Update on the Bde Maka Ska pavilion and concessions service

An update on the pavilion and concessions at Bde Maka Ska was given at last night’s Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) of Commissioners meeting. A summary of that update is below:

MPRB staff have been working with insurance adjusters and Louis King, the food concessionaire, to identify a path toward return of concession operations at Bde Maka Ska on both a short-term and interim basis. Staff are working on a plan to allow the food concessions using one or more Lola’s food trucks, a Lola’s trailer for beer sales, and a tent defining the beer consumption area, as well as providing for supportive infrastructure.

Currently Lola’s on the Lake operates concessions out of a food truck near the site of the torn down pavilion Friday-Sunday, 11 am-8 pm, and potentially Thursdays as well. Check the Lola’s on the Lake Facebook page for up-to-date information.

Rebuilding a permanent structure may take two years or longer, considering MPRB goals for community engagement, planning, design, and ultimately delivering an enduring replacement for the now-lost refectory.

Update on the pavilion

The pavilion structure was demolished in May. The floor of the former building, including foundation footing for the walls, will remain in place, but an uneven surface resulted from the fire and structure demolition. What remains is not ADA compliant and poses tripping hazards. In the short-term, the MPRB has secured this area from public access through temporary fencing. The interim condition will use a temporary surface to fully accommodate pedestrians without tripping hazards. Once the surface is laid this summer, the fencing will be removed and the food trucks, beer trailer and tent will be configured to optimize operations and service to the public.

Furniture within Lola’s was destroyed with the building. Outdoor patio furniture was not damaged and is being utilized. Portable toilets are already on site and are being monitored to provide adequate and convenient facilities, with temporary screens possibly added.

Staff is planning a process for replacing the structure. The opportunity to replace the building in its original location will be considered along with other options that offer improved operations for the food vendor, enhanced pedestrian and bicyclist safety and quality experiences for visitors to Bde Maka Ska—all aligned within directions of the Bde Maka Ska – Harriet Master Plan approved by the Board of Commissioners.

Planning for the new building structure will include opportunities for community input and a thorough vetting of a wide range of options. It’s likely the planning process will take a year and will be followed by a period focused on design. Construction of a replacement structure may not begin until 2021. Until then, the MPRB will continue to work with Lola’s to provide the best possible service to park users during the interim period.