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Volume 21 No. 2
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In Atlanta, 24 seats will come with a burger

Linton Hopkins sat in the stands the night Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s all-time home record at old Fulton County Stadium in 1974.

Thirty-nine years later, Hopkins, an Atlanta chef and restaurateur and a rabid Braves fan, will serve his signature double cheeseburgers at Turner Field.

Holeman & Finch cheeseburgers are a late-night tradition.
Holeman & Finch Public House, an Atlanta pub owned by Hopkins, signed a multiyear deal with the Braves and Aramark, the ballpark’s food provider, to serve the same restaurant-quality burger at three concession stands for the 2013 season.

In addition, the three parties are developing a ticket package for 24 reserved outfield seats that includes a Holeman & Finch burger.

As of last week, those ticket prices had not been established. The outfield seats typically sell for about $30 without food and drink, said Derek Schiller, the Braves’ executive vice president of sales and marketing. The burgers alone will cost $12, and Hopkins keeps a share of the revenue.

The significance of the number 24 ties back to the pub and a griddle limited to cooking 12 burgers at a time, Hopkins said. Every night, the restaurant serves a total of 24 burgers at 10 p.m. to those customers first ordering them.

The quirky tradition started years ago to meet the needs of food-service workers getting a bite to eat after finishing their shifts. It has led to a cult following for the sandwich that Food Network ranked in 2010 as the best late-night burger in America, Schiller said.

At Turner Field, Aramark will use the same ingredients to replicate Hopkins’ burgers, including his mother’s pickle recipe.

For Aramark, the Braves’ burger deal follows its deal with New York restaurant owner Danny Meyer to serve his Shake Shack burgers at Citi Field, home of the Mets. “Danny Meyer is a friend of mine,” Hopkins said, half-joking, “and I don’t want him [doing business] at Turner Field.”