For those of you who are commuters, you know that life on a train, a bus, or in a car can be a challenging lifestyle at times. There’s always a train to catch, a bus stop to be at or traffic to beat. In other words we find ourselves always on the go.
In the beverage world there is much talk about the “on-the-go consumer” and how they are looking for better food and beverage options. It used to be that life in the fast lane meant being in the fast food line when fast food translated to, more often than not, something fried, prepackaged or frozen. Well, that’s not entirely the case anymore. In New York City, for one, fast food can be a customized mixed salad at Just Salad or a quick pick-me- up from the Energy Kitchen or a to-go meal prepared with seasonal ingredients from Pump.
It was during one of my recent trips through Grand Central Terminal—what seemed like my home away from home at one point when I too was a commuter—that I realized just how far the “fast food” market has come.
Beer Table Pantry is a small shop located in the terminal’s Graybar Passage that offers beer and food to go. In addition to 100 craft bottled beers, its custom-built draft beer system allows customers to get draft beer to go—selections change daily and feature regional beers. Some examples from a recent menu included Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Greenport Harbor Anti-Freeze, Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre and Pretty Things Jack D’Or. Beer Table Pantry also fills standard, threaded 64-ounce growlers on a proprietary counter-pressure filling system.
The front end of the store is tiny, but when I passed it, I couldn’t help but peek my head in through the crowd at the door to get a better look at what this new spot in Grand Central had to offer.
Playing into the trend of the refocused beer bar where retail meets bar meets fine cuisine happening across the country, Beer Table Pantry offers something similar for the consumer who doesn’t have the time that day to go for a drink with friends, but just enough spare minutes to grab-and-go—something special—before they miss their ride. Life in the fast lane just got a little bit better.