Companies love to dangle free food in front of New Yorkers' faces to earn good will for their brands and events; remember the Miami pool and the meat tanker? The latest to take advantage of the city's
cheapskatessoft spot for free food is the US Open, which has co-opted the popular food truck model for a free food publicity stunt Manhattan. Ya' know, "actual" New York City.
Haute stadium fare including lobster rolls, filet sliders, brisket and steak tacos are just a few of the gratis dishes being served in celebration of the US Open, which begins at the end of the month at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Corona, Queens. However, you won't find any Queens—or other outer boroughs—on the schedule, as the truck will be parked exclusively in the ever-popular Manhattan locations of Madison Square Park (August 11th, noon), Union Square (August 12th, noon) and Bryant Park (August 13th, 5 p.m.).
The United States Tennis Association tells us they "had a limited amount of time and wanted to ensure that [they] concentrated on the high traffic areas to reach the largest amount of tennis fans." Still, do organizers think residents in Corona and nearby Willets Point aren't worth placating with a free lobster roll or fancy steak sandwich? We'd be willing to bet the vastly underserved communities that put up with the stadium construction and had its commutes interrupted by intoxicated fans wouldn't mind a visit from the U.S. Open truck.
Still, the USTA hasn't completely forgotten about its home turf, telling us they are throwing their first ever "Queens Day" on August 20th to "celebrate the borough" in conjunction with the US Open qualifiers at the stadium. "The day will feature local Queens-based musicians, including entertainment from jazz, rap, and indie bands. Onsite there will be special coupons and offers from Queens businesses and local restaurants." Event admission will be free, which should help offset the cost of the dinner you'll have to pay for.