ETA: And, the ordinance passes Wednesday, during the last City Council meeting of the Daley years. Maybe this is his legacy after all.
The long-awaited, much-debated shared kitchens ordinance has been approved by the city's licensing committee. Among other things, the ordinance creates a new category of business license for users of shared kitchens, and cuts the fee for that license by half, to $330 for a two-year license. A temporary, 90-day license is also being created that'll cost short-term users of shared kitchens $75 a pop, so someone seeking to, say, can and sell farm-fresh tomatoes can get in on the action of August without having to come up with a lot of scratch.
Proprietors of shared-use kitchens (there are three in Chicago currently) have struggled for more than a year to figure out how to grease the square pegs of their unique business model into the round holes of existing food-service licensing. So who do we have to thank for this gift to small culinary entrepreneurs? According to Sun-Times reporter Fran Spielman: Mayor Daley, who "championed" the ordinance. Evidence of the outgoing mayor's cheerleading on behalf of culinary incubators appears to still be stuck in committee. At least the food truck ordinance won't be lonely as it languishes there.
Zina Murray, of Logan Square Kitchen, whose own zoning woes I covered last year, shot me a note last week saying that she was going to post her own thoughts on the matter on her blog soon. She's yet to do so, but I've got my eyes peeled.