Chinese, Pastrami, Champagne & the Locker Room at the BARCLAY CENTER for Nets vs. Cavaliers Game
I strolled into New York’s newest stadium, the Barclay Center, in Brooklyn on Tuesday night ready take a court side seat and chow down on some popcorn and beer. However, as a VIP guest of Nets coach and his wife Avery & Cassandra Johnson, I indulged in a taste of the Jay Z and Beyonce lifestyle because, although beer and popcorn were easily accessible, assistants and security guards whisked me through private pristine silver elevators and zipped me pass lines to underground entrances at the Calvin Klein VIP Suite that ultimately led to the ultra-exclusive Vault lounges, where champagne was on deck and a galaxy of free food was plentiful.
I salivated meandering the buffet stations of soul food, carved meats, hot dogs, charcuterie, and desserts but discreetly reached for passed hors d’oeuvres of pizza bites, wontons, and dim sum at every chance. But the sexy was in full force at the vaults where the dark and selective club room was scarce with beautiful gold lighting that was only enhance by the Armand de Brignac (highlighted as B&B’s December 2011 Spirit Spotlight) champagne bottles that laced the namesake bar. The over the top space eluded a nice elegance with a hip hop flair accented by black leather booths, lacquer furniture and ornate food displays catered by dressed-up experienced servers.
At halftime, I retreated back to the open space in the CK VIP lounge where the appetizers and buffets were scattered throughout the brightly lit white and clean adult cafeteria where Klein’s signature design aesthetic is apparent. Long lines of suited and casual business men, some with their ladies but most with buddies, moved swiftly, and I loaded up on the lo mein and sweet & sour chicken and it was AMAZING! So good in fact, I totally forgot to photograph my plate!
For the sake of getting a shot for Burgers & Bourbon and to satisfy my greedy curiosity, I returned to another buffet moments later to fix myself a pastrami sandwich. The thinly sliced meat was hot and delicious! I had a choice of mustards and opted for the grain mustard and loaded it with sauerkraut. I took a bite and was instantly surprised by the bread’s softness and quality! The combination of simplicity, texture and flavor in the sandwich made it the best thing I’ve ever eaten at a sporting event! I LOVED IT! I downed it with some champagne, and, before I knew it, was returning back to my seat directly behind a benched Kris Humprhies, Deron Williams, and Joe Johnson.
Obviously, I had a great time! The Johnsons’ kindness and hospitality made the Nets vs. the Cavaliers game a memorable first time at the posh arena.
After the game we were escorted to the back and had an office champagne toast with Mr. Johnson, whose team defeated Cleveland 114 to 101. I snapped the exclusive shot of the Nets locker room entryway just for my readers … Yep… This is how you roll at the Barclay Center.