LAEC-FEB-2015-patio1Have you checked out the new patio here at LAEC? Located on the site of the old concession stand between the Equidome, Large Oval and East Ring, you’ll find the new Rein Café with updated menus and a comfortable lounge area to relax with an afternoon cocktail or snack.

“We really wanted to step up the concession stand to a better, more upscale environment and menu that would better meet the needs of our clientele,” says Jill Behunin, event coordinator at LAEC. “Before, there wasn’t really a desirable place to sit and eat. We wanted to bring it up to date and make it better, so we installed a beautiful patio with a lounge feel to it, with modern furniture and a fire pit. We’ve installed televisions on the patio with cameras in each of the arenas so you can sit and watch the show from the patio. If there’s a big event like the Kentucky Derby, we can broadcast that as well.”

The concession stand itself has been gutted and rebuilt into a café, with new décor and upgraded menus. Calamigos, LAEC’s resident caterer, continues to provide the food service with new manager, Bruce Barton, reworking the menus with more desirable options and better variety, such as ahi salads, carne asada tacos, short rib sandwiches, and even barbeque in addition to the traditional offerings. Stroll by the new café and patio, and you just might see a friendly face cooking up some savory meat on the new Santa Maria style barbecue and slathering on homemade barbecue sauce.

LAEC-FEB-2015-patio2“We put a lot of heart into this project,” Jill says. “We wanted to improve three aspects of the concessions: aesthetic, palate, and attitude. I feel we accomplished that, with a pleasant environment to relax in, delicious food, and Bruce is very enthusiastic about improving the customer experience. He’s been going out of his way to make sure everyone is happy. We want our clientele to know we’re listening to them and making an effort to improve the overall experience here at LAEC.”

We’re very proud of the new Rein Café and Patio, so be sure to drop in and give it a try at the next horse show.