Get a taste of what to expect from Philips Arena’s new courtside cuisine

Chef Joe Schafer discusses new food and beverage offerings for the Courtside Club at Philips Arena. Additional changes, including revamped concessions, will occur in time for the start of the Atlanta Hawks’ 2018-19 season. CHRIS HUNT / SPECIAL (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Last summer, Joe Schafer made a surprise move, trading his job as executive chef at Bacchanalia for that of exec chef at Philips Arena, home to the Atlanta Hawks.

Would the change also mean swapping white tablecloths, high-provenance ingredients and all the glitz that garnered Bacchanalia aplomb in the movie “Baby Driver” as “the finest wining and dining of all the wines and dines in town” in exchange for popcorn, hot dogs, nachos and other stadium fare of old?

Apparently not.

On Feb. 7, the Hawks unveiled the first of Schafer’s handiwork to culinary operations at Philips Arena. The fixings –fancy proteins like rack of lamb with chimichurri and crispy duck confit a l’orange and vegetables such as bok choy with crispy garlic and roasted butternut squash with a sherry gastrique – were clearly concoctions from the mind of a chef. 

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“We wanted to bring fine dining and entertainment together,” said Hawks CEO Steve Koonin about the improved food and beverage experience that is part of a $192.5 million transformation of the 18-year-old venue that will be completed in time for the team’s 2018-19 season.

Read more about what to expect from the new culinary offerings at Philips Arena at

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