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Tim Rooney, Jr. chef Alain Ducasse and Timothy Rooney, Sr. at the unveiling of the new Empire City Casino at Yonkers last week. Photo by: Empire Casino

Empire Casino Yonkers unveils $50 million expansion and new attractions

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Tim Rooney, Jr. chef Alain Ducasse and Timothy Rooney, Sr. at the unveiling of the new Empire City Casino at Yonkers last week. Photo by: Empire Casino

The $50 million expansion at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway is now complete and was formally unveiled at a ceremony last week with local politicians and Empire City executives. The expansion includes two new restaurants, along with a craft cocktail lounge featuring retro bowling lanes, 30,000 square feet of new gaming space and an expansive new casino entrance.

“The talent that brought this project to fruition is world-renowned,” said Timothy Rooney, President and CEO of Empire City Casino. “We are proud of our success to date and will work to ensure that Empire City continues its development as a premier entertainment destination.”

Designed by STUDIO V of New York City, the new architecture of Empire City is a drastic departure from ordinary casino design. A dramatic curved facade features over 45 feet of frameless low iron glass in a 300-foot arc that creates a backdrop to the entry canopy and a window onto the interior of the casino. This display is the largest structure of its kind in North America.  

The two new restaurants encompass a large portion of the additional 66,000 square foot expansion.  The innovative casual grill, pinch American Grill is a collaboration between developer Mark Advent, the creator of Las Vegas’ highly successful New York New York Hotel and Casino, and Ducasse Studio, the culinary consulting arm of Alain Ducasse Enterprise. Dan Rooney’s Sports Pub is a fun take on the classic sports pub.  

The pinch American Grill features an open kitchen, raw bar and pastry counter in a vintage diner-style environment, but the beer program undoubtedly serves as a main attraction. Overseen by Certified Cicerone James Tai, pinch American Grill boasts a significant beer program with 100 New York beers on tap, 25 large format beers including limited releases (available seasonally and in small batches) as well as beers exclusively brewed for the restaurant.  

A selective, dynamic 80-bottle wine list, curated by the beverage director of Ducasse Studio, is comprised mostly of American wines from New York and California, as well as France.

The pinch menu, created by chef Fabienne Eymard (Taillevent in Paris, Caprice in Switzerland, Benoit in New York), offers a mix of updated American and international classics, broken down into snacks and starters, soups and salads, seafood bar, house specialties, sandwiches, burgers and from the grill.

Inspired by the original Dan Rooney’s Cafe & Bar built and operated in the early 1900s in Pittsburgh by the family of Tim Rooney, the current owner and operator of Empire City Casino, the new Dan Rooney’s Sports Bar is warm, inviting and casual, featuring dual flame rotisseries, private “snugs” for intimate seating, two fireplaces, and plenty of live musical entertainment.

Alley 810 features two vintage style bowling lanes, inspired by turn of the century bowling alleys, on the second floor of the pub. Taking the typical Irish pub to the next level, Alley 810 offers high-quality traditional pub food and features a carver station for open-flame rotisserie.

Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway features 5,300 slot machines, electronic roulette, craps, sic bo and baccarat tables, Italian dining in Nonno’s Trattoria, and trackside dining in the Empire Terrace Restaurant, which overlooks the track for live harness racing, as well as the International Food Court and its wide-ranging menu. The multi-faceted Good Time Room is available for parties, benefits, weddings, and major events for up to 400.

Empire City Casino is located at 810 Yonkers Avenue (at Central Avenue) in Yonkers, New York, Westchester County, (I-87 to Exit 2). Empire City Casino is open seven days a week, every day from 9 a.m. until 4 a.m.

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