Contained in the stack of memos sent to the city council late last night was the rare note from Mayor Mike Rawlings. In it, he asks the Fab 14 to make every attempt to attend one of the three committee briefings in coming days during which council members will be presented with the Love Field concessions proposals; for whatever reason, the full council won't get the briefing in advance of the March 7 vote on awarding the contracts. Writes the mayor, "I encourage all members of the Council to attend one of the briefings to be fully informed of the process and results."
Not so long ago, of course, it seemed like this was all the council talked -- and bickered -- about, as the incumbent concessionaires (which is to say, Gilbert Aranza as Star Concessions Ltd. and Eddie Bernice Johnson and Helen Giddings as Hudson Retail Dallas) fought to keep their toeholds in the expanding terminal. A fight over who got to sell what in Love Field became full-blown battle that hit all the hot buttons: race, business, politics and Chili's. And Tom Leppert brought the dipping sauce.
Now, writes Rawlings: "The process to achieve the best possible concessions program from the new terminal is coming to a conclusion. The proposal process has followed the Council's plan to create a transparent bidding environment encouraging competition, providing the highest level of service for our customers, and providing an equitable opportunity for the incumbent concessionaires. Implementation of the plan was conducted in a manner that was transparent and consistent with City procedures. In addition, significant outreach efforts were employed to find and encourage local minority and women owned businesses to participate."
All that backstory's contained in the 78-page PowerPoint that follows. But all you probably want to know is: What's going into the modernized Love Field, which will be outfitted with that Distinctly Dallas feel. Deep breath, then: Sky Ranch (operated by Gina Puente Ventures, which runs La Bodega Winery in Dallas-Fort Worth International), Cool River, Crú Wine Bar , Campisi's, Dickey's Barbecue, Cantina Laredo, La Madeleine, Moe's Southwest Grill (based outta Atlanta), Manchu Wok, Paciugo Gelato, Chili's Too, Sonic, Starbucks, Chick‐Fil‐A, Brueggers Bagels, Jason's Deli, Baskin‐Robbins, Texpress Gourmet and Dunkin Donuts.
And, among the retail concepts to be voted on, you'll find something callled "Fair Park Tx," a Billy Bob's Texas outlet no doubt part of that "Texas music venue" component mentioned in the initial bid docs, a Travel+Leisure-branded store (the first one opened just three years ago in Vancouver), a Mallasadi Men's Boutique, an EA Sports retail store, shops selling Western wear and jewelry and sunglasses and tech accessories, a Creative Kidstuff outlet and, of course, newsstands (including ones branded for Texas Monthly, CNN and D).
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For those who haven't flown through Love in a while, this is what's there now, but it all smells like Cinnabon.