Transit commission chooses Choo – Choo’s
At this afternoon’s Transit Commission meeting, the commission unanimously approved Peter Gochis’ proposal for the Metra train station cafe. The name of his restaurant will be Choo – Choo’s. The commission chose his proposal from three that had been submitted. The other two proposals came from Mark Buetel and Dwane Bowling, Jack’s Cozy Cafe Too, and Andrew Grasser, Between 2 Cities Cafe. Grasser was not present to answer questions from the commission. Therefore, the motion was made to enter into lease negotiations with Choo – Choo’s.
Beutel said that he would not be able to provide a dinner offering any longer based on the fact that there will be no kitchen. Only a limited breakfast and lunch would be offered with catering. He also said that meals could be delivered to the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department. Hours would be from 5:30 am to 2:30 pm. Station areas would be open from 5 am to 7 pm. Baked goods, bottled beverages, and snacks would be served from 2:30 pm to 7 pm.
Gochis said that he was ready to go, fully operational within 30 days, without catering. He will stay open til 7 pm. He also said the lease was not a problem. “And, if the train schedule changes, I will change my hours accordingly,” said Gochis. He said that he worked at the Northwest train station for 10 to 15 years, and he has many years of restaurant experience. He would be preparing all of the food on site.
Commission Shanon Molina said that she really liked Grasser’s business plan, but she had some questions for him. Because he was absent, she couldn’t ask her questions. Therefore, she made the motion to go with Choo – Choo’s.
Dave Ishmael, Transit Department supervisor with experience in both real estate and law, stated that he thought that Buetel’s changes to the original lease were a time delay tactic, but Buetel said that was not the case. “I want the best tenant in there. I went over there the other day, and I found it distasteful to find red signs posted in the windows requesting donations.” He Ishmael also stated that they Buetel had no secured funding, and Ishmael was concerned that it took so long.
Gochis asked Ron Iwen, transit director, when he could get a key to go in and start taking measurements. Iwen asked Gochis to call Ishmael tomorrow to make an appointment. A key would not be provided until a lease was executed.