Columbia County is planning to enter the restaurant business.
Restaurateurs are invited to a Columbia County Community Leisure Services meeting Wednesday to discuss the small eatery that will be housed within the new library and performing-arts center, scheduled to be completed in September 2005 in the Evans Towne Center.
Officials with Community and Leisure Services are holding the meeting at 2 p.m. in Building A of the government complex
"Right now, the stage we're in is developing the cafe," said Sandy Boner, manager of community services for the county. "The meeting is a request for information from prospective vendors."
Boner, who will manage the new library complex, said she hopes to learn from meeting attendees what type of equipment will be necessary, tips on the design of the cafe, and other information from experienced restaurant owners.
"It's also to give more information to prospective bidders that may be interested in that space," Boner said.
Officials want to use the meeting to gauge interest in the restaurant space in the lobby of the new library adjacent to the performing-arts center.
"It could be an upscale caterer. It could be an outlet. It could be a new business," said Community and Leisure Services Director Barry Smith. "It could be an exciting opportunity for a new business because you have built in traffic with the library traffic, the government complex, all the activity from performance arts events and the justice center."
The bidding process will be discussed in the meeting, and bids will go out about a month following the meeting.
Boner and Smith said they want to chose a vendor for the facility before the library's construction start date in September.
"If we can have the bids out and a vendor chosen prior to construction of the facility, they won't have to spend a ton of money retrofitting it," Boner said.
"We want to design the facility so they can make money," Smith added.
For more information on the meeting, call Community and Leisure Services at 868-3484.
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