Civic agency offering $200K to attract restaurant


Courtesy Battle Creek Unlimited

An economic development organization in the region is offering $200,000 for a new restaurant to open in its town.

Battle Creek Unlimited, or BCU, has issued a request for proposals, or RFP, and is offering the “flexible” incentive for a restaurateur to set up shop in downtown Battle Creek.

The deadline for proposals is 11:59 p.m. on March 22.

In addition to the funds, BCU will work with the restaurateur to secure a location, help with administrative hurdles and market to the area.

The agency said downtown Battle Creek is a “prime” location for a restaurant because competition is low and demand is high.

BCU said the RFP is intended for those with experience planning, establishing, opening and operating restaurants, not for first-time operators. 

Proposals must show how the restaurant would be unique yet complementary to existing downtown establishments.  

The proposed establishment should provide, at a minimum, full lunch and dinner services.

Preference will be given to proposals emphasizing a family-friendly atmosphere, farm-fresh ingredients, locally sourced produce and other health-conscious and sustainability considerations.

“We are doubling and tripling down with this RFP to continue the momentum that has been established on revitalizing downtown Battle Creek,” said Joe Sobieralski, president and CEO, Battle Creek Unlimited

“This RFP is intended to complement not only our already established businesses, but also offer more options, which is feedback we regularly hear from the greater Battle Creek business community and residents.”

BCU launched a similar RFP in late 2017, landing New Holland Brewing and another small brewery, both to open in 2019.

The organization said efforts to revitalize downtown Battle Creek include the restoration of Heritage Tower, which will feature 85 residential units and retail space on the bottom two floors, a DoubleTree by Hilton and the completion of the Record Box, which will feature event space, office space and the second brewery.

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