Downtown Dallas Inc.'s Looking For Someone to Take Over Main Street Garden's Eat-N-Drinkery
Garrett's the first to admit: When DDI, in partnership with the city, took over the park a little more than two years ago it didn't know the first thing about running a restaurant -- or what it wanted out of its food-and-drink partner in the endeavor. And, she says, it's an odd space -- at once tiny (the space itself is 175 square feet) and mammoth, once you take into consideration the patio space and the fact it's supposed to be serving a park spread over an entire downtown block.
And so Downtown Dallas Inc. will begin looking for a new operator, pronto; details on how to apply follow if you're so interested. Says Garrett, "There's a lot of opportunity to take advantage of the park and get the residents too." How, she's not sure. "We're looking for a unique concept," she says."We want someone who has some creativity behind the concept. This isn't a fit for a traditional concessionaire type. It'd be something similar to a food-truck specialty operation. We definitely want breakfast, lunch and dinner service and something that helps add to that destination feel."
Sometime in mid-March, she says, Josh Florence -- the man behind Club Dada, City Tavern and the Homegrown Music and Art Festival -- will take over the space temporarily, with an eat-n-drink pop-up.
But, says Garrett, he's not interested in taking it over full time. "He's partnering with us on more event-based stuff that we'll announce later," she says. Florence, she expects, will have the space through Homegrown on May 26, at which time Downtown Dallas Inc. hopes to begin transitioning to the Lily Pad's replacement with an "early fall" debut planned.
I always liked Lily Pad -- nothing wrong with a beer and a dog on even a brutal summer's day beneath the shade. But even on glorious spring Saturdays, the place was never packed. Says Garrett, "It was a combination of a new space people were getting used to downtown and creating that destination feel. We heard decent feedback about the menu, but again it ties into: You have a little restaurant space, but in reality you're operating in a giant park. It's about finding that happy medium."
You interested? Jump for the details. Proposals are due March 16.Main Street Garden RFP
Downtown Dallas, Inc. Seeks New Operator for Main Street Garden CafeFebruary 24, 2012. Downtown Dallas, Inc. announced today that the organization is seeking a new operator for the café space located at Main Street Garden. With an offer of two years free rent in an established location in the heart of Downtown, opportunities abound for the culinary community.
In the meantime, check out Joshua Florence's pop-up beverage bar while enjoying the spring weather
Since Main Street Garden opened in 2009, the space has been occupied by the Lily Pad, a concept by Chef Doug Brown. Mr. Brown and his team established the space as a regular gathering spot for Downtown residents, students, and employees, and serviced numerous events, from outdoor movies to large festivals, that take place annually on park grounds. Mr. Brown has chosen not to renew the lease, therefore DDI has released a Request for Interest for a new operator.
"We are indebted to Doug Brown for entering this new venture with us when we opened Main Street Garden," said John F. Crawford, President & CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc. "His team has contributed tremendously to the success the park and its positive impact on the community. However, we are also thrilled with the prospect of bringing a fresh, new concept to Downtown."
For all of you Main Street Garden regulars, do not fret! Joshua Florence, the mastermind behind City Tavern, Homegrown Music and Art Festival, and Club Dada, will fill in with a pop-up concept, complete with your favorite frosty beverage, music and nosh. Starting in late March, look for Josh and team at Main Street Garden every Wednesday - Sunday, happy hour through evenings.
Interested restaurateurs may contact Dustin Bullard at Downtown Dallas, Inc. with questions and/or to receive a copy of the Request for Interest, 214-744-6654, firstname.lastname@example.org. General requirements include breakfast, lunch and dinner service; creative "street food" concepts; resident, employee and student engagement; and food service experience with particular expertise in outdoor dining operations. Proposals are due March 16, 2012.