Sometimes, the story of a restaurant isn’t about the good food you’ve enjoyed — it’s about how you never got to sample the fare because the place went toes up before you ever got a chance to visit.
The restaurant business is a notoriously difficult one, particularly for stand-alone start-ups. Statistics show that more than half of newly established restaurants will be out of business within three years. The most common reasons for failure, according to the experts, are lack of sufficient cash flow and capitalization, a concept that doesn’t work, a bad location, and poor quality food.
In our little section of downtown Columbus, we’ve seen several restaurants close their doors recently. Stack’d is one that I never got a chance to try. Located at the corner of Third Street and Lynn Alley about a block from our firm, Stack’d billed itself as “The Flavor Architects” and offered a diverse menu of sandwiches, salads, pizzas, chips, and smoothies. It was open for a few months, then posted a sign saying that management had gone south for the winter, then a sign that the restaurant could be rented for training, and finally the “for sale” sign that is there now. Why did Stack’d fail? Who knows? The only word-of-mouth I heard about Stack’d when it was open, from one person, was that the food was good but the ordering process was complicated and patrons had a lot of decisions to make.
The story was different for another restaurant that closed recently. The Carvery, located directly across Gay Street from the firm, offered sandwiches and soups that were very good. It seemed to do a thriving business and was always bustling when I was there. But then it apparently experienced some kind of significant plumbing problem, posted a sign that it was temporarily closed — and never reopened.
We’ve heard that another restaurant will be opening at The Carvery’s former location, and I’d expect some other food-loving entrepreneur will eventually take a stab at opening up where Stack’d used to operate. I wish them good luck, and hope they stay open long enough for me to visit.