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City Tavern's Celebrity Chef Says He's Eager To Negotiate With Park Service

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - One day after the National Park Service announced that not one business proprietor responded to their request for proposals to take over the space currently occupied by City Tavern (see related story), the tavern's current operator says he wants to stay right where he is, for years to come.

Chef Walter Staib says the Park Service, which owns the replica building at the corner of 2nd and Walnut Streets, did not get the response they hoped for in their effort to change the contract from a concession to a lease agreement was because "the request for proposal made absolutely no sense."

(Chef Walter Staib. File photo)

"I've been here for 17 years, I know what this building can do and what it can't do," Staib (right) told KYW Newsradio today, "and what the request for proposal outlined made absolutely no common sense.  "That is why no one else jumped on it as well.  I do want to stay here, but not under the outline as they had requested for the lease, absolutely."

Staib says the change proposed contract would require physical changes that would reduce the amount of seating, among other challenges.

Staib's contract to run the City Tavern restaurant operation expires in April.   In the meantime, he says, he's eager to reopen negotiations with the NPS.

"So if they are going to come to me and say can we work something out, I'm wide open to the talk.  It normally takes time because, remember, there is no emergency right now. "

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060


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