Commuters at the Des Plaines Metra station will soon be able to get a cup of coffee or pastry before heading to their train or bus.
The city council approved a five-year exclusive license and concession agreement this week with The Local Coffee Tea & Sweets, LLC to operate a 360-square-foot counter service cafe inside the city-owned train station at 1501 Miner St.
The Local will sell fresh pastries, breakfast foods, coffee, tea and bottled beverages such as juice and water. The coffee shop owners will also make available two vending machines, one dispensing beverages and another for snack foods, on the west side of the building. They're also planning an outdoor patio on the Miner Street side of the building.
The agreement with the city stipulates the cafe must open no later than 6 a.m. and close no earlier than 1 p.m. on weekdays.
Renovations to the vacant shop space inside the train station will begin next month, and plans are to have it open by the end of August, according to George Sakas, the city's director of community and economic development.
The deal comes after more than $700,000 in renovations to the interior and exterior of the train station were completed last year as part of the city's overall downtown streetscape project.
The city previously contracted with a vendor who sold coffee inside the station, but the business operation was much smaller in scale than what is proposed for The Local, according to City Manager Mike Bartholomew.
"We wanted to do more than just coffee and a gum ball machine," Bartholomew said.
Late last year, the city solicited proposals from businesses interested in operating a coffee shop inside the station. Officials conducted two walk-throughs with potential operators before three operators were proposed to city council March 3. The Local was selected that night in a closed session meeting.
Both sides came to acceptable terms for an agreement on April 7, and the council voted to approve the final license agreement last Monday.
The coffee shop, managed by John Grammatis and Gus Deoudes, will pay the city a monthly fee of $450. That amount will rise by 3 percent each year of the five-year deal.
The ownership group also runs the Sugar Bowl restaurant and Miner Street Tavern across the street from the train station, Sakas said.
The agreement is in effect from May 1 through April 30, 2019. It includes the option for two additional five-year terms, but the coffee shop owners must notify the city of their desire to renew in writing.