[tabi] Re: 4 Resturants to Close in Tallahassee

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 17:29:34 -0400

Darla,  below is the text of the article you wanted:

tallahassee.com
July 14, 2009
Restaurants go -- and come
Economy isn't completely to blame
By Doug Blackburn
DEMOCRAT Senior WRITER
If you want a snapshot of how the ongoing economic recession is playing
out in Tallahassee,
take a look at the restaurant world.
During the first six months of 2009 four local landmarks - Nino's, the
Silver Slipper,
Anthony's Italian Restaurant and Carlos' Cuban Cafe - closed their
doors.
They represent more than 128 combined years of dining memories and so
much more.
"It's just a confirmation of how tough these economic times are. I do
think that
clearly it's a tragedy," said Carol Dover, president of the Florida
Restaurant and
Lodging Association. "These are great places that we've all enjoyed, but
on top of
that hundreds of people are now unemployed."
While it's only natural to point a finger at the economy as the reason
for the demise
of all four restaurants, a closer examination reveals that the recession
may be a
bit too simple an explanation for why each is no longer in business.
In addition, new restaurants continue to spring to life.
Sometime in the next week or two, Tallahassee native Blake Geoghagan
expects to open
Tallahassee's first Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a red-hot national
chain favored
by President Obama, with plans for at least two more to follow in the
next year.
And the lights weren't dim for too long at the longtime home to Nino's.
Carl Bengston
recently renovated the restaurant and opened the steakhouse Carl's On
The Parkway.
What is it about the restaurant business that convinces entrepreneurs
they can succeed
in a tough environment, that no current is too tough to swim against?
"There's a lot more to it than just the economy. It's not all gloom and
doom," said
Mark Bonn, director of the graduate programs at Florida State's Dedman
School of
Hospitality. "A lot has to do with the sort of shape was the business in
before the
economy hit the skids."
Bill Kalfas, owner of the Silver Slipper, and Anthony's owner Dick
Anthony both cited
the 2005 "gift ban" - the law prohibiting Florida legislators from
accepting free
meals from lobbyists - as a major factor behind their restaurants'
downfall. Anthony,
meanwhile, is hoping to reopen with a different menu and in a new
location - not
the Betton Place plaza where he served high-end Italian dishes for a
quarter-century.
"I might have gotten a bit stale," he said. "I kind of blame myself. The
recession
has something to do with it, but I don't want to just peg it on that."
There's no question these are tough times from coast to coast and that
Florida has
been hit worse than many states during the economic downturn. David
Gwynn, owner
of Cypress Restaurant next door to Carlos' Cuban on East Tennessee
Street, estimated
that business is down 25 percent from two years ago.
"It scares the hell out of you," he said. "I grew up with the Silver
Slipper. Carlos
has been here longer than I have been in business.
"Everybody has this thought that if you make it past your third year
you're good
as gold, and you're not. This teaches you you have to stay up to date;
you have to
infuse your menu with new things and keep it fresh."
This summer, Gwynn introduced a new bar menu, thinking that lower-priced
items such
as duck empanadas and grilled fish tacos will attract new customers.
It's proven
a success, he said, as summer traffic is holding its own.
Marie Livingston is another longtime Tallahassee restaurateur who's busy
re-tooling
her operation in wake of the current economic climate. She hopes to open
a new Marie
Livingston's Steak House in the former Durango's on Apalachee Parkway
while letting
her lease expire at her current restaurant off North Monroe Street.
"With the economy, a 10,000-square-foot building doesn't exactly fit.
The utility
bills are too much," she said. "That's not the right size for a
restaurant today.
"We've seen somewhat of a decline in business, but not anything where
you can't stay
in business. We just try to manage better," Livingston added.
Bonn, at FSU, believes the biggest competitors restaurants have today
are grocery
stores, which continue to expand their ready-to-eat offerings.
"People are opting to cook at home right now," Bonn said. "Going out to
dinner is
like many other things, like belonging to a country club. It addresses
the utilization
of your discretionary income. Right now people are downsizing."
Five Guys, headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, appears
impervious to the
economy. Offering simple, inexpensive food prepared from scratch, the
company is
opening three to four new restaurants every week.
In addition to the site next door to the Red Elephant at Capitol Plaza,
Geoghagan
has signed the paperwork for a second restaurant at the corner of Blair
Stone Road
and Park Avenue. He opened his first Five Guys last year in Panama City.
"People are always going to have disposable income they are going to
earmark for
food," Geoghagan said. "I think our concept is absolutely fantastic.
Burgers and
fries tend to comfort people at any time."





------------------------------

Chip Orange
Database Administrator
Florida Public Service Commission

Chip.Orange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
(850) 413-6314

 (Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect those of the Florida Public Service Commission.)
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
> [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Darla J. Rogers
> Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 4:56 PM
> To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [tabi] 4 Resturants to Close in Tallahassee
> 
> I still  haven't figured out the Democrat's website, but 
> several people I 
> encountered today said 4 restaurants are closing, including 
> Anthony's.  Any 
> light someone could shed on this?  I'd sure hate to go out to 
> dinner at a 
> nonexistent restaurant.
> 
> Darla & Seeing Eye Dog Roxy
> 
> 
> Darla J. Rogers, B.A., M.S.
> 
> Skype ID."  wildflower0628
> "Today, I will search for my own truth and will allow others to do the
> same.  I will place value on my vision, as well as on the vision of
> others.  We are each on the journey, making our own discoveries--the
> ones that are right for us today."
> Check out the TABI resource web page at 
> http://acorange.home.comcast.net/TABI
> 
> to unsubscribe send a message, containing a subject line of 
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