GOLD COAST — Bow Truss Coffee is the park district's preferred concessionaire in Mariano Park, a historic plaza in the heart of the Gold Coast.
The Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners will vote Wednesday on a proposed seven-year lease with Lakeview-based Bow Truss, according to a meeting agenda posted Friday. If the lease is approved, Bow Truss will replace longtime park vendor Whispers Cafe.
The vote will come more than four months after five companies including Bow Truss pitched neighbors on how they would serve visitors to the century-old park at State and Rush streets. That meeting, held in July, quickly grew heated amid concerns over the historic integrity of the park and its concession stand, which was built in 1900 and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright protégé Birch Burdette Long.
Philip Tadros, Bow Truss' founder, opened his first coffee shop — called Don's — in Rogers Park when he was 19 years old. Tadros rolled out Bow Truss three years ago, and now the mini-chain has six shops throughout the city. Though it's grown rapidly, Bow Truss has also recently drawn outcry from Pilsen residents fearing gentrification.
The proposed lease for the park, 1031 N. State St., also includes three one-year renewals. Bow Truss competed for the permit against Gibsons Restaurant Group, Franco's Ristorante, Vero coffee, and the incumbent Whispers Cafe, which has been in Mariano Park for 13 years. Dozens more applied for the permit before finalists emerged.
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