Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pier Restaurant Bid Opening

Pier restaurant bid request for proposal forms (RFP) were opened in a staff meeting Thursday, the staff reviewed the 9 proposals and will present a synopsis of each to the commission.

This is a temporary rental so I would think that the income to the city (given equitable RFPs) would be the most important thing here. In that case Weinstein’s Pier Grille” wins hands down. We know they have good food at fair prices. When the new buildings, restaurant, bathrooms, bait shop etc. are done, there will be another go around for someone to run that restaurant. At that time, price and ambiance will enter into the mix.

The following are my notes about the bid opening (no accuracy guaranteed as I was scribbling and listening and at times distracted by remarks by staff and the observers).

1. First opened was Stephen Clark’s Tavern Group, LLC’s bid for the “Soggy Dollar Café”
Their rent proposal was a flat $4,500 per month
The RFP requested “statement of key elements” said they would have a Key West style nautical and beach theme.
They would stay open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 7 days/week, and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The typical breakfast would cost $8.00
Lunch, $6.95
In discussion while checking the paperwork it was evident that Jerry Ferguson was not a fan of this proposal. He grudgingly admitted that the RFP elements were all there.

2. Jimmy Tsiakanikos “Greek Express II”
The rent proposed was $4,700 per month.
The theme would be a Greek restaurant similar to his existing Greek Express.
They would stay open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 7 days/week, and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The staff did not say how much meals would be, there was an included menu from the other restaurant, the lunch menu had no hamburgers, and there was mention that the prices were high.
There was some missing material in the RFP

3. David Weinstein and Gerry Alter’s “Pier Grille”. (The ones who were temporarily running the restaurant just before it was closed for new bids.}
Rent proposed was $2,000 per month plus 10% of the gross sales. (2008 gross sales were $612,000) if no change (it should go way up with the interesting marketing attractions they are planning) if I understood the proposal correctly, that would work out over the year to an average of $7,100 per month.
Their theme was a family friendly beach restaurant.
They would open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and longer in the evening during the season.
Breakfast $6.07
This is another group which Jerry seemed to dislike, as the positives piled up he kept saying things like, the rent would not be that high every month, but Sally and George assured him that it WOULD average out.

4. Sven Jutz’s “Deer’s Pier Grill”
Rent proposed was $5,000 per month or 8% of sales (adjusted at the end of the year) whichever is greater.
The theme is an affordable American Restaurant with a “green” emphasis, stressing recycling etc.
Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or Sunup to Sundown.
Breakfast $7.06
Mr. Jutz is an experienced restaurateur. The proposal was similar to the one submitted for the first go-around so they didn’t take much time with it.

5. Sean Lillis’ “Gracie’s at the Pier”
Rent proposed was $3,932.50 (What’s up with the fifty cents?)
The theme was great choices at a fair price.
Open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the season, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. off season.
Breakfast $7.20
Staff remarked that his RFP was excellent with insurance noted, a financial plan and marketing suggestions. The proposal was in a tabbed folder and followed the RFP perfectly, staff was happy to be able to read it so easily (Smaller things have been deciders). This is the company which built the Kinsale Condo on the beach. IMHO, In spite of the excellent proposal, they bid much too low.

6. Richard Gallagher’s “Mr. Krabbs”
Rent proposed was $3,700 per month. That combined with their incomplete RFP will have them out of the running I am sure. Lots of discussion on what was lacking, especially experience in food service, and no prices on the sample menu, and no disclosure form.

7. Howard Johnson’s “Beach Shack”
Rent proposed was $4,700 per month
There was no statement of key elements
Open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. 7 days a week
Breakfast $7.75
No references

8. J.B.s on the Beach’s “Fishtails”
Rent proposed was $5,100 per month if 6% of annual sales is higher they will add in the difference at the end of the year. (As with Weinstein’s proposal, a percent of sales seems like a good idea to me.)
The theme is fake fish décor and they said they would upgrade the facility (it will be torn down, why upgrade it now?)
Open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and until 9 p.m. if traffic warrants.
Breakfast (no beverages were listed on the sample menu) $4.75, add 2 bucks for coffee and they are comparable at $6.75
Staff said there were no references listed only letters from 3 vendors saying they paid on time. Jerry enthused over the complete employee manual and safety practices they provided. Marketing as per J.B.s and they will cross staff with J.B.s

9. Brian Handleman’s “The Pier Grill” (without the “e”)
Rent proposed was $5,000 per month plus 2% over $500,000.
Focus to appeal to locals and beachgoers.
Open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. 7 days, longer in season.
Breakfast $6.25
Handleman has 15 years of experience as a race course caterer, many letters of recommendation. They included a good employee handbook. They have a website already up, but only a hopeful statement on the home page.
They are proposing many come-ons. Senior citizen’s Mondays, Beach Box Lunches, etc. During the discussion about finances their listed $30,000 letter of credit had Jerry commenting “…how far will that get them?” I guess he is not a fan.

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