Better festival deal sought for Hoffman Estates Beer Garden
Hoffman Estates officials have recommended the seasonal Hoffman Estates Beer Garden on the Village Green near the Sears Centre Arena be cut a better deal for its participation in the Northwest Fourth Fest in July, which would allow it to cover its costs and possibly make a profit.
At Monday's planning, building and zoning committee meeting, members also recommended the beer garden be allowed to participate in the 2017 Platzkonzert Germanfest in September under the same terms as last year -- restricting its food options to pretzels so as not to fully compete with the event's contracted food vendor.
During most days of its warm-weather operations, the outdoor beer garden at 5510 Prairie Stone Parkway also serves hot dogs and bratwurst alongside its authentic German beer.
When the beer garden first opened in 2015, village officials forced it to close during both Northwest Fourth Fest and Platzkonzert Germanfest to avoid competition altogether. But last year's lifting of those restrictions was deemed successful -- at least for the village.
In 2015, Northwest Fourth Fest earned $32,448 from its own beer sales. In 2016, that figure dropped slightly to $32,345, but $5,640 more was made from the fees imposed on Hoffman Estates Beer Garden.
Those fees were not so good for the business' operations, however, which reportedly struggled to cover costs.
If the village board signs off in a final vote next week, the beer garden's vendor fee will be reduced from $2,500 to $1,000. Commission fees on food and beverages sold from Friday through Sunday at the fest would be lowered from 35 percent to 25 percent.
The commissions for Monday and Tuesday sales during the fest would be at the standard rate of 10 percent for nonalcoholic beverages and food and 20 percent for alcoholic beverages.
Trustee Gary Pilafas said that while the village profited from last year's arrangement, a deal that hurts the vendor would ultimately hurt the village too.
"I think the retooling of the metrics is good," Pilafas said. "I think it's a good deal. I think it's fair."
Andrew Hartman, the president of Dasbier Garden LLC which operates the beer garden, said the relationship between his business and the village has always been good and is evolving toward even bigger and better things.
"I just want to say thank you again for this amazing opportunity over the last two years," he told board members.