CTA Attracts New Concessions

March 13, 2013

New cafes, eateries to open on Blue and Brown Lines

The Chicago Transit Board today approved four leases with three vendors, continuing CTA’s trend of adding and expanding its concessions offerings available to CTA rail customers.

The Board approved leases for two Café Transit locations at the California and Damen Blue Line stops, The Bageler and His Wife at the Belmont Blue Line stop, and a Dunkin Donuts franchise at the Kimball Brown Line.

“CTA is pleased to continue to offer more convenient concession choices for our customers while supporting local businesses, with more than half of our concessions spaces being operated by small business owners,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “Continuing to provide our customers with convenient, attractive places to grab a quick coffee or bite to eat is part of our strategy to continue to improve the customer experience.”

Café Transit is the latest venture of the owners of Caffé Streets, a boutique coffee shop in Wicker Park. Owners Brent Norseman, Kevin Heisner and Darko Arandjelovic were looking for additional opportunities in Wicker Park and pursued the CTA. “We are dedicated to community-driven opportunities.” said Arandjelovic. “We love the energy on the ‘L’ and wanted to celebrate it by offering boutique-quality coffee and food to the CTA and its customers.”

Blue Line riders can also taste the offerings of The Bageler and His Wife, at the Belmont Station. Fresh bagels, croissants, teas and espresso from a local roaster will be available this spring. The couple pursued the CTA for their first retail store in order to appeal to early risers as well as evening commuters who might be interested in purchasing baked goods for dinner without having to make an extra trip to the market.     

Customers at the Kimball Brown Line station will also see the addition of a Dunkin’ Donuts which is also a locally owned corporate franchise.

All three Blue Line leases are 10 years in length through 2023; the Kimball location is a 15-year term ending 2028. The total revenue to the CTA through the initial term of all four leases is $825,000.

Since May 2011, CTA has lowered vacancy rates by 14 percent and has added $7.1 million in new concessions leases. 

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