Black Bear Crossings owner announces city council candidacy

David Glass announced his candidacy for St. Paul Ward 5 City Council at a press conference at his restaurant, Black Bear Crossings on the Lake at Como Lakeside Pavilion, on Sept. 17. The seat is currently held by Amy Brendmoen, who won election in a close race against incumbent Lee Helgen in 2011. The election will be held Nov. 3, 2015.

“More common sense and more business sense is needed in St. Paul decision making,” Glass said in his announcement.

Glass and his wife, Pamela, opened the Black Bear Coffee House and Community Circle south of Lake Como by the railroad tracks 18 years ago. In 2000, they contracted with the City of St. Paul to open Black Bear Crossings on the Lake—a coffee shop and wedding vendor—at the Como Lakeside Pavilion. The city chose not to renew that contract last fall. In November the city announced it was looking for a new vendor to provide better service and draw more visitors to the venue.

The Glasses filed a suit against the city this summer over its refusal to renew the lease and accusing the city of defamation. A Ramsey County district judge ruled that Black Bear was eligible for damages over the city’s refusal to renew the lease but denied the restaurant’s request to have the lease extended. The city reached an $800,000 settlement with the Glasses to avoid going to trial.

Black Bear will continue operating through the end of the year. The city began taking proposals for a new vendor in September and will be reviewing those proposals Oct. 10-12.

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