The Walker Art Center was preparing to break ground on an ambitious $75 million transformation project that would re-orient the main entrance and add a restaurant with outdoor seating at the new front entrance. JGL was familiar with the client and the operations as we provided an assessment and management of an RFP in 2010. Initial plans were to stay with the current vendor for the short term, but JGL made an impassioned plea to the team to consider their options. The Walker team wanted a destination restaurant and the existing operator was not bullish on the opportunity. We ultimately moved forward with an RFP process that resulted in contract award to a food service provider with a local celebrity chef acting as consultant chef. The Restaurant, Esker Grove, opened in December of 2016 and was nominated for James Beard in its first month of service.