Santa Monica Lookout
Santa Monica Pier to Get Three New Vendors
By Jorge Casuso
February 15, 2013 – The Santa Monica Pier will serve up German street food, organic fare and crepes after the City Council voted to negotiate one-year leases with nine vendors Tuesday night.
Berlin Currywurst, Green Truck and Crepe’n Around will join six other vendors, some of whom have been staples on the 104-year-old pier for more than a decade, as well as three others that have leases through June.
“For more than 10 years the Santa Monica Pier Vending Cart Program has helped to contribute to the Pier’s lively and unique character, activating the public space, enhancing retail options, and providing more food choices for the Pier’s diverse clientele,” City staff said.
“In addition the Cart Program provides small businesses and entrepreneurs an opportunity to operate a business at one of Southern California’s premier destinations.”
Entertaining 34 proposals received by the September 28, 2012 deadline, City officials chose businesses they felt would provide “an appropriate mix of retail and food uses,” while contributing towards “the fiscal self-sufficiency of the Pier.”
“The mix of uses on the Pier has changed over time and will change in the future,” City officials said.
A committee comprised of representatives from the Office of Pier Management, Economic Development Division, Santa Monica Pier Corporation and Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. evaluated the proposals, giving existing vendors bonus points.
“The evaluation committee focused on operations whose products were unique and thematically appropriate for the Pier yet not duplicative of products and offerings already available at the Pier,” staff said.
The council Tuesday voted to retain six current vendors -- Two Photos in One, Candy Carousel, Tees ‘R’ Us, Redline, LA Beach Kites and Downtown Food Co. & Commissary.
Two current pier vendors -- an apparel cart operator and a hat cart operator – were not recommended for one of the nine available spots, “primarily due to the fact that their merchandise offerings, clothing apparel and hats, are already found at multiple locations on the Pier,” staff said.
Berlin Currywurst, one of the three new vendors will offer Currywurst, “a traditional street food in Germany consisting of sliced sausage served with a curry flavored tomato sauce and eaten with a wooden stick,” according to staff.
Green Truck’s offerings will include organic chicken wraps, fish tacos and vegan quesadillas, while Crepe’n Around will serve “sweet and savory” crepes from a mobile food cart on the Pier, staff said.
The vendors selected will pay a flat monthly seasonal-fee per cart that will generate a projected minimum annual revenue of $106,650.
In a separate action, the council voted on consent to negotiate and execute a 36-month License Agreement with “66 to Cali, Inc.”-- which sells Route 66-themed merchandise -- to operate from a retail vending stand known as the “Trolley Kiosk” on the Pier.
“66 to Cali, Inc.” has been operating on the pier since 2009. It beat out five other vendors who submitted proposals.
“While there are other merchants on the Pier that sell Route 66 souvenirs, ‘66 to Cali’s’ strategy to ensure the uniqueness of its operation has been to sell higher quality products and employ staff who are exceptionally knowledgeable and eager to share information with visitors on the history of Route 66 and the Santa Monica Pier,” staff wrote.
“66 to Cali, Inc. will be expected to pay the City the greater of monthly minimum/base rent or ten percent of gross sales for each calendar month, staff said. The vendor is projected to generate a minimum annual base rent revenue of $11,850.
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