By Lauren Bayliss — Photographed by Jazz Martin
In 2008, when Patriot Place was finally unveiled to the public, it was clear that it was on the road to becoming a Mecca for much more than just football fanatics. Covering over 1.3 million square feet, Patriot Place surely had to offer more than just gimmicky sports bar type venues to succeed. As General Manager of Patriot Place, Brian Earley puts it “Gillette Stadium on its own is a destination, and we knew we could add so much more around it.”
Patriot Place is a year-round complex that’s main purpose is to draw in people
of all ages and interests. It begins with over 17 dining options ranging from a Baskin Robbins with its own pastry chef serving as GM, to Tastings Wine Bar and Bistro, where local food and wine connoisseurs created an intimate setting, to one of the grand-daddies of steak houses, Davio’s Italian Steakhouse. Also in the mix is CBS Scene, a must-try sports bar (with a kick-ass menu) that has by far the best seats in the house. The top-level terrace tables are hard to come by, but offer unbelievable field views for watching football, soccer or one of the many concerts held there each year.
Next comes shopping. If you are in search of Patriots gear, the latest fashions or even home accessories, there are well over 20 retail locations to suit your needs. Whether the man in your life is busy getting hyped up for the game or you’re simply in need of some retail therapy, the shops at Patriot Place are open year round and offer an abundance of options.
As far as entertainment goes, it is safe to say it does not end with professional sports events. Yes, we all know both the Patriots and Revolution call Gillette their home, but there is so much more going on. Lets start with the music scene. Just last month, country phenomenon Toby Keith opened Patriot Place’s largest food and entertainment venue, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, where live music plays throughout its 20,000 square foot space so loud and clear you just might believe you’re at an actual concert. To top that, every Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting) free concerts are held for the public in the open area right outside the field – I would suggest going on a game day and getting a two for one experience! Showcase Live is another not to be missed destination. The intimate lounge-type venue host’s top recoding artists ranging from R&B, rock, country, jazz and hip-hop, as well as renowned comedy acts all year long. Showcase Cinemas, their state-of-the-art movie theater, features much more than just popcorn and Whoppers. Luxury upper level seating is well worth the $10 up-charge. There is no getting up in the middle of a scene and waiting in line here. You can indulge in gourmet food and beverages brought from a waitress – restaurant style – while enjoying the latest blockbuster.
And, of course, for all you die-hard Patriot fans out there – even with everything else
going on – Patriot Place is home to one of the best and most exciting sports museums in the country. The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon takes guests on an educational, interactive and most importantly fun journey through Patriots history. Test your skills and reenact Adam Vinatieri’s winning field goal kick in the blizzard conditions of the historic 2001 playoff game or offer your own strategies with Bill Belichick’s interactive exhibit. Staff members will attest to fans spending up to five hours in the hall, soaking up every legendary piece of Pats history they can retain before seeing it all happen live in the stadium.
Patriot Place really does live up to its promise of offering something for everyone, football fan or not. Especially after experiencing it for myself, (which was not on a game day) I was blown away seeing everything to do there. Whether it’s June or January, the next time you are in the mood to get away without “getting away” take the drive to Foxborough and have the time of your life. And who knows, you may even want to come back and actually catch a game. I know I do.