By Pat Loeb

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The round visitor’s center in Love Park has been called a “space ship” and city officials hope it will take off as a restaurant.

They’re asking local restaurateurs to submit proposals for taking over the place.

“What is it? You can’t tell what it is.”

The visitor’s center arouses strong sentiments, mostly affectionate. When it was endangered by the redesign of the park, fans launched a campaign to save it, but it needs $3 million worth of work, so Kathryn Lovell of the Fairmount Park Conservancy says they’re looking as much for a source of revenue as an amenity.

“A restaurant at Love Park has incredible potential to generate revenue for the site, which we will then put back into maintenance and programming.”

Lovell led a group of potential operators on a tour last week that revealed how much work is needed.

“It’s like the 1960’s in there, man… Oh, it’s insane.”



But Adam Howell of, appropriately enough, the Cosmic Cafe also saw the potential.

“It’s a great public space. You get to see this entire reno happen and get to be a key player in that reno. I think it’s really cool.”

The Park renovation is set to begin this spring and the restaurant would open in 2017.