Help me out, folks. I read this article on kcra.com about downtown Sacramento Restaurants fighting to stay open, you know, because of the economy.
Or is there another reason?
Over the past couple of weeks, several downtown restaurants have shut their doors for different reasons. Table 260, Danielle’s Creperie and Fog Mountain Cafe recently closed….”The economy has really impacted folks, from furlough Fridays to reduction in the work force,” said Downtown Sacramento Partnership executive director Michael Ault. Ault said despite restuarants closing others are opening in their place.
How has it impacted folks outside of them not having enough cash to eat out?
He said the keys for restaurants to succeed are to offer a unquie product, know how to market your resturant and provide good customer service. (that’s a cut and paste, folks, enjoy the typos…)
So, did Table 260, Danielle’s Creperie, and Fog Mountain Cafe close because of the economy, or because they didn’t offer an unique product, or know how to market their restaurant, or provide good customer service?
4 thoughts on “The keys for restaurants to succeed”
Danielle’s, while good, failed for a very obvious reason: their prices were insane. State workers on lunch breaks don’t want to pay $12 for a soup and sandwich at lunch, when they can get a better meal at La Bonne for $8. Overwrought service, high prices – probably due to a very high rent at that corner – and good food that just had no value at that price point.
Fog Mountain had a horrible location, but great food, and it was invisible for a lot of people – I didn’t even realize where it was for the longest time. I did like the few meals I had there, though; great staff, good food.
Table 260 was totally anonymous, had a cheesy identity that was completely and utterly forgettable and zero word of mouth. No buzz whatsoever. I never had the slightest interest in checking the place out because nobody I knew ever went there or said anything about it nor did they advertise. What did they think was going to happen? I never could tell from the outside if it was even open or closed, what kind of food they had, or if it had any character at all in that characterless building.
But, like Mr. Paragary, they can blame the food trucks if they like.
I really wonder about Fog Maounain. Their food was outstanding and the line was out the door every lunch hour. If you can’t keep a business afloat on that, then what?
When Danielle’s opened in the location of a previously failed creperie I wrote them off as toast anyway and never even gave them a try. The location was also an issue, working on the other side of Cesar Chavez park I usually avoided K Street. The vacant, dirty, downright scary place it is now breaks the heart of my little inner child who used to love the chance to go downtown with her state worker mom and was infatuated with K street mall. That’s another articule I’m sure though.
Admittedly I only went to Fog Mountain once, but I detested my meal. How can a grilled cheese sandwich be bad? Have it cost 8 bucks, be hard as a brick, and seemingly not have any cheese in it. Usually I give a place another chance, I’m not sure how my experience differs so from Sac-eats’ , but it was a grave yard any time I walked past it and I figured that was because so many people had experiences like mine. I did have a later lunch time, 1-2, so everywhere was quieter, but not that quiet.
As far as Table 260, I agree with Moehong, I heard nothing about that place and couldn’t tell what it’s deal was, I’d walk by it and figured it was a nightclub type place and never even thought it was open for lunch.
I also thought it was funny that after a year(?) of being closed that the closed Quizno’s across from the park opened again as Quizno’s. I’m unsure if the K st or Plaza locations are still going, but at one time a few years ago there were 4 Quizno’s (4th being by Amtrack) in a VERY small area, and it seemed they’d all have lines all the time. Quizno’s really isn’t that good, so I think there’s a lot to be said for cheapness and speed if you want to bring in the lunch crowd.
Somehow I never got over to Le Bonne but I’d walk by from the light rail in the mornings and it always produced the most interesting and yummy smells, even though I wasn’t sure what I was smelling half the time.
Quick list of great options in the area:
Leaven and Earth – $6 amazing sandwich combos with chips and a soda
Bud’s Buffet – $6-8? stick to your ribs fare that I don’t know where to find anywhere else outside a Hoff Brau
Cafe Soliel – a little more expensive, but quick and good with a wide variety
Taquiria El Festival – yeah it’s a mexican food chain, but again, cheap with daily specials, quick and very good (much better than the new 524)
J’s Cafe – yeah, it’s no Jim Denny’s, but it’s way cheaper and has better hours
Kabul Kabob – buffet afghani food, not the cheapest but good and different
Sakura, the Japanese place I can’t think of the name of by Temple, Heck, the thai food at the Java City hiding behind the Starbucks is pretty decent. There’s a TON of other little holes in the wall in those couple blocks too, as well as the food carts by the court house, and K Street if you’re brave enough to go there.
I’m not sure Danielle’s, Fog Mountain, and Table 260 necessarily did anything “wrong”, they certainly didn’t do enough to rise above the competition though. Most of the places I mentioned above are long and well established and the area was in the toilet long before the economy as a whole was, sure things aren’t helping right now, but I suspect it points to a bigger problem with downtown and those restaurants never really stood a chance.
Table 260 was so painfully executed, I got the idea that it was a front for a criminal operation and they actually wanted anonymity. I poked my head in shortly after they opened and had absolutely no interest in eating what seemed to be “upscale African-American comfort food”.