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February 22, 2011

Artscape names concessions vendor

artscapeThe Columbia-based Charm City Hospitality has been awarded the food and beverage concessionaire contract for Artscape, according to the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA, Inc.). Charm City Hospitality has served as the festival's beverage concessionaire for the past seven years.

The official announcement is scheduled to be made during a Wednesday morning press conference.

Jerry Gottlieb, the owner of Charm City Hospitality, got the news of the award last week. "I'm very excited. I've been part of Artscape for many years," Gottlieb said. Artscape celebrates its 30th anniversary on July 15-17.

When BOPA announced its decision to move to a single-vendor system last October, it listed as a partial reason the difficulty of managing the 60-some individual food vendors and coordinating such details as "menus, pricing, electricity, water access, sanitation/recycling, grease and gray water, truck parking, vendor fees, deposits/payments, neighborhood impact, overall presentation, etc."

Gottlieb talked shoring up the festival's green component and instituting better practices for composting and waste disposal.

The contracting of a single vendor does not mean that Charm City will be squeezing all of the festival's lemonade. Familiar vendors will return, but in the role of sub-vendors, and under the watchful eye of Charm City Hospitality. "My goal is to incorporate local flavor and eclectic vendors and to start locally before I go elsewhere." Asked whether veteran vendors would return, Gottlieb said, "definitely."

"We'll be bringing a more uniform look to the event," Gottlieb said. He offered, as examples of Charm City's coordinated approach, the recent Virgin Festivals, at both the Pimlico Race Course and Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Gottlieb said that part of Artscape's overall look might find its inspiration from local artists, who may be asked, through BOPA, to contribute ideas for the booths' signage and backdrops. A call for entries for this new visual arts project will be posted on by next Monday.

As the official Artscape concessionaire, Charm City Hospitality has exclusive alcohol and soft beverage, water and food sales rights, according to a BOPA press release. The multi-year contract carries through 2013.

Posted by Richard Gorelick at 5:57 PM | | Comments (4)


What in god's name is the point?

What a shame one vendor. Half the fun was all the different food. Leave it to Baltimore to screw up a good thing

there will still be a variety of vendors, according to the event planners.

I've never been able to figure out how adding a middleman saves money.

Fortunately, there are other food options.

I'm sure it'll save money, by adding cost to the consumer and or the vendors that wish to participate.
Isn't this the sort of thing that started the decline of the late great Baltimore City Fair?

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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