Columbia County officials are actively seeking new vendors to occupy the cafe within the Columbia County Library.
The county's procurement office is looking to fill space at Foot Notes Cafe, which was recently vacated by Kaffe Klatch Inc. for failing to make its lease payments. County officials agreed to an early withdrawal for the vendor in February.
"We're going to do a request for information and send out what we're looking for, and then let them throw us back some ideas," said county Procurement Manager Glenn O'Steen.
O'Steen said his department is hoping to have a new eatery in the library's lobby in May and plans to contact a variety of establishments to possibly move into the spot.
"We're really looking towards somebody that's established in the restaurant industry," he said. "We want somebody that's got some staying power and that's not their only source of income."
A meeting with potential food vendors to offer input and discuss new ideas about the cafe was initially scheduled for Tuesday, but it was cancelled.
"We didn't know how many vendors would be willing to openly discuss their ideas in front of everybody else," O'Steen said.
He said the space is ideal for a sandwich and coffee-type tenant, which could set their own hours of operation.
Potential vendors also would benefit from operation of a concession stand near the Columbia County Amphitheater, as well as the opportunity to cater events at the library, O'Steen added.
"Typically, we give whoever is in the cafe the right of refusal for events that are going on here on campus," he said.
Businesses such as Sunrise Grill and Bean Baskette Coffee already have expressed interest in the vacancy, O'Steen said.
"There's a huge number of guests that we have at the library throughout the year, and there's always traffic there," he said.
For information or inquiries, contact the county's Procurement office at (706) 868-3305.
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