One more thing about a new idea for Taste of Chicago.
As we reported, Mayor Daley does not want a $20 admission fee for the Taste. He said the focus needs to be on food not music.
Mr. Mayor, you are so right.
That was the original idea back in 1980 when Mayor Jane Byrne and Chicago restaurateur Arnie Morton came up with a one day food festival featuring small portions from some of the city's top restaurants.
They held it on three blocks of North Michigan Avenue.
The next year, Taste moved to Grant Park, kept getting bigger, and added music stages. Now I think it's time to get back to just food and downsize it.
As for how to pay for it, here's what they should do: Have fewer restaurants and be pickier about who gets in.
With less competition each food vendor there would take in more money, so the city could charge each one more to participate.
Smaller crowds would be attractive to folks who have stayed away in recent years as things got a little too sweaty, and less money would be needed for police because you wouldn't need as many.
Taste of Chicago would go back to it's roots as a food fest highlighting truly the best of Chicago's restaurants. It would be better than ever, easier to navigate, a fine place for a leisurely summer stroll while you enjoy a giant turkey leg on a stick.
Hopefully the current plan by Celebrate Chicago will be revised along these lines. The folks who run Jam productions are part of that group -- Jerry Mikelson and Arny Granat -- they're the gold standard of concert promoters, but I hope in this case they understand that, like the Mayor says, this event should really be all about the food.