The small town we’re looking at has lots of office spaces available, but only a few that are suitable for a restaurant, esp since we’re wanting 2500-3000 sq ft. One place, we made an extreme lowball offer, they countered with extreme high end; we countered with a sizeable increase, then they raised it even more! Forget that.
I’d written about another a couple weeks ago. It had been a burger and ice cream diner, about 3800 sq ft. Very good deal on the lease. VERY good. Good existing layout, but we’d need to move some walls and a couple other things. Very few problems, except for getting a liquor license. We weighed the pros and cons, decided that we wanted one. The issue is being 100’ from a school. I went to the City Council last night; 3 of the 8 support us no matter what, the mayor (tie breaker) probably does too. One opposed no matter what, one could go either way, one said nothing, one absent. I have made overtures to the school superintendent to discuss it. The city council was purely a informational query. I think we’d have support from the council IF we could get it from the schools. But, I doubt that will happen, and I don’t want to stir the pot any more.
So, the fall back is a good, totally empty spot. 5600’, subdivided to our requested 3000’. We’ll have to build it out totally, probably we’ll add restrooms (or at least plumbing) to the other side for a little break in first year’s lease. The problem is, the space we are falling back on will be about double the one next to the school. I hope the good PR from backing away from the school will help, as well as having beer/wine, a little better visibility, and no problems with kids hanging around after school. Parking will be much better also.
As long as this last space gives us the price he implied earlier, we’ll be spending a lot more, probably making more, have the beer and wine, and a space totally to our design. Piece of mind from the crowd who think having alcohol that close to the school is putting a bad example to the kids–never mind they walk a block farther to a C-store, the beer cooler is next to the fountain machine.
I think it’s a no-brainer. I’m not sure why I posted, but it feels good to tell the story and get it off my chest. My wife has heard it all, and my partner too obviously…but all of you truly can understand the frustrations. So, I will ask…what do you think? Door #1, give up the liquor license and save money on opening build and monthly? Or, Door #2, more money all around but a lot more upside with the license?
Thanks…I’m heading out tomorrow to try to finalize Door #2. I will REALLY need the trip to Vegas…