By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
The Town of Coaldale is looking for a request for an expression of interest (RFI) from prospective food and beverage businesses interested in operating a coffee shop-style food and beverage business in the atrium at the new Civic Square building.
The Town’s Director of Recreation and Community Services, Russ Tanner presented a report to council on Jan. 9, seeking council’s feedback on the draft request for expression of interest, and to determine (up to) three Councillors to sit on the Evaluation Committee for the coffee shop.
“The space has been developed specifically for this type of business and helps the over-arching plan for Civic Square,” said Tanner. He noted the space has “high potential to attract further stakeholders due to the fact that foot traffic is anticipated to be high.” He added Civic Square and area is anticipated to see an uptick in activity in the coming years due to the building’s design as a community hub and building amenities.
The outdoor plaza will allow for year-round activity, including skating and the atrium space was designed to function as an event venue. Tanner said these factors make for “very real” business opportunities.
The Town will be accepting proposals (expressions of interest) from interested proprietors to determine which coffee shops and/or food and beverage services would be best suited for the new space.
Council was asked to provide any additional direction to administration to be included in the request for interest. Tanner indicated proponents will be requested to supply a staff structure including hours of operation which will factor into the evaluation committee’s decision.
The successful business will have the ability to service regular and event operations, but would not be given exclusive catering rights. CAO Kalen Hastings added the space is not suited to accommodate a commercial kitchen and related food and beverage services would fall into a coffee shop style limited to snacks and grab-and-go items.
Tanner added the hope is the successful business would match the interior of the atrium with respect to architecture noting there will be an opportunity for the Town to put some architectural controls in place to ensure cohesion within the atrium.
The “non-binding” nature of the RFI proposal will allow the Town to reject all proposals if none satisfy the evaluation criteria.
The tentative timeline shows the submission period commenced on Jan. 16. An optional pre-submission meeting and tour is scheduled for Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. Proponents are requested to meet at the front doors of the facility prior to 2 p.m.
An optional pre-submission meeting and tour will be held on Jan. 31, 2023 at 2 p.m. The tentative timeline for the deadline for inquiries is Feb. 6 at 2 p.m., and the end of the submission period is Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. Subject to approval, the successful applicant is scheduled to be announced on Feb. 20, 2023.