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Michelin star Chef Chris Lee heads Empire City Casino cafe

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Michelin star Chef Chris Lee
Michelin star Chef Chris Lee

Dan Rooney’s Café & Pub, a brand new sports bar and restaurant, has opened at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. With the atmosphere of a high-energy sports bar, flavors of an Irish pub, menu designed by two Michelin star Chef Chris Lee, and dueling pianos for evening entertainment, Dan Rooney’s is quickly becoming everyone’s favorite place to be.

While the Rooney Family has owned and operated pubs for generations, Dan Rooney’s has historic roots that run deep for the family. The new sports pub is a replica of the first business owned by Dan Rooney, grandfather of Empire City Casino president & CEO Timothy Rooney, which opened in Pittsburgh in the early 20th century.

Guests can step into the past with the train car dining room, old style live betting cages, dueling pianos Thursday – Saturday (8pm-12:15am), and enjoy a private fireside snug. Dan Rooney’s caters to the sports enthusiast as well, with 35 flat-screen TVs showing sporting events from across the globe.  This newest edition to the sprawling Empire City property is a true blend of the modern and traditional, with unique entertainment, delicious cuisine, and an extraordinary beer and Irish whiskey menu.

“We’re proud to continue our great family tradition with the opening of Dan Rooney’s,” said Timothy Rooney, Jr., general counsel for Empire City Casino.  “The pub has many elements of the original Dan Rooney’s in Pittsburgh, and will allow our patrons to hearken back to a bygone era, while enjoying superior food and the state-of-the art amenities of Empire City.”

Dan Rooney’s has already received culinary acclaim, devouring the competition in the “Battle of the Burgers” at the annual 2012 Greenwich Food & Wine Festival before even opening its doors.  The culinary masterpiece is an aged beef burger with brie, tangy onions, watercress, tomato, and honey black pepper aioli on a brioche bun, and had celebrity chefs salivating, as will their other tantalizing menu items.  Along with the acclaimed burger, Dan Rooney’s menu is highlighted by an opened-flamed rotisserie featuring Lemon & Herbed Chicken, house-cured Corned Beef, traditional pub entrees such as Shepherd's Pie, Country Lamb Stew, Bangers & Mash and Fish & Chips, sandwiches, steaks, chops and seafood.

“Dan Rooney's is about elevating pub food to the next level,” said Chef Lee. “I don't buy into the idea that a bar menu has to rely heavily on fried food and low-brow snacks.  Here we take traditional pub classics and incorporate seasonal ingredients and layer flavors to keep things fresh and new. I use a lot of the same techniques used in fine-dining kitchens, but keep the dishes comforting and approachable.”

Dan Rooney’s is a key element of Empire City Casino’s recently-completed $50 million expansion.  Empire City, the largest private employer in the city of Yonkers with nearly 1,400 employees, broke ground on the expansion in July of 2011. Designed by Studio V of New York City, the 66,000 square-foot expansion includes a new casino entrance featuring a high-tech porte-cochère and 300-foot curved glass wall, a 30,000 square-foot modern gaming floor crowned by a contemporary art piece featuring the NYC skyline crafted of nails and two new restaurants, Pinch and Dan Rooney’s.

Dan Rooney’s is open everyday from 11:00a.m. until 4:00am Full menu is available from 11:00a.m. to 11:00p.m. Klash of the Keys Happy Hour with 2 for 1 well drinks is offered 9:00p.m. to 11:00p.m. nightly. Free valet parking with a minimum purchase of $50.00. For reservations call 914-457-2531 or reserve a table online by going to www.opentable.com.

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