CHICAGO — A restaurant and concession stand at Maggie Daley Park is closer to becoming a reality after a permit was approved by the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners Wednesday.
The approved 10-year agreement will bring Chicago-based Four Corners Tavern Group to operate a restaurant and concession stand at the southern end of the park along Monroe Street, at no cost to the park district, said Steve Lux, park district chief financial officer.
Four Corners Tavern will pay an estimated $1.1 million to build the restaurant at Maggie Daley Park. As part of the deal, the company will pay the park district $75,000 a year in rent, and five to 10 percent of gross sales, Lux added.
The restaurant would be built where The Green at Grant Park, a seasonal outdoor cafe and miniature golf course, was once located, said Rob Rejman, director of planning and management.
"The concept that we were presented was to extend Maggie Daley Park right over that area and tuck the restaurant below it, and have a very transparent face, Rejman said. "So it feels very indoor, outdoor."
The design would allow for a more greenery as well as outdoor seating area with views across Grant Park, Rejman added.
"It will be well lit, classy, very green, with no loss of public park space, [and offer] improved views and better connection of the restaurant to Maggie Daley Park," Rejman said.
The restaurant is looking for a fall 2015 open, but the concession stand may debut in the next couple of weeks, Rejman said. Crain's Chicago Business reported Monday the restaurant would be called Maggie's at the Park.
"We need to have public input around this before we take a serious run at actually developing it but I'm excited about the plan, Rejman said. "There's designing to be done. I can see it in my head, I'm looking forward to how the details play out."
During the meeting Bob O'Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy advocacy group, urged the Park District to consider community input before approving the final designs for the restaurant.
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