Storm closes Taste of Chicago leaving vendors, visitors frustrat - New York News

Storm closes Taste of Chicago leaving vendors, visitors frustrated

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Taste of Chicago was closed Saturday due to excessive rainfall, flooding on the festival grounds and the threat of more rain.

“Well you know it was kind of disappointing but still we have to be concerned about our employees and also the safety of the public as well,” said Charles Robinson, Owner of Robinson’s Barbecue.

Instead of greeting and serving his namesake barbecue at the Taste of Chicago, Robinson was at this restaurant's brick and mortar location in Oak Park after Saturday morning’s downpour shut down the outdoor food festival.

Robinson is just one of dozens of vendors who stood to make thousands of dollars today.

“I would say today would have probably been a $35,000-40,000 day for us but you know it didn't happen and I'm not going to worry about spilled milk. I hope we get some good milk tomorrow,” said Robinson.

We haven't given much thought to revenue predictions as safety is our number one concern. We had three really strong days for the Taste and we anticipate another really strong day tomorrow and of course we reconcile all of the revenue as well as the expenses after the event is done,” said Michelle Boone, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

Last year the city said the Taste of Chicago’s five day festival generated a profit of $272,000, plus an estimated $106 million and more than $2 million in tax revenue for the city.

Despite the impact one day’s closure has, the city says that safety comes first.

Saturday morning’s downpour left the Taste of Chicago site flooded, inoperable and unsafe.

Robinson says he found out the city closed the Taste at 9:30am.

Hours later, “I want to cry. After the way the weather cleared up, I wish things could have been different,” said Robinson.

The Davis family found out the Taste was closed when they showed up from Toledo, Ohio.

“We knew there was going to be rain so on the way down I just prayed the whole time, God stop the rain and he did but it doesn't matter right now, not for the Taste, that ship has sailed,” said Dorinda Davis.

Despite the Taste’s cancellations, it was business as usual at other events across the city, including at the Windy City Smokeout.

Even so, Taste organizers say better to be safe than sorry and despite the loss in revenue, Charles Robinson agrees.

The Taste of Chicago is planning to open Sunday as scheduled. This is the second time the city has shut down the Taste in its 34 year history. In 1992 the Taste was cancelled due to storms.

 

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Friday Night Live: August 22, 2014

    Friday Night Live: August 22, 2014

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:34 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:34:20 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this episode: Ace Frehley, Big Sean, Week End Trends, and Chef Luca Manfé of MasterChef.
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this episode: Ace Frehley, Big Sean, Week End Trends, and Chef Luca Manfé of MasterChef.
  • Berg'n: new beer and food hall in Brooklyn

    Berg'n: new beer and food hall in Brooklyn

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:00:35 GMT
    The guys behind the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg are at it again with a new food and booze venue called Berg'n, a new beer hall in Crown Heights. The place doesn't officially open until August 27, 2014, but owners Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler are giving it a test run for special guests, family, and the press.
    The guys behind the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg are at it again with a new food and booze venue called Berg'n, a new beer hall in Crown Heights. The place doesn't officially open until August 27, 2014, but owners Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler are giving it a test run for special guests, family, and the press.
  • Giving your college-bound kids their space

    Giving your college-bound kids their space

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:31 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:31:50 GMT
    Going off to college is an exciting time for the entire family, especially for the upcoming freshman. But with technology, parents can be in touch all the time. What's too much and what's just enough? Freshman move-in day seems to be harder on the parents than the students at Stony Brook University.
    Going off to college is an exciting time for the entire family, especially for the upcoming freshman. But with technology, parents can be in touch all the time. What's too much and what's just enough? Freshman move-in day seems to be harder on the parents than the students at Stony Brook University.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices