Always Dreamed of Running Your Own Restaurant? Here's One for Free.

Are you an aspiring chef with big dreams of owing your own digs? A restaurant manager who wants to go solo? How 'bout a foodie who wants to get out of the kitchen and bring your mad cooking skills to the gen pop?

Is so, your free restaurant is waiting.

Salt, the marketing and public relations shop behind some of the Valley's top restaurants, is awarding an actual, no-shit, operational restaurant to the culinary career seeker who submits the best plan for revamping the vacant space (formerly The Center Bistro) below the company's Mill Avenue office digs in Tempe.

That's right. Six months of free rent, a 3,600-square foot space (with patio), and a half year of free public relations and marketing services are yours for the taking.

All you've got to do is follow a few guidelines.

To enter, participants must do the following:

- Visit the restaurant space to see the kitchen and restaurant equipment to better adapt their restaurant vision to the location. (Participants can schedule their visit by emailing autumn@austinvickers.com.)

- Submit a 300-400 word cover letter explaining why they should be a finalist, along with a menu and a business plan. Entries will be accepted from now until December 31, with three finalists to be announced on January 2, 2013.

- The finalists will then present their proposals and cook highlights from their menus for a panel of industry pros on January 11, in hopes of walking out the door with the keys to their very own restaurant. Finalists will be chosen based on culinary prowess, menu and concept, and business plan (plus the financial stuff, too).

"We've been handed the keys to a beautiful space and are looking to find a top chef and a killer culinary concept for Downtown Tempe," says Ty Largo, creative director for Salt. "I'm looking for more than just bars, pizza and wings -- this neighborhood has a built-in base of business professionals and foodie folks looking for an amazing meal."

Odds of winning are dependent on number of entries. Winner subject to background check. Additional considerations may apply; contestants may contact autumn@austinvickers.com for additional details.

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