Vendors line up for Lake Harriet concessions contract

Eleven businesses submitted proposals to take over concessions at Lake Harriet beginning in 2011.

Proposals this year, which were due July 9, were more than double what the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board received when it first opened up the concessions to private bidders in 2001. The existing contract, held by Rodney White, will expire at the end of 2011.

“We’ve got some of the best restaurateurs in the metro area, or at least the City of Minneapolis — some real strong proposals, some real diverse proposals. But I think a fairly consistent theme is that they really looked hard at the recommendations of the (Lake Harriet Citizens Advisory Committee),” said Park Board General Manage Don Siggelkow.

Citing Minnesota Data Practices law, Siggelkow said he could only release the names of the individuals who made proposals, not the restaurants they own and operate or details of their proposal.

The eleven proposals came from Kim Bartmann; Larry D’Amico; Steve Brown; Roger Lund and Greg Jost; Lowell Pickett; Doug Flicker and Jim Andrus; Rajee Aryal; Supen Harisson; Jon Blood; ZHC and White.

That lists includes, among others, representatives of D’Amico restaurants, Bryant Lake Bowl and Barbette, Piccolo, Sawatdee and Sea Salt Eatery.

Siggelkow said a committee of Park Board staff and community representatives will interview those with proposals during the week of Aug. 9. They will be evaluated based on a formula laid out by the Lake Harriet Citizens Advisory Committee.

That group laid out several recommendations, including a desire for expanded food options while keeping ice cream and popcorn, sustainable practices and affordable prices. It also asked that the new vendor remodel the interior of the concessions stand.

The eleven proposals will be narrowed down to two or three, Siggelkow said, and then details of those remaining proposals will be made public.

The committee will then make a recommendation to the Park Board, so that the board can make a decision in mid-September. The new vendor will be serving by next April.