Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The other side of the coin

In contrast to the new business I spoke of last week, I want to highlight how a local restaurant can go wrong.  Over the holidays, another new restaurant opened in our town.

They specialize in the regional specialty BBQ.  The owner is the youngest son in what might be best described as part of our community's 1%.  He (his family) bought the property 2-3 years ago and built the building.  And, we've had probably 18 months of delayed openings.  They did a soft opening that was advertised on facebook and a little in the local newspaper.  Then, on the grand opening, they were featured in the local paper.  (Much more fan-fare than the cupcake business.)

The first time we tried to eat at the BBQ joint, we went at 8:15 on a Saturday night to discover that they had closed up at 7:30.  ON A SATURDAY NIGHT?  So, we waited until after the grand opening and went, making sure we arrived fairly early . . . only to see that their regular posted hours will have them closing at 8pm every night.  (REALLY?)

The service is kinda school cafeteria style with you telling the women standing over the steam table what you want.  Nothing was really labeled and the servers weren't about to help you figure out what was floating under the greasy, orange soup.  And, the owner was enjoying a chat with family friends, and blocking the only route from the service line to the dining area.  (A pet peeve of mine is when employees get in the way of customers.)

The BBQ was excellent.  The sides need work.  If I'm going to pay $7 for a styrofoam plate of dinner, I want pretty decent sides to go with my handful of BBQ.  The beans were canned and the slaw was food service.  I'm pretty sure that he's gonna have to make better sides if he wants to become a fixture in the BBQ trail.

But, what I find even more interesting is that for the past three weeks, his only posts to his business' facebook page are posts that whine about negative comments that have been posted on various websites and how he can't please everyone and some people just don't want him to do well.  Frankly, the whining is a real turn off.  I'm thinking it would be more worth it to buzz in for a $10 pound of the BBQ and come home to make my own sides.

I will be interested to see how these two businesses fare in the coming months.  The BBQ place is easier to get to from the highway, and has ties to a well known family.  The cupcake business was born from a young woman's kitchen.  We'll see.  (I'm kinda rooting for the cupcake business. . . but maybe because they seem so nice and appreciative of their customers and don't whine.)

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