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Groups make recommendations as state considers Esplanade vendors

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  December 12, 2012 12:47 PM

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The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation will soon consider applications from vendors to run the concession stand on the Charles River Esplanade.

The permit to operate the concession stand, located near the Esplanade Playspace and Hatch Shell, is one of 19 vending opportunities DCR plans to seek proposals for as of September. Local organizations want to make sure the state looks for a plan that improves food and services.

In an open letter, Sylvia Salas, executive director of The Esplanade Association, encouraged DCR to look for various improvements when considering vendors.

Those improvements include better quality and healthier food and drink, more reliable service and regular operating hours, and improved maintenance of the area surrounding the café.

The association, a friends group that works to preserve and improve the park, also recommended providing catering options for large groups using the park, and environmentally friendly improvements such as recycling, and efficient energy use.

Salas also suggested adding self-cleaning public bathrooms at the café site.

“Better run food service and public toilets are important amenities that can enhance the experience of visitors to the Esplanade,” Salas wrote.

The Beacon Hill Civic Association’s Board of Directors, considering the Esplanade Association’s letter, voted Monday to also write a letter supporting similar improvements outlined in the association’s letter.

“These are things that I think are pretty much no brainers,” board member Colin Zick said, introducing the idea to write a letter at the board’s monthly meeting.

Board members suggested including a request to stop the growing storage space surrounded by latticework at the café, and a recommendation for a police call box in the area.

“At a time when the city is trying to upgrade its food trucks and the Pink Palace in the Common, they can do a heck of a lot better,” said Eve Waterfall, a board member. “Everything there is mediocre at best.”
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E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.

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