Like so many cherished Charleston traditions, the Volvo Car Open makes a quick appearance every spring and then isn’t seen again for another year. But a new restaurant created for tennis fans was designed to stick around for the summer, a tournament spokeswoman says.
The Rooftop, which now sits atop the main merchandise area at the Volvo Car Stadium, is an abruptly attractive space tricked out with the white curtains, light strands and woven wicker outdoor seating favored by wedding planners (as well as patio heaters, which were warmly received on Monday.) According to Arielle Alpino, the open-air restaurant will be reactivated during the Daniel Island venue’s summer concert series.
While the restaurant’s wine list and rooftop location, which comes with an unobstructed view of the stadium, would probably be enough to endear it to future ticketholders, The Rooftop this summer will also add cocktails to its menu.
Currently, the focus is on food: The Rooftop is operated by Coastal Crust, a popular mobile pizzeria based in Mount Pleasant. Accordingly, it’s serving a menu of salads, sandwiches and wood-fired pies, along with trendy snacks such as white bean hummus, fried Brussels sprouts and avocado toast. (Customers could do worse than to plot orders around items with the words “house bread” in their descriptions.)
Also making its debut at the Volvo Car Open is in-seat ordering, an amenity which dates back almost a decade in the spectator sports industry. Initially, though, fans were reluctant to order beer and chips through their phones: Sports Business Journal recently reported that mobile orders accounted for less than 5 percent of concession sales in the first few years after the mechanism was introduced.
But as technology has improved and people have grown accustomed to placing their Starbucks and McDonald’s orders through apps, the format has gained traction.
At Volvo Car Stadium, patrons can obtain a Hamby’s pimento cheese or shrimp salad sandwich without leaving their seats; other items on the limited menu include beer, soda, souvenir cups and candy. On Monday, it took fewer than five minutes for a courier to arrive with a bag of Peanut M&M’s, priced at $1.50 plus tip.