Boston City Hall Is Seeking a Coffeeshop Operator

A renovated City Hall lobby will debut this spring, ideally with a local caffeinator.

City Hall Lobby Rendering provided by the City of Boston

City Hall Lobby Rendering provided by the City of Boston

If you must make a visit to City Hall later this year, at least you could have a steaming cup of local coffee while you’re there. Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today the city is now accepting proposals from people interested in operating a coffeeshop in the lobby, beginning this spring.

The café is part of a series of lobby renovations slated to be completed this spring. The city wants to hear from any and all vendors who would like to apply, and encourages local, minority-, and women-owned businesses especially. The project is a joint effort of the City’s Operations and Economic Development Cabinets and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics.

While vendors would bring the pour-over know-how, the city will provide seating, space, and millwork necessary to build the dream.

“Boston City Hall oftentimes serves as a person’s first face-to-face interaction with their local government, and it’s important that everyone who visits our building has an enjoyable and productive experience,” Walsh said in today’s announcement. “This is a small step to activate the people’s public space and will undoubtedly have a big impact that will enhance constituent interactions with their government.”

Since 2015, the city has had three local vendors—Boston Brewin Coffee, Triangle Coffee, and Dot2Dot Cafe—temporarily serving coffee from carts on the mezzanine level. The pilot program proved that on-site caffeination was an effective way to activate the public space, and it gave independent businesses new opportunities, according to the Mayor’s office.

Requests for proposals will be accepted by the city’s Property Management Department through February 9, 2017. If you’re interested in checking out the space, city staff are giving tours today at 4 p.m., and on Tuesday, January 31, at 4 p.m.