Hard Rock Casino In Bristol To Feature Culinary “Marketplace”

Written By Dan Holmes on July 9, 2024
Street tacos, which will be available at The Marketplace food court at Hard Rock Bristol

It’s not all a waiting game at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol.

Earlier this month, Hard Rock announced that the opening of its permanent location in Bristol would be pushed back to the fall. However, on a more positive note, an upscale food court called The Marketplace will debut on July 9 in the casino’s temporary location, offering patrons several culinary options.

The Bristol location will be “the first in the Hard Rock brand to open up a food hall concept,” according to Hard Rock Vice President of Food and Beverage Sunwoo Choi. The food court will be on the second level, directly above the gaming floor. It will feature three restaurants:

  • Brick’d Italian Kitchen: A chef-led pizzeria “with all of our food being imported from Italy,” according to Sous Chef Tim Bowker.
  • Fish & Chicken Co.: A Southern culinary option that Choi describes as “a unique concept.”
  • Street Tacos: Authentic Mexican street food that replicates offerings found at taco stands and trucks.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Food court expected to draw visitors to casino

The ambitious food court will make the Bristol destination one of the more interesting Virginia casinos, even if it is a temporary space.

The $550 million project that will deliver a glittering new casino and a resort under the Hard Rock brand promises to create an entertainment attraction that aims to lure visitors to western Virginia from elsewhere in the state, as well as from Asheville, Nashville, and beyond.

An emphasis on Southern roots may help make Hard Rock Bristol, expected to open in late fall, a success.

“This is the only [Hard Rock casino resort] in the South,” Choi said in a statement. “And we wanted to feature and pay homage to the South.”

Val Chobanu named director of food and beverage

In other news, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol has named Val Chobanu its director of food and beverage.

Chobanu, a 25-year veteran of the industry, was previously director of food and beverage at the Luxury Clubhouse and Country Club in Sacramento, California. He also worked as general manager of The Forum at Meadowood Napa Valley. He attended Stratford University.

“From his experience in food and beverage leadership roles across industries, Val has valuable skills to elevate Bristol Casino’s food and beverage operations,” Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol President Allie Evangelista remarked in a statement. “We are proud to have Val join our team to further expand the amazing cuisine, like the opening of Marketplace, that we offer our guests.”

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.

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