Ballpark’s lone Black vendor would like some company

Photo by Charles Hallman Chef Gerard Klass

Another View

Second of a two-part column

Among the nearly one dozen new food items this season at the Minnesota Twins ballpark is Soul Bowl, a Black-owned restaurant in Minneapolis. Chef Gerard Klass and his crew made their ballpark debut in 2019 and, after fans were not allowed in 2020, had a limited presence in 2021. 

But they’ve returned this season, located near Section 112. This season’s offerings include The Henry Sandwich (barbecue-braised beef, coleslaw, potato chips and a potato roll) and Summer Bowl (barbecue-braised beef, Cajun corn, and Return of the Mack and Cheese).

Klass talked to the MSR during an April 5 media food tasting. (For the record, we didn’t sample the food). “We’ve been appreciative of this opportunity” as the stadium’s only Black vendor, he declared. 

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“Chef Klass and his wife have accomplished so much,” added Delaware North Onsite GM Pete Spike, “starting small and being able to have brick-and-mortar space.” With Soul Bowl at the ballpark, “I think it’s a great representation of what we ultimately are trying to do” in providing diversity, he stressed.

Being at Twins home games also serves as a calling card for fans to come and visit the restaurant, said Klass. “We’ll be here at the stadium, and then if you come to the restaurant, you’ll be able to check out some new items.”

It’s well documented that attending sporting events can be pricey, and the Twins, since the downtown ballpark opened in 2010, have consistently stressed that their food prices are affordable.  

“We still have some of our locations, like our family value stands, where you can get items for under $5,” stated Spike. “You can get a $5 beer or a $4 hot dog.”  

Klass noted, “We’re trying to keep the prices really affordable here this season.”

The Soul Bowl’s co-owner said he too would like to see more Black-owned businesses join him at the ballpark on a regular basis. “We want to show the diversity that lives here in Minneapolis,” he said, “and we get an opportunity for people to try from all different cultures, making sure that African American is one of those represented here.”