Category Archives: Park Concessions

Who’s going to run them? Why do they lose money?

Agenda posted for Monday's public hearing for Bread and pickle

AGENDA POSTED FOR MONDAY’S PUBLIC HEARING FOR BREAD AND PICKLE

The Public Hearing for the alcohol license for Bread and Pickle will be during the meeting of the city’s Regulatory, Energy & Environment Committee on Monday, April 29, 2013, in room 317 City Hall. The meeting will begin at 1:30. Here is the agenda.

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/meetings/ree/WCMS1P-106232

Public Hearing on Lake Harriet Liquor License

The City of Minneapolis has issued the following notice:

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Date: Monday, April 29, 2013

Time: 1:30pm or shortly thereafter

Place: Minneapolis City Hall, Room 317

350 South 5th Street,

Minneapolis, MN 55415

Purpose: To present information and solicit comments for the application from Bread & Pickle on the following On-Sale Wine with strong beer license application.

Applicant’s Name (Legal Entity): Bread & Pickle, LLC

DBA/Trade Name: Bread & Pickle

Complete Address: 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy

Minneapolis, MN 55410

Telephone Number: (612) 822-6302

Current License(s): Food Manufacturer

Requested License(s): On-Sale Wine with Strong Beer

Nature of Entertainment: Class “E” entertainment allows the use of radio, television, prerecorded music. No live entertainment is permitted.

Off Street Parking: The Minneapolis Zoning Department does not require additional off street parking.

You are invited to attend, express your opinions, and/or submit such in writing by contacting License Inspector Mohamed Ismail at mohamed.ismail@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-3904.

Information in Other Languages: Yog xav paub tshaj nos ntxiv, hu 612-673-2800. Macluumaad dheeri ah, kala soo xiriir 612-673-3500. Para mas información llame al 612-673-2700.

Star Trib: Alcohol Could be allowed at lake harriet

The following article by Eric Roper and Steve Brandt was published in the April 24, 2013 issue of the StarTribune:

Alcohol could be allowed at Lake Harriet

Will visitors to Lake Harriet’s refectory be able to enjoy a glass of wine or beer this summer?

The Minneapolis Park Board signed off on a resolution last week to support bringing alcohol to the lake’s two-year-old Bread & Pickle eatery.

The City Council still needs to approve the liquor license — a process that could take weeks — but it’s likely the business will be able to sell alcohol sometime this summer. Bread & Pickle hasn’t opened yet for the season.

Allowing the concession stand to sell beer and wine would bring it in line with Tin Fish and Sea Salt, at Lake Calhoun and Minnehaha Falls.

But don’t take that glass of beer too far. Alcohol isn’t allowed in city parks, except in specified areas. The size of that area was constrained by the Park Board (see http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/203477841.html for diagrams).

“It’s a smaller area,” said owner Kim Bartmann, who first started pursuing the license in fall 2011. “I believe it’s going to be very hard operationally. But I believe that unless I do it, it won’t be able to be expanded later.”

Arlene Fried, a co-founder of Park Watch, spoke at the board meeting against the original plan for where drinking would be allowed. She said planters and tables will create “barriers and congestion” for people walking through.

“Allowing one use to dominate this compact and very popular public area is poor planning, and in this case, just plain dangerous,” Fried said in prepared remarks. “The Lake Harriet concessions stand was never meant to be a wine and beer garden any more than it was meant to be a Dairy Queen.”

Park Board O Ks Beer and Wine Sales At Lake Harriet

The following item by Chris Steller was reported in the Southwest Patch:

Minneapolis Park Board OKs Beer and Wine Sales at Lake Harriet

Proposal moves next to city council, media sources reported.

Lake Harriet is already wet, but food service options may soon get a little less dry, WCCO-TV reported Sunday: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/04/21/beer-wine-sales-heading-to-lake-harriet/

After a recent decision, beer and wine sales at Lake Harriet look more and more possible. In a 5-4 vote Wednesday, the Minneapolis Park Board approved [its] support [of] the liquor license application: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/04/21/beer-wine-sales-heading-to-lake-harriet/ for Bread and Pickle off of Lake Harriet.

