Two Brothers to be Aurora park's main food vendor
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The main food vendor chosen to service RiverEdge Park's Music Garden won't have to travel far to bring eats and treats to the Aurora park when it opens this summer.
Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway St., Aurora, was named the primary food vendor for the park that is directly across Broadway on the eastern shore of the Fox River, under a one-year contract the city council approved Tuesday.
The contract makes Two Brothers the park's preferred food vendor and caterer, and the only restaurant able to use the permanent kitchen at the Music Garden, said Stephane Phifer, planning and zoning director.
"We are very excited about working with Two Brothers because they bring a lot to the table because they are local," Phifer said.
Other vendors of ethnic foods and festival fare will be allowed to sell food from temporary tents, while alcohol sales will fall to the Aurora Civic Center Authority under an 18-month agreement approved in August for music programming and operations of the park.
Two Brothers will pay the civic center authority a $2,500 licensing fee and a commission on gross sales of at least $8,500 for the privilege of being the main food seller.
Although much of RiverEdge Park's food will come from directly across the street, the city cast a broader net when looking for vendors. Phifer said the city sent requests for qualifications and proposals to 11 companies, including some from close to home, and some nonlocal businesses that run food service at locations such as the United Center and Wrigley Field.
Two Brothers was the only business to respond with qualifications and a proposal for what originally was intended as a three-year contract. Phifer said others were hesitant to dive into operations at the new park, which is set to open for Blues on the Fox on June 14-15, so the contract will be re-evaluated after the first year.
"It's an untested venue that they really just didn't have the vision as to what this venue is going to be," Phifer said. "Two Brothers had that vision."
Jason Ebel, a co-owner of Two Brothers Brewing Company -- which also operates Two Brothers Tap House in Warrenville -- said the park literally has been in his line of vision since he and brother Jim opened the Aurora location in May 2011.
"We've seen it grow right in front of our building," Ebel said about the park.
Two Brothers will focus on offering local, organic and sustainable foods whenever possible, as Ebel said that is a main priority of his business.
Alderman John "Whitey" Peters asked for examples, saying "What's local or sustainable? Cows on Route 47?"
Ebel said Two Brothers buys green beans, squash and tomatoes from Wagner Farms in Naperville and also works with an aviary in Geneva and a cattle farmer in Sugar Grove.
He said chefs still are developing the menu to be offered at the park.
"We'll have a few of our favorites from our Roundhouse and Tap House menus," he said. "And several new offerings just to make it interesting."
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