"It’s called Taste of Chicago, not Morton Grove. Simple as that," he said. "A lot of vendors in Chicago are suffering."
He said only those establishments which exist in Chicago and pay real estate and sales tax to the city deserve to be a part of the massive fest. That means that any restaurant which doesn't have at least one location within city limits is out of luck.
Among the handful of vendors not welcome this year is Aunt Dianna's in suburban Riverside. The store's chocolate treats have been a Taste staple since the beginning.
"I mean, it just blew me away," said Patty Miglore. "I had already planned on ordering boxes and ordering supplies."
Vendors were alerted to the future of the event's exclusivity in 2007, according to special events director Megan McDonald. The city gave a three-year grace period for companies to open up a Chicago location at least one year before the 30th Annual Taste of Chicago.
While many suburbanites seemed to have a "fine, we'll keep our money closer to home," sort of attitude, the mayor said he wasn't concerned that the ban would hurt attendance.
"Food is food," he said.