The plan still needs to get city council approval—and has its detractors, the Star Tribune MPLS. blog reported: http://www.startribune.com/blogs/203477841.html

Arlene Fried, a co-founder of Park Watch, spoke at Wednesday night’s Board meeting against the original delineations for where drinking would be allowed. She said that planters and tables will create “barriers and congestion” for people walking through.

“Allowing one use to dominate this compact and very popular public area is poor planning; and, in this case, just plain dangerous,” Fried said in prepared remarks: http://parkwatch.org/node/1737 “The Lake Harriet concessions stand was never meant to be a wine and beer garden any more than it was meant to be a Dairy Queen.”

Size has been an issue, the Southwest Journal reported April 2: http://www.southwestjournal.com/news/news/beer-and-wine-at-lake-harriet-its-up-for-debate. “If it’s only the smaller area, I won’t do it. It’s not going to happen. I am willing to compromise on some of that area, but if it’s just that small area that’s drawn, it’s not happening,” [Bread & Pickle co-owner Kim Bartmann] said. “There’s no reason for it to be that small, and no one will be happy.”

Here’s where Bartmann and the city don’t see eye-to-eye. Business Licensing Manager Grant Wilson cited Minnesota statute 340A.410, which says, “A licensing authority may issue a retail alcoholic beverage license only for a space that is compact and contiguous.”

Beer came up when Minnesota Public Radio: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2013/04/17/appetites/rachel-hutton-concessions-season interviewed Minnesota Monthly Editor Rachel Hutton about dining at Minneapolis parks:

Tom Crann: What should we order at the other park eateries?

Rachel Hutton: Sea Salt is already open, so you can go get a crab cake sandwich and a local tap beer. The cold weather is preventing a firm opening date for Tin Fish and Bread & Pickle. Operators of those restaurants are hopeful they will be open before May 1. At Tin Fish, I like their basic fried cod sandwich, the Mini Tin. At Bread & Pickle I like their breakfast sandwiches, the hummus wrap, and they do excellent fried cheese curds that can tide us over until the Minnesota State Fair: http://www.mnstatefair.org/

Booze at Lake Harriet Advances

The following article by Eric Roper was posted on the Star-tribune Blog on April 18, 2013:

Booze at Lake Harriet advances

Is alcohol coming to Lake Harriet?

The Minneapolis Park Board signed off on a resolution Wednesday night to support bringing booze to Lake Harriet’s two-year-old Bread & Pickle eatery.

The City Council still needs to approve the liquor license — a process that could take weeks — but it’s likely the business will be able to sell alcohol sometime this summer. Bread & Pickle hasn’t opened yet for the season.
 

Allowing the concession stand to sell beer and wine would bring it in line with Tin Fish and Sea Salt, at Lake Calhoun and Minnehaha Falls.
 

But don’t take that glass of beer too far. Alcohol is not allowed in city parks, except in specified areas. The size of that area was constrained by the Park Board at last night’s meeting (see two diagrams below).

“It’s a smaller area,” said owner Kim Bartmann, who first started pursuing the license in fall 2011. “I believe it’s going to be very hard operationally. But I believe that unless I do it, it won’t be able to be expanded later.”
 

Arlene Fried, a co-founder of Park Watch, spoke at Wednesday night’s Board meeting against the original delineations for where drinking would be allowed. She said that planters and tables will create “barriers and congestion” for people walking through.

“Allowing one use to dominate this compact and very popular public area is poor planning; and, in this case, just plain dangerous,” Fried said in prepared remarks: http://parkwatch.org/node/1737 “The Lake Harriet concessions stand was never meant to be a wine and beer garden any more than it was meant to be a Dairy Queen.”


