Grab and go! Pensacola Blue Wahoos roll out curbside cuisine to support local employment
The lunch hour was approaching Monday when Charles Wiggins, an attorney with Pensacola’s Beggs & Lane firm, suggested to fellow lawyer, Robert Jones III, they check out this new takeout food service offered by the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
Driving up to Blue Wahoos Stadium, the two purchased the Carne Asada Burrito Basket, created by Blue Wahoos executive chef Travis Wilson. Ten minutes later, they were on their way, toting a lunch to go.
“We’re always in the market for someplace new and interesting to go for lunch,” said Wiggins, who learned of the Blue Wahoos initiative through area media outlets. “This is one more option, one more good opportunity.”
With the global coronavirus pandemic shuttering Pensacola restaurants and affecting dining options, the Blue Wahoos began a service this week with their concessions staff to bring a taste of ballpark into curbside delivery.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m to 7:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, customers can call ahead or order when arriving at the pink, Blue Wahoos tailgate tent located in front of the Hancock-Whitney Club entrance on the third base side of the stadium.
“We are really just trying to do our part, because there are so many people out there who have expressed having such difficulties going to a grocery store and doing this or that,” said Eric Kroll, the Blue Wahoos general manager for food and beverage.
“People are asking around on ‘who is open, who can do meals?’ So really we’re just trying to help families and people in the community and do our part with just being available for people who can’t cook or aren’t available to.”
The stadium itself is not open, baseball everywhere is on hold, but the Blue Wahoos are trying to bring a flavorful sense of the famed ballpark into a drive-thru setting.
It’s also a way to provide some sense of normalcy.
“Our No. 1 concern is keeping jobs in the community and having a way for local families to enjoy food and the ballpark area without being able to have baseball games,” said Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith. “We feel this is a good thing to do at this time in keeping with our mission to improve the quality of life in the community.
“Our priority is to keep as many of our employees with jobs.”
Customers can place an order by dialing 850-934-8444, ext. 451 to place an order ahead of arrival. Or they can park and order at the delivery area. Most food orders take 10 minutes or less.
The menu, which is listed below, offers a variety of hot dog, hamburger baskets, along with bacon-crusted shrimp tacos, a grilled chicken basket, the buritto dish or a build-your-own pasta.
Prices range from $8-$12 including a beverage and side item of fries. There is also a lunch kids menu for $3 apiece.
“While we can’t offer baseball games, we can offer great food and a way for families and people to come to our ballpark and take a break,” Griffith said. “The area around our stadium is the best view in baseball and this is a way for people to come down, get some food and be at the park without a game going on.”
It’s a concept that was well-received on the first day of offering.
“We’re still working and you need somewhere to get reasonably good food, “ Jones III said. “Last week, I was walking downtown and some places were closed completely. In our situation, we still have to make money, get lunch, and we have to do what we can.”
If interest merits, Kroll said there might be a way to produce family-style meals to feed families of four or six.