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Re: “Coal Vines lures the Plaza's beautiful people

I live on the Plaza and have been there twice... "full" is relative at this place since their tables are fairly spread out and they're not even using their downstairs space. The crowd was very similar on both occassions - a few tables that are "freinds" of the operators/employees; ladies getting together for dinner dates; and couples on date nights.

Down to financials... margins are highest on drinks. Reverse actually did do a decent dinner/happy hour regarding food along with their weekend brunches, but I would agree that from my observations they were making most of their money alcohol sales. Assuming the same amount of crowds/business, I'd take drink margins over food margins any day of the week. My comment in the previous post was simply to point out that I'd be willing to bet Reverse's revenue #'s would be higher against Coal Vines; just makes me question Highwoods in going with this "concept" over another. The fact that coal vines doesn't have liquour and their prices seem pretty reasonable for their pizzas would only further cut into margins/profit. Why they're not serving liquor just doesn't make sense - I've heard that renditions over and over from people that have been there.

I think Coal Vines fits the niche for the crowds I've observed there. I have nothing against the place but just consider it's concept fair to average at best and hardly worthy of any hype. After the newness factor wears off I'm sure it will operate just fine in that space - not too busy, not too slow, thanks to it's Plaza locale.

Posted by dg on 04/12/2011 at 11:45 AM

Re: “Coal Vines lures the Plaza's beautiful people

This "concept" is average at best. Very limited menu, even more limited drinks (no liquour). Food is average. And with their prices I'm really surprised that Highwoods would prefer this concept over what Reverse had to offer. If they're paying higher rent I'd be surprised if their concept is really making financial sense.

Posted by dg on 04/12/2011 at 9:26 AM

Re: “What's the perfect porch beer?

Modelo Especial... can will do just fine.

Posted by dg on 04/04/2011 at 10:07 PM

Re: “New city ordinance lets restaurant customers BYOB

This is very common in a lot of markets. A reasonable corkage fee that I've seen out there is $15-$20. It's not unusual for restaurants to waive a corkage fee on particularly slow nights and I've seen limits on the # of bottles that can be brought in per table.

Even in places that allow corkage it really is not that common of an occurence and in most instances it is someone bringing in that "special bottle". When you have a great bottle of wine it can be a shame to dumb it down at home if you're not all that great of a cook. Why not be able to take an Opus 1 from home to a great restaurant, enjoy it with food it was meant to be paired with? Mark up on wine at the restaurant is usually at 2x value. If I have a $100 bottle at home, pay $20 in corkage, I'd still be ahead $80 than paying the $200 price on the wine list menu. To the individual saying "how am I gonna get tipped"? Wake up. If you serve a $200 bottle and "expect" a 20% tip on the sale just for pouring it you have great expectations my friend. On the other hand, if I'm coming in, paying a corkage fee to the restaurant, and you give me great service, it will show on the tip. You would be surprised psychologically at offering perceived value such as byob with corkage fee often can get a customer to spend more than they normally would simply because they think they're getting a good deal on the wine they brought versus the wine they would have overpaid for off the menu.

My two cents. The old law was arcane. Put the decision with the restaurant owners as they have here. If a restaurant owner has a liquour license it should be their choice. The law doesn't force an owner to accept byob, it just gives them the choice. Used properly it could increase business and be a value add to those customers holding on to a "special bottle" and looking for a special place to enjoy it. Cheers.

Posted by dg on 03/31/2011 at 12:24 PM

Re: “We finally sort of figure out what's going on with the Plaza's Zocalo Restaurant

"If Sanchez still plans to open his own restaurant in the Kansas City metro, he'll have to come up with another name."

Not very accurate at all and very inadequate description of Intellecutal Property law. This name could actually present a very big issue for the new establishment on the Plaza. The new group really should have an IP attorney addressing the issue.

Posted by dg on 03/09/2011 at 1:17 PM

Re: “What's the most you would pay for dinner?

I've had several top-dollar experiences, including The French Laundry previously listed. $750 dinner for 2 with signature wine tasting at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago tops the list of most expensive... an excellent meal but I wouldn't do it again. Le Bernardin in NYC - $300 per person for wine and tasting menu - so worth it that I've done it 3 times now. The compromise for me that balances some value with great restaurants is to go for lunch. Many great restaurants (using NYC as an example) will do a prix fixe for under $50 (Le Bernardin, Jean George, 11 Madison Park).

Posted by dg on 02/06/2011 at 9:08 AM

Re: “Tipping on to-go orders and that moment of regret

Springs - how do you really feel about tipping? Lighten up Francis.

Posted by dg on 01/04/2011 at 5:13 AM

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