 

The Park Board passed the resolution Thursday night, with this revised drinking area:

Opposing Proposal to Expand Lake Harriet Seating

The following letter was presented at Open Time during the April 17, 2013 Park Board meeting:

OPPOSING THE PROPOSAL TO EXPAND LAKE HARRIET SEATING

April 17, 2013

Commissioners,

I am here today to speak against the proposal to expand the seating at the Lake Harriet concessions stand for a wine and beer garden, which will seat 150 patrons. I laud Kim Bartmann for all she has done with her concessions stand at Lake Harriet, but I have serious reservations about her proposal to expand seating.

I am quite familiar with this area and I was there this cold afternoon to imagine what it would look like on a beautiful summer evening. It is a prime piece of lake-shore real estate that is highly congested during the summer season, especially during the evening and weekend concerts that can attract as many as 2,000 music lovers.

The lake-shore plaza area is loved by many and attracts a variety of users. Cluttering it up with additional tables and seating, along with the required planters, will create barriers and congestion for parents with kids in strollers, people walking dogs, and individuals who may be using wheel chairs or scooters.

Allowing one use to dominate this compact and very popular public area is poor planning; and, in this case, just plain dangerous.

The Lake Harriet concessions stand was never meant to be a wine and beer garden any more than it was meant to be a Dairy Queen. Please respect Lake Harriet and its history for what it is–a public park.

Thank you.

Arlene M. Fried

Co-founder of Park Watch

http://www.mplsparkwatch.org

Beer and Wine at Lake Harriet? It's Up for Debate

The following article by Nick Halter was published in the April 2, 2013 issue of the Southwest Journal just before the April 3 meeting. Don’t know how we missed getting it up sooner…

Beer and wine at Lake Harriet? It’s up for debate

Two years after opening near the shores of Lake Harriet, the Bartmann sisters want to start serving beer and wine at their Bread & Pickle food stand.

To make space for a half-dozen local brews and several wine options, Kim and Kari want to spend $100,000 or more upgrading the refectory, a project that includes raising a beer cooler above the breezeway and hoisting kegs up there.

There’s clearly support from the city to give Bread & Pickle a beer and wine permit, but the two sides are in disagreement over how large of a seating area the Bartmanns should have.

Originally, Bread & Pickle wanted to allow patrons to take beer and wine to the nearby band shell, where patrons could listen to live music or watch movies, Kim Bartmann said. But the city made it clear it’s not going to allow that, she said.

“I gave up on that discussion quite a while ago,” she said.

Bartmann has scaled back her request to about 150 seats that wrap around the south and east sides of the concessions stand (see maps below). That would be smaller than a similar vendor, Tin Fish at Lake Calhoun, which seats 245 and sells wine and beer.

The city, however, has proposed a much smaller area. A map shows a small semi-circle around the south doors of the refectory with room for just a few tables.

“If it’s only the smaller area, I won’t do it. It’s not going to happen. I am willing to compromise on some of that area, but if it’s just that small area that’s drawn, it’s not happening,” she said. “There’s no reason for it to be that small, and no one will be happy.”

Here’s where Bartmann and the city don’t see eye-to-eye. Business Licensing Manager Grant Wilson cited Minnesota statute 340A.410, which says, “A licensing authority may issue a retail alcoholic beverage license only for a space that is compact and contiguous.”

“The service area must be compact and contiguous, meaning that your servers kind of have some kind of control over where (alcohol) can be,” Wilson said.

Bartmann argues that her proposal is compact and contiguous, and no larger than similar Minneapolis venues like Tin Fish and Sea Salt.

Here’s where things get tricky, because the city, according to Tin Fish owners Sheffield and Athena Priest, require their staff to be responsible for stopping people from leaving their area with alcohol, and they don’t have concerts just a stone’s throw away.

“This one just doesn’t fit very well, because I don’t believe we have another on-sale beverage alcohol place that the public can intermingle with people where she wouldn’t have control over what they do,” Wilson said.

