I. KEY INFORMATION FOR RESPONDENTS
A. OVERVIEW OF THE GREENWAY AND CONSERVANCY
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway (www.rosekennedygreenway.org) is a contemporary public park in the heart of Boston and welcomes millions of visitors annually to gather, play, unwind, and explore. The Greenway Conservancy (the “Conservancy”) is the non-profit that has sole responsibility for managing all aspects of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, including horticulture, programming, public art, maintenance, and capital improvements. The majority of the public park’s annual budget is generously provided by private sources.
The Conservancy envisions a vibrant, inclusive, and evolving gathering place that offers
healthy green space,
fun, engaging, and thought-provoking experiences, and
a testing ground for new ideas.
We pursue our mission through
park care that sustains year-round beauty, ensures safety, and models environmental stewardship;
robust programming that showcases and supports the ingenuity and breadth of our community;
temporary exhibitions of contemporary public art that facilitate artistic experimentation and speak to our current moment;
raising the standard of excellence for urban park management.
The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is a public park, and the Conservancy strives to make The Greenway and the Conservancy more diverse, equitable, and inclusive through every aspect of our work.
The Greenway is one of the most visited attractions in the Commonwealth. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1.4M trackable visitors attended The Greenway’s offerings each year, and millions more casually enjoyed the park. The 17-acre Greenway is one of only a few urban parks nationwide that is maintained organically, providing beautiful lawns and gardens to complement the six fountains.
The Conservancy’s programming and improvements have brought the park to life. The Greenway typically hosts more than 350 free programs annually—from free fitness classes to movie nights to the Greenway Artisan Market showcasing the work of local artisans. Partnerships with Celebrity Series Boston and the Boston Lyric Opera have brought free, world-class performances to the public. Our nationally recognized food truck program, free Wi-Fi, moveable furniture, and seasonal planters have created welcoming and engaging spaces for all. Our dedicated Park Rangers regularly patrol The Greenway and ensure the safety and enjoyment of the park for all. The one-of-a-kind Greenway Carousel at The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Grove, created by a Massachusetts sculptor, is the most accessible in New England, welcoming individuals with physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities. The Conservancy’s Public Art Program has become a leader in presenting temporary exhibitions of contemporary public art. The rotating artwork ensures new perspectives and ideas can be explored, celebrating the work of local, national, international, emerging, and established artists.
Ten years after the Conservancy took over management of The Greenway, we were awarded the Boston Society of Architects/AIA prestigious Commonwealth Award for place-making for our "outstanding work on the dynamic transformation of a portion of downtown" and Boston Globe columnist, Yvonne Abraham, lauded, “The Greenway has also become a destination unto itself; a serene respite from bustling streets, a place of immense beauty, a platform for adventurous public art.”
For over a decade, it has been the Greenway Conservancy’s mission to manage and care for The Greenway, providing vibrant green space that is essential to everyone who shares our city.
B. OVERVIEW OF THE GREENWAY DRINKERIES
Through this Request for Proposals, the Greenway Conservancy is seeking partners (“Operators”) that will build on the Conservancy’s reputation of contemporary and creative activation with outdoor beverage gardens, bars, houses, etc. (the “Drinkeries”). The Drinkeries are part of the Conservancy’s drive to bring vibrancy and diverse programming to The Greenway, while showcasing Boston’s status as a premiere and innovative destination for craft and specialty beverages.
Past and existing drinkeries have provided many benefits and seen great success since being introduced to The Greenway and the City of Boston. The Conservancy is looking for partnerships that will deliver passion, detail, and ambiance to The Greenway with proposals that could either specialize in serving a specific type of drink, such as beer, wine or coffee, or offer a variety of beverages.
Rowes Wharf Beer Garden
Located in the Wharf District right across from Rowes Wharf Plaza, the Conservancy introduced the first seasonal beer garden to Boston in 2017 with Trillium Brewing. Trillium Garden on The Greenway is a lauded and celebrated after-work and weekend destination, and this partnership continues through 2023.
Dewey Square Drinkeries
Before the foray into season-long drinkeries, the Conservancy hosted weekly pop-ups with Boston Calling Block Parties on the lawn at Dewey Square Park with the Greenway mural as a backdrop. Realizing the benefits and popularity of the Block Parties and Rowes Wharf beer garden, the Conservancy then piloted a Dewey Square Drinkery in 2018 with Downeast Back Porch. From 2019-2022, the partner in this space was City Winery, who provided distinct wine offerings, food, and live performances.
In 2020, like so many businesses, organizations, and events, The Greenway and the Drinkeries were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Greenway remained open for the public to enjoy while observing safe physical distancing guidelines throughout the pandemic and the Drinkeries returned for the season in 2020 in line with City of Boston guidance. The Conservancy worked with all partners to develop safe and responsible guidelines for the 2021 season, and 2022 saw an increase in customers and revenue.
