Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Location, Location, Location

It is sad to see the disappointment in the eyes of a wannabe restaurateur. But how in the hell do people expect to have a successful restaurant if it is located in a awful and hard to get place?
It opened up about a year ago, give or take a few months. This is not the first time for a restaurant to be located in exactly the same spot.
Before it was just a few awnings and a sign on the road. It lasted about 3 months. That was about 5 or 6 years ago.

This time, they built a nice decent building big enough for a decent kitchen, a couple of nice bathrooms and if need be a place inside for a half dozen cozy tables. But it was designed for use outside, under several very big commercial advertisement tents from Fanta, Corona or know the type. ( along with the chairs)

The name of the place is Las is located directly below Patzcuaro's health club,swimming pool complex.

Our friend Don Cuevas did a review of the joint a few months ago and you can see it at: Las Brisas

We had lunch there a few weeks ago and it was an alright experience.....we would consider coming back on a nice breeze free day for a quiet lunch.

It unfortunately is doomed for failure since it is difficult to get to and most out of the way places either have to have stellar food or a nice view, which would be worth the extra effort to get to.

They do have big parking lot. What they don't have is customers.

I make it a point to look at the place several times a day as I go into town and as I leave town returning to the house. I will usually go into town an average of once or twice a day on average.
In the last several weeks I have seen about 5 cars and never at the same time and have only seen one couple at the establishment with each car. I keep hoping that one of these days the place will be packet with lots of customers.

So how much longer will they, or a better question be, can they stay open?
So whoever came up with the adage of Location, Location, Location must have know something, or they owned a primo spot.
So all we can do is frequent the place as often as it is convenient and hope that the quality of the food doesn't suffer for the lack of clientèle.

Now you can understand why the guys with pushcarts make money, they after all have very little overhead and can located in a good visible location.

There is also another new restaurant in town called Lupita's. It is located where the old Cha Cha Cha was. We had dinner there a few nights ago....give me a few days to get my recollection in order on that one.
I should probably keep a log of the joints that have come and gone, you would think that business people would take heed from the past experiences of other people that have tossed their savings at ventures doomed from the start.......but nooooo.


Don Cuevas said...

WE were at Lupita's a couple of weeks ago. The meal was good, overall, but there were a few flaws. I won't go into it here.

Then we went to the R.O.M.E.O.'s breakfast there and it was better than averge. Whether it's worth a little extra money for ambience depends on what you like.

We were in Mexico City for 4 days over last weekend, and we ate at a wide spectrum of places. The most humble was a Cocina Económica near the Mercado San Juan. Their barbacoa and consomé de borrego were spot on.

The day before, we dined at the plush Casino Espanol, and it was a worthwhile experience for us, even though costly. But in the future we'll be eating more at cocinas económicas more often than at Palces of the Spanish Grandee.

Don Cuevas

Felipe said...

I believe Las Brisas was counting on spillover from the health club next door. And perhaps there are more customers at night when many folks are at the gym. They certainly have no customers during the day.

The new Lupita´s you mention is very nice and very tasty. My wife and I have eaten there twice, and surely will eat there more in the future. But, again, the location is dicey.

Tancho said...

The more we go out to dine, the more we seem to enjoy the Cocina Economicas that put out a decent well priced meal. We as yourself save the high priced places for a special event or time. It seems that those places no longer have the draw to us that they once had, possibly since with higher prices the disappointment is grater when the product is not delivered especially for the money spent.

Every time I have driven by after 5 or 6 the gates have been closed. So I am not sure they stay open too late.
Lupita's is OK, but for the prices it may not be worth the bother. What I find interesting is that a great majority of the place all have the same identical bill of fare. I would think in my humble experience that a place would be better received if it had something to stand out from the rest of all the places in town.....but that is my two cents.

Felipe said...

Lupita´s has a comida corrida everyday that costs the same as the comida corrida at the popular Pemex joint heading out of Pátzcuaro. And you get more for your peso. So, in that respect, it is not pricey.

- Mexican Trailrunner said...

Awww. Cha Cha Cha is gone. . . Rick, from Menlo Park, as I recall. We ate there a couple of times and had great and creative meals with good entertainment and pleasant conversations with Rick. Sorry to hear it, he did work hard at making it happen. However, it is the restaurant business.
I too have come to prefer patronizing the Cocinas Económicas.

calypso said...

The restaurant business generally is not for the feint of heart. A good one is to be treasured and that with hope that it will maintain - and that seldom happens.

Tancho said...

The restaurant business is indeed a hard business even when everything is going right. I spent some time in the kitchens of a few in NCal, and would question why anyone would toss their life savings into this kind of hole.
One of the problems with places here is that it is difficult to keep the small details focused from various employees. And it is the small details that make the difference between a ok and a great place. And of course toss in location, pricing, food providers and a endless list of other details that will make or break a place. When I see something that they are obviously trying to do a decent job, I will support them as long as I can.
I was not aware of the "cheap eats" at Lupita's, will have to try it in the next few weeks.

Don Cuevas said...

Thanks, Felipe, for the tip on the comida corrida at Lupita's. Do you know if they offer it on the weekend?

Also, I assume that they don't (yet) feature strolling minstrels while you dine.)

Don Cuevas

Felipe said...

Tancho, the comida corrida is posted at the door, but is not attached to the menu they hand you at the table.

Felipe said...

We ate at Lupita´s today (Saturday), and the comida corrida was what we ate. Don´t know about Sundays.

Tancho said...

Ok, Felipe, I gotsta know?
How was the comida corrida there and what did you have and how many pesos did it set you back?

Felipe said...

Tancho, we had a much-better-than-average sopa Tarasca, a tasty cucumber salad, and the main dish was meatballs and pasta with a tasty cheese-and-cream sauce.

Also included were chips and pico de gallo, plus a pretty good garlic bread.

The desert was a seasonal thing, my wife tells me, that´s called capirotada. It´s a bread-based sweet concoction with some cheese cubes. I liked it a lot, and we had been served the same desert at the Pemex a few days back, and it was not anywhere nearly as good at the gas station.

Cost per person is 60 pesos, which does not include anything to drink.

Tancho said...

Thanks Felipe for the bite by bite description. Actually I am surprised and encouraged. We will definitely sashay on by and grab the cheaper eats at the place.
Ah, capirotada....That is basically good old bread pudding sans the cheese. As a matter of fact that what I made for dessert for last nights dinner with friends.....Best way to use up stale conchas, orejas and the multitude of bread that becomes stale after minutes of being purchased......