Bartmann will be required to post signs telling patrons not take alcohol out of the designated area. She’ll also have to add some time of landscaping to mark the zone, such as planters.

Bartmann stressed that people who aren’t drinking or eating will still be welcome in the area.
The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council ha sent a letter of support to the city of Minneapolis after meeting with Bartmann. The neighborhood board supports a beer and wine license for Bread & Pickle.

On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Park Board will hold a discussion on the proposal. The Park Board does not have authority over beer and wine licenses, but it could make a recommendation to the city.

Community Input Opportunity on Nokomis Concession Improvements

The Park Board has circulated the following item:

Community Input Opportunity on Concession Area Improvements at Lake Nokomis

The Lake Nokomis Concessions Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will host an open house on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Nokomis Community Center to review and discuss improvements to the concession area at Lake Nokomis.

The improvements are part of the lease agreement: http://minneapolisparksmn.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?Frame=&ID=1613&CssClass= between the new concession, Sandcastle, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board that was approved by the Park Board on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The meeting is open to the public. The Nokomis Community Center is located at 2401 E Minnehaha Parkway, Minneapolis.

The Lake Nokomis Concessions CAC was formed in February 2012 to help determine community and park user preferences for concession services at the park. After soliciting community input and conducting an open, competitive selection process, the CAC recommended Sandcastle Enterprises, a Minneapolis based company owned and operated by restaurateurs Doug Flicker and Amy Greeley to the Park Board. Doug Flicker also owns the critically acclaimed Minneapolis restaurant, Piccolo. Sandcastle will offer fresh, healthy food options to meet diverse tastes with menu items such as fish tacos, sandwich wraps, a variety of salads, and beer and wine.

The improvements to the concession area include an outdoor shelter, new deck and picnic areas, improvements to the concession building, storm water runoff mitigation and possible realignment of trails near the concession area. All are welcome to attend the open house, review the preliminary design work and express suggestions, improvements and concerns to enhance the design. The Lake Nokomis Concessions CAC will present a proposed design for the concession area based on the public comments at the March 20 Planning Committee meeting of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. For more information and updates, please visit http://www.minneapolisparks.org .

Re: Privatization at Wirth Park

The following item by Shawne FitzGerald was posted February 7, 2013 on e-democracy.org:

RE: PRIVATIZATION AT WIRTH PARK

Eric Roper posted a story on the Wirth Park conflict earlier this week: http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/189750241.html

The Wirth Park Concept Plan approved by the Board last summer has two cycling components. One is an extension of the existing single track recreational mountain biking trails to the southwest area of the park. The MN Off-Road Cyclists (MOCA) has volunteered to build this 1-plus mile extension after approval by MPRB staff. (Purple line in attached image). MOCA volunteers have already built about 6.5 miles of trail in Wirth. MOCA has not requested any building and has no conflict with either golfers or skiers. See article comments.

The second component would be a new 3-4 mile Cycling Event and Racing Trail to be built in the traditional golf course area, west of the Chalet and along both sides of Bassett Creek. These are the light brown lines in the attached image. For larger views, see http://www.minneapolisparks.org/documents/design/wirth/05.01.12_presentation.pdf. Currently, the traditional golf course area is used for golf in summer and winter recreation (skiing, tubing, and snowboarding) in winter. The Cycling Event/Race Trail adds a second summertime use and this is the source of conflict.

I can’t quite envision the Event/Racing Trail. Cyclo-cross, pump track and BMX as well as mountain bike racing was mentioned in CAC documents. I wasn’t the parkwatcher at the CAC meetings (& welcome corrections) but I couldn’t find any need statement in the CAC documents. Why is this facility needed in the Minneapolis and also the Metropolitan regional park system?

The Park Board Commissioners haven’t had a study session or discussion of this topic as far as I know. The Loppet Foundation would like a concession contract to operate the event/racing trail but this has not been decided, of course. MPRB net income (profit) from the event/race trail is projected at $5,000-$6,000 annually for the first decade.

