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Food Delivery Service Eyed for Times Square

By DNAinfo Staff on March 29, 2011 3:15pm

The Times Square pedestrian plaza.
The Times Square pedestrian plaza.
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Flickr/Katy Silberger

By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — Times Square already has tables, chairs and even umbrellas. But how about delivery?

The city is considering adding a handful of new food and drink concession kiosks and even food delivery to the pedestrian plazas that now line the Great White Way.

The Times Square Alliance issued a request Tuesday for businesses to submit proposals to operate new concession stands on the soon-to-be-permanent plazas that run along Broadway between 42nd and 47th streets.

A second search is out for a new food delivery service that would serve snacks to the tables in the square.

"It’s part of our larger goal of making the plazas into a really first-class public space," said Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins.

He said that popular parks including Bryant Park and Madison Square Park already have food and drink service, and that he regularly hears requests for similar options from those who regularly visit the square.

If the Alliance decides to go forward, the new kiosks are likely to open mid-summer and will operate on a test-basis for a year.

"This is a pilot project," Tompkins said. "We'll see what ideas come in."

Bidders have been given their choice of five potential spots, and the Alliance will decide whether to open them all up to one vendor or test out several different plans.

As for the delivery option, Tompkins envisions servers approaching people sitting at the tables and offering options from a variety of eateries. Other models could include numbers placed on tables or smart phone applications.

According to the requests for proposals, the kiosks could also be allowed to serve wine and beer.

Restaurants will have until April 15 to submit their ideas, which will be judged on factors including how much money they propose to pay the Alliance, their creativity, and their "contextual harmony."

"TSA’s mission is to seek a subconcessionaire(s) that can provide a high quality amenity with authentic New York City appeal,” the request for kiosks reads.