The Conservancy is requesting proposals to select creative, entrepreneurial, and synergistic Operators to design, install, manage, and operate a Drinkery in the defined locations for one to five seasons, starting in the spring of 2024. Proposals to manage either one or both locations will be accepted. A successful partnership could lead to a contract extension if mutually agreeable.
The Conservancy expects the Drinkeries to continue being must-visit destinations on The Greenway, and in Boston. With a visionary, committed, and collaborative partner, the Drinkeries will complement The Greenway’s innovative and inclusive programming, engage new and diverse audiences, and provide an upbeat and welcoming space for all.
C. LOCATIONS, TERM, AND CONSIDERATIONS
The Conservancy seeks Operators for the following locations on The Greenway: Dewey Square Park Plaza and Rowes Wharf, from April through October, with an option to extend into the winter months if desired.
Each location is unique and has its own set of assets and challenges to consider. From the Conservancy’s experience, the concept and appearance of the Drinkeries are of utmost importance. The Conservancy maintains high visual standards for The Greenway and Respondents should consider the design, layout, aesthetic, and infrastructure thoughtfully. Furthermore, the branding of the Drinkeries should be subtle and minimal. As a public park, The Greenway does not have facilities or storage space available in either location, and there are no “back of house” areas. It is preferred that minimal infrastructure is left onsite during off-hours of the Drinkeries, and that all infrastructure be removed during the winter if the Drinkeries are not in operation, unless it can be used by the public and does not interfere with daily operations and programming.
I. DEWEY SQUARE PARK PLAZA
Diagonally across from South Station at Atlantic Avenue and Summer Street
Overview of the Space
The Conservancy is providing the popular and active Dewey Square Park Plaza as a location for a Drinkery. The plaza is the location of many Greenway programs such as Greenway food trucks, fitness classes, Boston Public Market’s outdoor farmers market, and periodic large festivals and special activations. It is an open plaza space of approximately 8,000 square feet, complemented by a shaded seating area, a lush lawn, and the iconic Greenway mural. Located in the Financial District, across from one of Boston’s main transportation hubs, South Station, Dewey Square is a prominent, large area and typically the first stop for thousands of commuters, young professionals, and tourists entering the city. These features allow Respondents an opportunity to create a special destination/hotspot and experience while highlighting their brand.
For many, Dewey Square is an introduction to Boston, and so it will reflect what Boston has to offer. The Drinkery will be a focal point of the space and Respondents should keep this in mind throughout their design, planning, and operations. Creating an intimate setting within the large plaza area is encouraged and low-volume background and/or potentially live music can be used to help create ambience. Pedestrian and foot traffic flow should also be considered, and access to the lawn prioritized.
It is encouraged that Respondents consider cold beverage offerings given the hotter temperatures during the summer months and lack of natural shade, with affordable price points to cater to the passerby traffic. Snack and finger foods have typically seen more success in this location instead of full meals or food trucks. As a commuter hub, Dewey Square is more popular during the weekdays, particularly on Wednesdays through Fridays. Saturdays have also seen great potential, though in order to have a successful weekend operation, clientele will need to be drawn into the space. Thus, a strong, appealing concept and atmosphere, as well as robust and consistent marketing, will be vital.
Key items that Respondents will need to provide:
A concept that evokes an inviting space and destination
Detailed layouts that incorporate existing Conservancy furniture along with food truck and event access needs, highlight new infrastructure and furniture, prioritize leaving the path open from the lawn in order to provide access to the Drinkery from all sides of the plaza, and what the space will look like off-hours
At least 4 portable toilets within the layout, including at least one that is ADA accessible (more may be required by ISD based on your stated capacity)
A plan for providing potable water for any permitting needs (the site currently only offers non-potable water; the Conservancy would be open to adding potable water at the cost to the Operator)
A menu with cold beverage options and food offerings at affordable price points. While the Conservancy manages a food vending program and can schedule food trucks to complement this Drinkery location, food truck partners expect minimums to cover their costs which would be an additional Operator expense
Flexibility to work or partner with Conservancy programming and events
An effective and robust marketing campaign to draw crowds; there is limited passerby traffic on weekends compared to weekdays and this should be taken into consideration
A layout guide of Dewey Square Park Plaza is provided in Diagram 1 for reference and rendering use. The Conservancy is open to how the space can be used and interested in an optimized layout for the Drinkery. We would collaborate with the Operator on their proposed layout for the space before finalization.
Diagram 1: Layout
There is access to:
Approximately 8,000 square feet of plaza
12 standard 120V outlets across two different locations near the plaza
A backflow box which provides access to non-potable water
Minimal on-site lighting, with three light poles within the space