The addition of the event/racing trail requires rearranging holes at the Wirth 18 golf course. (Par 3 golfers would lose their clubhouse and parking lot for the Welcome Center building.) I can’t quite tell from the budget but it looks like the changes would cost the MPRB golf program $5-$6 million. Neither the golf program nor the entire MPRB enterprise operations have this kind of money right now. Last night, the MPRB Admin & Finance Committee approved a $9 million bond sale for rehab and environmental upgrades to the ice arenas – and it was clear that debt payments will be a concern through 2021 when the Neiman Complex bonds are paid off.

The cycle event/race trail issue has more problems. Student teams from the U of M Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management program identified environmental concerns including soil erosion. modification of Bassett Creek, loss of habitat and threats to wildlife. The students suggested a citizen petition for an EAW for a full assessment of environmental impact. The Wirth 18 golfers asked for their analysis.

The Wirth 18 golf course is in the process of being nominated as a contributing historic site in the proposed Grand Rounds Historic District. SHPO, in cooperation with MPRB, is the lead on this. So Wirth 18 is already protected as a historic site until a final determination is made. This may require the MPRB to look at feasible and prudent alternative sites for the cycle/event race trail and the Welcome Center.

Finally, detailed financial planning for the Wirth Park changes have not been completed. The total budget is $21,031,345. The golf courses, including proposed restaurant in Chalet, don’t qualify for state funds like bonds or regional park dollars. Not sure if the Welcome Center (with another restaurant), related parking, and event/cycling trails will either. These items are roughly $13 million. The Loppet Foundation has pledged to raise $3 million. What about the other $10 million? Will city taxpayers be on the hook for this? Either through more borrowing or property tax increases or park services cuts (like closing neighborhood rec centers)?

Last summer, the Park Board resolved: “That prior to proceeding with detailed design of the master plan features that are identified as ‘public-private partnership’ elements, staff is directed to prepare a detailed park development and operations pro-forma that identifies the ability to construct the improvement without a negative MPRB budget impact.” This has not been done. Also, the plan for funding the entire $21 million of Wirth capital costs has not been presented. Before moving forward, and before there is more controversy and division, the MPRB needs to finish the Wirth planning process.

My bias in all this: I’m worried that Corcoran and other neighborhood rec centers will be closed. Rec center activity fees are so high that they are a barrier to young friends with children. Until recently, the MPRB’s traditional fee waiver program was largely ignored even though 1/4 of Minneapolis children live in households with poverty-level incomes or less. The MPRB is taking a fresh look at rec center services and I hope the children of Minneapolis, all of them, will have ready access to those public programs.

If we do nothing for Wirth skiers, they still have 15 miles of trails plus snowmaking capacity (not to mention underutilized x-country sites at Columbia, Gross, and Hiawatha). If we do only the MOCA trails, there will be 8 miles of mountain biking at Wirth. I am tired of special interest lobbyists saying we need “world class” expensive rec facilities and “It’s for the kids!” when in reality, core recreation services to city children have become unaffordable for many and may be eliminated at some sites. So, let’s see the Wirth numbers.

Shawne FitzGerald

Powderhorn Park

The Committee Vote on the Nokomis Lease

After the public hearing at last Wednesday’s (November 28th) Park Board meeting, the Administration and Finance Committee engaged in an extended discussion in response to concerns expressed during the public hearing.

In addition to the comments and concerns expressed in the two items previously posted here on Park Watch, the recommended vendor expressed her concern regarding the required bond. Unfortunately, the mention of the required bond had been omitted from the Request for Proposals (RFP). This omission was just one more reason that some of the individuals following the Nokomis CAC process thought that the RFP, in fairness to everyone, should have been reissued.

After the extensive discussion, the committee directed staff to incorporate the missing information into the lease and then voted to forward the revised lease to the full board. The vote to do so was not unanimous. Commissioner Anita Tabb abstained.

Arlene Fried

Co-founder of Park Watch

www. mplsparkwatch.org