If they’re going to eat lunch, state workers at the Capitol are getting in the habit of either going out or bringing their own.
A snack bar in the Capitol remains closed. But a new operator could be serving food and drinks in less than two weeks, a state spokeswoman said today.
The previous operator quit suddenly on May 24, the day before legislators adjourned this year’s session.
Typically, snack bars in the basement and on the fourth-floor are open during the legislative session; the 4th-floor operation usually shuts down when legislators are not in session.
Lobbyists and others spend a lot of days during the legislative session pacing the 4th-floor rotunda while legislators in their chambers. They often get something to eat or drink at one of the snack bars.
Even though legislators won’t return until February for the next session, the Capitol still is a busy place. It’s one of the state’s top tourist attractions and soon various legislative committees will take place here.
And then there’s all the state workers who are here every day.
Snack bar operators are selected by the Business Enterprise PRogram, a part of the state Rehabilitaton Services Department. The program provides employment opportunities for people who are blind to independently run their own businesses in government buildings.
Jody Harlan, a Rehabilitation Services Department spokeswoman, said efforts are under way to find an operator.
The goal is to have the basement snack bar open by June 18, she said.
“The process for replacing that person is just about like any other state government deal where they look for people who are qualified and people who are food service managers,” she said.
The state recently formed a partnership with Java Dave’s Coffee to open at least five stores in government buildings across the state. The department will find eligible visually impaired managers to run the stores. One of them, which will be a little larger than a kiosk, will sell coffees and pastries on the first floor of the Capitol. But that’s not expected to open until this fall.