Atlanta chef and restaurateur Kevin Gillespie thought the energy of the crowd during the December MLS Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium would never be topped.
Now, not even a month later, Gillespie is gearing up for the biggest sporting event in the country.
“It’s pretty overwhelming,” said Gillespie, whose Gamechanger food stall will serve up its popular Closed on Sunday chicken sandwich and other signature dishes when Super Bowl 53 kicks off at the stadium on Sunday. “The stadium is always busy and energetic, but I think it’s going to be next level on Sunday.”
Gillespie and other members of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium concessions staff discussed their preparations during a media event Tuesday at the stadium. The stadium also provided a peek into some of the culinary offerings set to be served on Sunday, including hot dogs dressed with ingredients specific to Los Angeles and New England.
The rest of the options will be the same as what you’d normally find at the stadium, including items from Molly B’s, Fox Bros. BBQ and West Nest, which is operated by local nonprofit Westside Works and creates employment and job training for residents of Atlanta’s Westside community. As usual, Chick-fil-A will be closed on Sunday.
All back of house staff is required to be at the stadium Sunday, which means there’s a good chance you’ll see Gillespie slinging sandwiches if you have tickets to the game.
But Gamechanger isn’t the only kitchen of his that will be busier than normal. His Glenwood Park restaurant Gunshow is bought out for private parties, so he’s sending spillover requests for reservations to his Decatur restaurant Revival, which specializes in Southern cuisine.
“It’s exciting that people from out of town are going to be coming in and getting a taste of Southern food,” he said.
Gillespie, whose new project Cold Beer is slated to open this spring on the Eastside Beltline, said he hopes to be recovered from the weekend rush in time for a scheduled Monday meeting.
“But there’s a good chance I might be completely brain dead and incapable of answering any questions,” he joked.
Scroll down to see some of the items available for purchase at the stadium on Super Bowl Sunday: