Jan 16, 2006 - current events, local    No Comments

A Farewell to … Happy Hour

Living in Plymouth, on the west side of Minneapolis, for the past 8 years, I’ve become fond of a local establishment: Grandma’s Restaurant and Wine Bar. Grandma’s is a Minnesota original, with restaurants in only 5 cities in the state, and the Plymouth location (being close to home) I’ve grown especially fond of. I started out down the path of “becoming a regular” at the Bloomington store, which is long since closed (I may write about the stupidity behind that sometime … someday) and migrated to Plymouth, along with a collection of both regulars and staff.

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of things … a lot of people. I’ve seen good times, bad times … and some really, really crazy times (good thing no one had a camera … at least, no one who’s come forth with pictures … yet). And, I knew that all good things, no matter how good and packed with potential, must come to an end … and Grandma’s Plymouth is no exception. On March 31, 2006, the Plymouth, MN, store will close … and I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about it.

On one hand, I’m not surprised. From a customer standpoint, the store isn’t doing stellar business. Traffic ebbs and flows with the booking level of the adjacent Comfort Inn.

On the other hand … frankly, I’m pissed off. The Grandma’s line is Duluth-based, and watching the way the Plymouth store has been handled tells me that their corporate office doesn’t have a clue about how to make money in the Minneapolis market. Granted, they’re doing ok business in their downtown store … which is located in the “Seven Corners” area of the East Bank of the University of Minnesota. I mean, come on … how hard is it to make it when you’re in a prime location … where all you really need to do is open the doors, serve decent drinks, and have one of the local radio stations play live music once a week. A near-sighted Rhesus monkey on crack could make money there … case in point.

No. The real challenge of making a business is going after something new … something different … and making it work.

From what I’ve heard, they want out of their lease big time. The price they’re asking for the property is a steal, especially with you factor in the rate of growth of the western suburbs.

So … if anyone is interested in partnering in what could be a very exciting venture …

… let me know.

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