games overlooking the Anacostia River, the space can be rented for $75 a person, which includes the price of your ticket.

The give-aways this year feature a Bryce Harper MVP bobblehead (May 11,) a two piece Max Scherzer’s no hitter bobblehead (May 23 & Aug. 26,) Dusty Baker bobblehead (July 19,) and a fans choice bobblehead on Sept. 9.

Other give-aways: Nationals sunglasses, a Racing President Teddy window cling, a Bryce Harper Chia Pet and a Nats gnome.

The Nats youth baseball and softball little league uniform program is giving jerseys to kids playing in D.C. Little League or the DPR Rookie League, saving them $110,000, according to the team.

The Nationals partnership with Anheuser-Busch means fans will now be able to get their fill of Budweiser, bud light, Goose Island, Shock Top, Stella and Blue Point Toasted Lager.

There will be Lime-A-Rita lookout bar at the gallery level.

Beers will be available at the scoreboard bar for $5 happy hour prices from the time the first gates open to a half hour before first pitch.

Miller products as well as craft beers will still be available throughout the park.

The gluten free bar near the main gate will still be open due to its popularity last season.

The Nationals are bringing their merchandise in house, which the team says will help cut costs on branded gear.

A new pin trading board available in Section 138 will allow fans to give a pin, and take a pin among 720 pins available for fans to trade and purchase.

Some of the merchandise available this year includes the team’s spring training hat and a T-shirt line featuring neighborhoods around the Washington region.

The Nats worked with eight area colleges and universities to create Nationals hats in the school’s colors. All the hats feature the school logo on the back. The schools include: George Mason; Navy; George Washington; Virginia; Virginia Tech; Maryland; Howard; Georgetown; American; and James Madison.

By popular demand, the Nationals are now hosting kids birthday parties. An hour before the game, kids can have a pizza and cupcake party and pick a gift from a wall of merchandise in the team store. They also get a mention during the game.

The team requires a 20-person minimum and the fee is $30 a person, which includes the game ticket.

One of the new food offerings this year is Alexandria's Haute Dogs and Fries, who won the Pitch your Product Culinary Contest. The gourmet dogs are sourced from Loudoun County and have no antibiotics or nitrates. The options (that come with fries or tater tots) are served on a New England style bun in Section 105. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
One of the new food offerings this year is Alexandria’s Haute Dogs and Fries, who won the Pitch your Product Culinary Contest. The gourmet dogs are sourced from Loudoun County and have no antibiotics or nitrates. The options (that come with fries or tater tots) are served on a New England style bun in Section 105.

One of Mike Isabella's two concepts for Nationals Park is Catchfly southern cuisine.It's named for a flower found throughout the south that also happens to have a baseball theme. Located in Section 301, the stand will feature barbeque ribs, popcorn chicken, a hot chicken sandwich with sides, including pickles, coleslaw and banana pudding. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
One of Mike Isabella’s two concepts for Nationals Park is Catchfly southern cuisine.It’s named for a flower found throughout the South that also happens to have a baseball theme. Located in Section 301, the stand will feature barbeque ribs, popcorn chicken, a hot chicken sandwich with sides, including pickles, coleslaw and banana pudding.

Vegetarians options will still be at the park, including portabello Reubens and veggie beef tacos.

On Rye is another new restaurant at the park this season. In Section 210, fans will find the Jewish-style deli sandwiches which include the signature babka ice cream sandwich.

Mike Isabella’s Kapnos at the Park will be his second installation this season which fans can find in Section 301. On the menu, gyros including chili cheesesteak and smoke lamb shoulder, Greek fried chicken gyros, and sides that include fried Greek potatos, tzatziki and hummus.

Pinch Dumplings, Section 302, is the other local winner of the Pitch your Product contest. The dumplings are hand-made and include pork, beef and veggie options. The company started in area farmer’s markets and opened its first restaurant last year. V

Virginia Country Kitchen is expanding its footprint at the ballpark and will be in both Section 113 and 315 in the gallery level. On the menu: biscuits, mac-n-cheese as well as Virginian bourbon.

Shake Shack is also expanding — doubling its ordering bar. El Verano, which used to have the space, is moving to a cart in Section 233.

Theme nights this year will include ’80s night with a fanny pack give-away on June 10, Star Wars Day on Aug. 13, Rat Pack Night on July 2, Oktoberfest and Election Night.

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One of the new food offerings this year is Alexandria's Haute Dogs and Fries, who won the Pitch your Product Culinary Contest. The gourmet dogs are sourced from Loudoun County and have no antibiotics or nitrates. The options (that come with fries or tater tots) are served on a New England style bun in Section 105. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
One of Mike Isabella's two concepts for Nationals Park is Catchfly southern cuisine.It's named for a flower found throughout the south that also happens to have a baseball theme. Located in Section 301, the stand will feature barbeque ribs, popcorn chicken, a hot chicken sandwich with sides, including pickles, coleslaw and banana pudding. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

WASHINGTON — Fans headed to Nationals Park will find a slew of new food and drink options on Opening Day — falafels, gyros, and handmade dumplings. A partnership with Anheuser-Busch means there are new beers on tap.  

And hot dogs? They’re being made over with all local ingredients — stuff you don’t find at regular ballparks.

“We’re moving the hot dog up the culinary totem pole,” says Lionel Holmes, owner of Haute Dogs and Fries, pitching its grub on the stadium’s gallery level.

More local vendors are getting spots at the Southeast Washington stadium: Haute, and Pinch Dumplings. The restaurants won the team’s culinary contest to offer their food at the park. Chef Mike Isabella will have two spots there — Kapnos at the Park, which serves Greek food; and Catchfly, which features Southern cuisine.

The team is giving away items, including Bryce Harper Chia Pets, a Garfield-influenced Running Presidents Teddy window cling and a two-piece Max Scherzer no-hitter bobblehead.

“We’re doing a Jayson Werth figurine with his pet, his dog Magnus. And the image we’re using, it’ll be the first bobblehead/figurine in Nationals history where the player has a man bun,” says Valerie Camillo, the team’s chief revenue and marketing officer.

When taking suggestions for theme nights, Camillo says, Bryce Harper pitched the franchise do a Rat Pack night. There will also be an ‘80s theme night, Star Wars, Oktoberfest and Election Night.

“All fans through the gates will have their choice of a Democratic donkey or a Republican elephant, so they can put those on their desks and show their politics with pride,” Camillo says.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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