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Rotating restaurants in Chicago’s Parks

Use Chicago’s parks to host city-wide dining halls that use community-based and rotating restaurants, bringing citizens to new neighborhoods

Photo of Elise Dagley
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Written by

Idea Title

The Common Table

Company / organization name (if applicable)

Factotum Consulting, LLC

Please include a visual representation of your concept, including but not limited to images, diagrams, or 2D / 3D graphics

Side elevation, front elevation, and site plan of proposed pop-up food halls in Chicago parks across the city.

Solution Overview


  • Physical and environmental barriers: use Chicago’s parks to host sub-zero arctic tents to combat the harsh winters, add underfloor heating to an elevated deck to allow for warmth, cross-ventilation, and natural cleaning. Provide Individual dining tents accessible from the exterior, and wait staff use designated interior corridors. Centralize kitchens and service areas with restricted access for patrons tobetter manage exposure.

  • Collaboration of restaurants/ residents:  Designate 70% of kitchens to the local restaurants, the others for restaurants From a different neighborhood. Rotate every 30 days. This model can challenge restaurant owners to create menus at a price point for community and Chicago residents get an opportunity to eat from restaurants they would not have ordinarily supported This also expands tourism and bring opportunistic investments. Offer job training in construction and hospitality to local residents. 


This project would utilize the green spaces that already exist within our city’s infrastructure. Parts of construction could be built onsite and require as much construction experience as needed to build a deck. The other structures of the hall are tents, and would additional require a minimal amount of training. 

Technical Overview

use plywood, tent, separated ventilation systems


This solution bringing attention and equitable financial opportunities across all of the Chicago neighborhoods, not just those that are in and around the hotel and restaurant hubs. The rotational model also promotes as sense of connectivity and unifies our citizen in a way similar to the “Tast of Chicago” does during the summer months. This is a step our city desperately needs as we grapple with racial and civil unrest.


Consider the “Taste of Chicago” on a smaller scale. 

User Research

Consider the Taste of Chicago as user research, and input from team members, see below.

Covid-19 Safety

This idea allows for implementation of social distancing requirements by allowing parties that come together to stay together in their own individual tents. Designated corridors better control and monitor contact tracing. Contactless ordering may continue through an app or scanned menus as currently implemented. Visual signage and hand sanitizer stations may be promoted throughout the entire structure. 

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

I’m a lifelong Chicago resident with an educational background in architecture, psychology, and nonprofit management. I consulted with four individuals, also Chicago residents; a chef and food and beverage director of a major university here in Chicago, a community organizer and environmental conservational enthusiast, and a data analyst for the city of Chicago who has been at the forefront of analyzing, creating and providing tools for the city to manage its response to the COVID outbreak.

Please describe your legal or organizational structure

I have an LLC.

In what city are you / your team located?


In what country are you / your team located?


How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • In the news
  • City of Chicago website/social media


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