PrintPrint © 2011 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

The 'Pen, Safeco Field's newest fan attraction unveiled
04/06/2011 5:24 PM ET

Safeco Field's Bullpen Market, once a dimly lit, cramped space, has become the ballpark's newest fan attraction. The 'Pen, Presented by ROOT SPORTS™, is the result of a complete overhaul during the offseason. The area, located in left and center field adjacent to the home and visitor's bullpens, is now a bright, open area with a fire pit, cocktail lounge, and destination concession stands with food concepts by Centerplate featuring three nationally acclaimed chefs - Seattle's own Ethan Stowell, as well as chefs Roberto Santibañez and Bill Pustari.

The 'Pen not only is more open and inviting, the entire atmosphere of the area has been changed with the removal of the chain link fence behind the bullpens. Fans now have un-obscured views of the playing field from The 'Pen. And because The 'Pen will open a half-hour earlier than other entrances, fans will have the chance to sip a cocktail and get a pregame bite to eat while watching Mariners batting practice.

Features of The 'Pen include:

  • A cozy fire pit at the entrance just inside the Center Field Gate
  • Caught Looking Lounge, a full service cocktail lounge
  • The Rail open air bar featuring local craft beers on tap and wine
  • Four destination concession stands: Ethan Stowell's Hamburg + Frites and La Crêperie authentic Parisian crepes, New Haven-style pizza at Apizza by Bill Pustari, and authentic Mexican Tortuga sandwiches at the Tortugas Voladoras, or Flying Turtle Cantina by Roberto Santibañez.

Anti-Fast Food
"Our mission was to create a restaurant-style hospitality experience - the anti-fast food - in a concession environment," said John Sergi, Chief Design Officer of Centerplate Stir, the Mariners foodservice partner. Sergi brought in local culinary hero Chef Ethan Stowell of Seattle's Tavolàta, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, and Staple & Fancy Mercantile as consulting chef for the building in order to make the food "restaurant real."

"I've been a Mariners fan as long as I can remember-since I was a kid," said Stowell. "Seattle customers are highly educated about food. I'm looking forward to bringing my own knowledge on seasonality and local product sources into the ballpark. We're looking to raise the level of quality of the food at Safeco Field, making it honest and healthier than it has been and with more of a local flavor and taste."

Hamburg+Frites & Authentic Parisian Crêpes
Stowell's Hamburg + Frites offers a mouth-watering, restaurant-quality burger: a six-and-a-half-ounce, Northwest Grass-Fed beef patty topped with Tillamook cheddar cheese. The frites are served with the skin on and accompanied by a classic garlic dipping sauce. La Crêperie features authentic Parisian crêpes with sweet and savory fillings including natural, locally sourced products from Zoe's Meats, Beecher's Handmade Cheese, and seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Mexican Tortas
Chef Roberto Santibañez, a native of Mexico City and a graduate with honors from Paris's top culinary institutions, has created several authentic Mexican dishes for Safeco Field. Santibañez's Mexican style sandwiches referred to in Mexico as tortugas, or turtles, due to the turtle shell-shaped bread, are made with succulent braised chicken, beef or pork. They, along with other creations such as hot dog nachos and his own fresh salsa and guacamole, will be served at the Tortugas Voladoras, or Flying Turtle Cantina.

Bill Pustari, one of the specialists at New Haven-style pizza, is bringing his Apizza to Safeco Field. Apizza uses a custom designed gas oven manufactured by Wood Stone in Bellingham to perfectly cook thin crust pizzas. Pustari uses locally-sourced ingredients together with Grande Mozzarella and the same lot of San Marzano tomatoes used at his own Modern Apizza in New Haven, Connecticut.

The 'Pen's selection of pies features traditional cheese and tomato, pepperoni using Zoe's Meats local pepperoni, and a vegetarian white version topped with local, seasonal vegetables. Apizza also offers a classic Caesar salad created by Chef Ethan Stowell and topped with Stowell's own lemon-anchovy dressing and homemade croutons with Grand Central Bakery bread.

Fan Destination
The 'Pen's finishes reflect a modern but not trendy style with stainless steel countertops and Cambria stone surfaces, stacked stone and wood finishes. Fans are surrounded by Mariners history with images of Mariners pitching legends including Randy Johnson, who famously strode in from the bullpen at the Kingdome to beat the Yankees in Game 5 of the 1995 American League Division Series, Kazuhiro "Daimajin" Sasaki, Norm "The Sheriff" Charlton, and Bill "Cuffs" Caudill.

Twenty four HD TV monitors are stationed around The 'Pen so fans never have to miss the action on the field.

Project Partners:

  • Hospitality Design - Centerplate Stir
  • Architectural Design - Populous®
  • General Contractor - BNBuilders
  • Mechanical & Electrical - Pressler Engineering Inc.
  • Structural Design - Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA)
  • Graphic Design - M3 Messenger Corp.

About Centerplate
Centerplate crafts and delivers "Craveable Experiences. Raveable Results." in 250 prominent sports, entertainment and convention venues across North America. Centerplate has provided services to 12 Super Bowls, 20 World Series, key events for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, Art Basel Miami Beach, 15 official U.S. Presidential Inaugural Balls and the largest plated dinner in history at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Centennial Celebration. Visit the company online at

About Ethan Stowell
Ethan Stowell is the executive chef and owner of Ethan Stowell Restaurants in Seattle. His restaurants include Tavolàta, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, and Staple & Fancy Mercantile, where he is the chef. Stowell was named one of the 2008 Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine and has been honored with multiple James Beard Award nominations for "Best Chef Northwest," including the just announced 2011 nominations. He is deeply devoted to his hometown and is a strong advocate committed to seeing that Seattle is recognized nationally as a culinary destination. Stowell and his wife Angela live in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood. Stowell's first cookbook, Ethan Stowell's New Italian Kitchen from Ten Speed Press, was released in September 2010. His food philosophy is all about keeping it simple, using fresh ingredients and allowing the food to do the talking.

About Roberto Santibañez
As a native of Mexico City and a graduate with honors from Paris's top culinary institutions, Chef Roberto Santibañez has a culinary resume that includes stints as restaurateur, culinary consultant, author, and teacher in Mexico, Europe, and the United States. Santibañez is "the" authority on authentic Mexican cuisine. As the executive chef at Fonda San Miguel in Austin, Texas, one of the oldest upscale Mexican restaurants in the United States where he was named "Best Chef" by The Austin Chronicle and garnered a five-star review from The Austin American-Statesman. He served as Culinary Director of the famed Rosa Mexicano restaurants in New York City and is now owner of Fonda restaurant in Brooklyn, New York and Culinary Director of The Taco Truck in Hoboken, New Jersey.

About Bill Pustari
When celebrities and dignitaries come to New Haven, they make a beeline for world-famous Modern Apizza. Originally called State Street Apizza, Modern Apizza was founded in 1934 and has been in the same spot ever since. For more than 22-years, Bill Pustari has served as chef-owner of Modern where he serves New Haven-style thin-crust apizza (closely related to Neapolitan-style Italian pizza) which is baked in a coal-fired brick oven. Modern's uses the highest quality ingredients including fresh Grande Mozzarella and a specific lot of San Marzano tomatoes grown specifically for Modern's pies. Modern has received numerous accolades over the years including Yahoo! Travel's pick for #3 pizza in the U.S., Playboy magazine's top ten in the country as well as the New Haven Advocate's Best of Reader's Poll for "Best Pizza" 12-years in a row.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners Homepage   |