A Chicago restaurant could have a unique opportunity on the city’s South Side!
The Obama Foundation, which began construction on the Obama Center in late 2021, is now on the search for a restaurant partner for the yet-to-be-finished renowned space.
Looking to operators located on the South and West side, the Obama Foundation is now accepting pitches for an established restaurant company that has had success with larger venues, has been around for at least five years, and have ideally made a “minimum of $5 million in average annual revenues for the last five years.”
Will they go for a local company? Or, what about employing a larger food service company? These questions remain up in the air as they start the search.
Said to also include a museum and library dedicated to telling the story of America’s first Black president and former first lady Michelle Obama. The center will also have extensive nature paths, a public plaza, and a recreational center to explore alongside this new venture, which could bring a lesser-known restaurant to the forefront of attention.
The foundation is ideally looking for a hospitality company to manage a restaurant, and cafe on the garden level, along with catering at the Jackson Park space. This potential partner would also plan educational programming at a teaching kitchen as well as maintain an onsite produce garden.
As for what they’re looking for? Well, the foundation recently submitted a request for proposals, mentioning that the restaurant they have in mind would be seen “as a casual eatery with either a counter-service model or a hybrid-service model.” The plan is to announce the winning bid in the spring.
The request describes the restaurant as needing to seat up to 75 to 90 diners indoors, along with space for another 46-60 in the courtyard. The menu would offer a variety of offerings, creating a diverse selection that “reflect the Foundations values.”
The cafe would be a grab-and-go situation, offering items like pastries, sandwiches, and salads, along with coffee, wine, and beer options.
The restaurant and cafe would open in 2025, coinciding with the center’s construction end date. They hope to pick a partner by June and have been meeting with restaurant owners and restaurants over the last few months.
Michelle Obama, a native Chicagoan, has previously mentioned her love for deep-dish pizza from Gino’s East. Could that be a contender? Time will tell.