By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The city is seeking restaurateurs to run the food concession at the Love Park Welcome Center once it’s renovated.

The 1960s-era Welcome Center, also known as the spaceship, has been closed for years. But the city, last week, allowed a half dozen restaurant operators to tour the circular, bi-level building as they prepared proposals for the food and beverage concessions there.

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Valerie Safran, who operates several restauants, including Barbuzzo, got a look.

“It’s a challenging space, but that’s also what makes it exciting, just because you can make it really unique,” she said.

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Restaurateurs tour the soon-to-be-renovated Welcome Center. (credit: Mike DeNardo)

Marc Wilken, the concession manager for the city Parks and Recreation department, says choosing the right operator is key.

“The revenue we generate from this program will be instrumental in how we activate the entire park and maintain the park in a high-quality way,” he said.

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Renovation work on the center is expected to be finished this fall, with a restaurant ready to open by next spring.