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Benjamin Beer could run North Beach Oasis starting this summer

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Benjamin Beer Co.

Jim Kennedy operates Benjamin Beer Co. at 507 Sixth St. in Downtown Racine. Pending city approval, Benjamin Beer Co. could operate concession services starting this summer at the North Beach Bath House, known to many as the North Beach Oasis.

RACINE — Fans of Benjamin Beer Co., 507 Sixth St., are one step closer to enjoying its products under the summer sun on North Beach.

On Monday night, the city Finance and Personnel Committee unanimously approved a proposal, pending a fiscal note before the next City Council meeting, which would allow Benjamin Beer Co., Inc., to operate the concession services at the North Beach Bath House, known to many as the North Beach Oasis.

Kathryn Kasper, purchasing agent for the city of Racine, said the city put out two official bid notices and hadn’t heard any responses from anyone.

“It’s a bit of a tough concession to run, we understand that,” Kasper said adding Benjamin Beer Co. approached the city with an offer. “We felt that it was a fair proposal.”

If approved by the City Council, Kasper said the company is willing to pay the city 15 percent of its revenue made at the facility during the first year and 20 percent the second year.

In the past, contracts for vendors lasted five years but Kasper said as the city will be studying the best uses for North Beach as part of the “North Beach Master Plan,” this contract is for two years.

“We are changing the term a little bit because we also have the North Beach Master Plan in the works,” Kasper said. “We’re doing the master plan this summer. There might be changes to the facilities down there.”

Kasper said by having the contract last two years it allows for renegotiation or, if need be, the ability to break the contract.

When asked if the menu would change, Kasper said the current facilities have issues with proper ventilation.

“They can’t provide a lot outside of sandwiches and hot dogs and things like that,” Kasper said. “That’s just the constraint of the building.”

Jim Kennedy, principal owner of the Benjamin Beer Company, did not want to comment at this stage of the process but once it becomes final, the company would release plans for the facility.

The City Council is scheduled to meet on on the proposal on April 5 at 7 p.m.

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Ricardo Torres covers federal, state and Racine County politics along with the Village of Mount Pleasant. He bleeds Wisconsin sports teams.

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