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Taste of Chicago Tightens Its Belt

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Apr 2, 2009 2:20PM

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In an effort to improve traffic flow throughout downtown, the Mayor's Office of Special Events announced yesterday that Taste of Chicago will have 15 percent fewer food vendors this year. The emphasis on improving traffic flow means that only 55 food vendors will be presenting their wares at the annual event, starting June 26. Other proposed changes to the event are a continuation of the "healthy" options the city encouraged vendors to serve last year and a requirement for vendors to serve a minimum of two smaller and less expensive "taste-of" portions geared for folks who can't or don't want to handle the giant turkey legs so synonymous with Taste. Those turkey legs may be in danger of decreasing, as well. Manny's Deli, which has turkey legs on its menu, hasn't made a full commitment to this year's event.

A spokesperson for the Mayor's Office of Special Events stressed that the decision to cut back was not related to the economy; demand for vendor space was down slightly from last year's 85. Now if they have a plan in place to curb the random shootings during the Independence Day fireworks, the city will really be on to something. [Crain's]