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mcheiss

Restaurant Development in NW Arkansas

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My understanding is that there was a desire to locate in Fayetteville, but there wasn't quality available real estate. Don't think there was a conspiracy to use the Fayetteville people. Seems far fetched...

Was there a specific part of town they were looking in? It seems that there are nice spots near the mall and Dickson that are/were available they could have gone into (and it seems hard to imagine there were other parts of town they were looking at more seriously... although I can see something on MLK working too). I doubt there was any "conspiracy" to use Fayetteville to win the contest and then locate it elsewhere, but it did seem disappointing they played so heavily on Fayetteville and being UofA alums and then are choosing to locate elsewhere. I would have thought that those areas, or maybe a storefront in the new parking garage on the UofA campus would have been their best bets, and most of those places have land/small buildings/storefronts available.

Realistically though, and I know we've all been talking about this on here before- does Fayetteville need another ice cream place? Haagen Dazs didn't survive on Dickson Street, Andy's opened on College a while back but that place never seems very busy, there are already two Braum's in town, Moonberries, Coldstone, etc. I'm not saying I don't think a TCBY would do well in Fayetteville, it very well might, but it does seem like a pretty crowded market here.

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Realistically though, and I know we've all been talking about this on here before- does Fayetteville need another ice cream place? Haagen Dazs didn't survive on Dickson Street, Andy's opened on College a while back but that place never seems very busy, there are already two Braum's in town, Moonberries, Coldstone, etc. I'm not saying I don't think a TCBY would do well in Fayetteville, it very well might, but it does seem like a pretty crowded market here.

That's what I'm seeing as being the problem for them. I think in most causes most of the 'prime locations' in Fayetteville already have established competition. Probably just figured it was safer to locate elsewhere in the metro.

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Was there a specific part of town they were looking in? It seems that there are nice spots near the mall and Dickson that are/were available they could have gone into (and it seems hard to imagine there were other parts of town they were looking at more seriously... although I can see something on MLK working too). I doubt there was any "conspiracy" to use Fayetteville to win the contest and then locate it elsewhere, but it did seem disappointing they played so heavily on Fayetteville and being UofA alums and then are choosing to locate elsewhere. I would have thought that those areas, or maybe a storefront in the new parking garage on the UofA campus would have been their best bets, and most of those places have land/small buildings/storefronts available.

Realistically though, and I know we've all been talking about this on here before- does Fayetteville need another ice cream place? Haagen Dazs didn't survive on Dickson Street, Andy's opened on College a while back but that place never seems very busy, there are already two Braum's in town, Moonberries, Coldstone, etc. I'm not saying I don't think a TCBY would do well in Fayetteville, it very well might, but it does seem like a pretty crowded market here.

3 Spoons is in the parking garage on campus. I think you hit the nail on the head re: competition in Fayetteville.

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There's a temporary sign up on the old smokey bones restaurant for Northern Exposure now. It appears that one is moving forward.

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There's a temporary sign up on the old smokey bones restaurant for Northern Exposure now. It appears that one is moving forward.

Good to hear, thanks for the update. :thumbsup:

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Went to Burger Life last week. Interesting concept; they hand you a write-on menu board and you pick your meat, bun, cheese, sauce, and toppings. Thousands of combinations, all your choice. I think I'm gonna have to keep going back until I find the perfect combo...

I concur. I tried BurgerLife the other day. It is good and the ingredients/toppings seem to be high quality. Its a bit pricey for a burger, but if you are picky about ingredients, its a great option to have. Buger and drink with chips was around $8.00, but I'd say the quality is in line with or slightly better than BackYard Burgers. Nice clean environment and attentive employees.

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Not sure if this has been mentioned, but Chipotle Mexican Grill is likely taking the WOW Japanese location at the Train Depot on Dickson Street. They've filed for their plumbing permits, but haven't completed their final lease negotiations.

Lots of burritos on Dickson Street.

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Not sure if this has been mentioned, but Chipotle Mexican Grill is likely taking the WOW Japanese location at the Train Depot on Dickson Street. They've filed for their plumbing permits, but haven't completed their final lease negotiations.

Lots of burritos on Dickson Street.

Thanks for the info. To be honest I didn't know WOW had even closed. But I could tell they seemed to be having a hard time, so I can't say I'm surprised.

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Thanks for the info. To be honest I didn't know WOW had even closed. But I could tell they seemed to be having a hard time, so I can't say I'm surprised.

They haven't closed...

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They haven't closed...

So is WOW closing then or moving? Or are the owners of WOW simply doing a major menu change and going from sushi to Mexican?

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So is WOW closing then or moving? Or are the owners of WOW simply doing a major menu change and going from sushi to Mexican?

Mith- WOW is closing. They just haven't yet.

Chipotle is a corporate company and does not have franchisees. WOW will have nothing to do with them. Chipotle is likely buying them out of their lease.

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With Chipotle moving in I'm wondering if all three similar burrito joints are going to be able to hold their own. Two national (or semi-national chains) with Qdoba and Chipotle. Then the local, Flying Burrito.

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With Chipotle moving in I'm wondering if all three similar burrito joints are going to be able to hold their own. Two national (or semi-national chains) with Qdoba and Chipotle. Then the local, Flying Burrito.

I would expect Chipotle to dominate both other venues in sales volume simply based on their systemwide sales averages compared to what Flying Burrito and Qdoba currently report. I don't see how all three can survive together in close proximity in an area that is already on the decline.

Don't forget about Joses and El Sancho's likely getting dinged, although probably not as much as they are full service establishments and not in the fast casual style.

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I would expect Chipotle to dominate both other venues in sales volume simply based on their systemwide sales averages compared to what Flying Burrito and Qdoba currently report. I don't see how all three can survive together in close proximity in an area that is already on the decline.

Don't forget about Joses and El Sancho's likely getting dinged, although probably not as much as they are full service establishments and not in the fast casual style.

Out of curiosity, why do you feel it is an "area that is already on the decline"?

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Out of curiosity, why do you feel it is an "area that is already on the decline"?

All of the retailers and restaurants in the area have seen a very noticeable decline in their sales since the implementation of the paid parking system. The Underwood building is soon to be foreclosed on and I don't foresee much condo activity in the building or commercial leasing on the spaces that don't have Dickson frontage. The office market downtown is very soft. There is uncertainty around the future of the WAC.

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I've eaten at all three, Flying Burrito and Qdoba will be fine.

I hear what you are saying, but it is proven that when three restaurants of the very same category are that closely located, one or two will likely shut down. Chipotle has a mucher stronger brand and will be better located than Flying Burrito and Qdoba. Qdoba was not doing particularly well in their location as it is. I've been in this industry for a long time, and I will almost guarantee that one or both of the existing burrito restaurants will shut its doors within 2 years. My guess is Qdoba, as Flying Burrito is paying less rent and Fayetteville tends to favor local business over chains in the downtown area.

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There's a good post about paid parking and Dickson St restaurants here:

http://fayettevilledailydemocrat.blogspot.com/2010/11/dickson-dining-dent.html

The money quote:

"Here's the bottom line on the impact of paid parking on Dickson Street restaurants: the HMR sales taxes collected on them all in August 2010 with two weeks of paid parking were higher than August 2009 with free parking. Any claim that paid parking has helped business is actually stronger than those who whine about lower sales as a result, but I won't go there just yet."

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There's a good post about paid parking and Dickson St restaurants here:

http://fayettevilled...ining-dent.html

The money quote:

"Here's the bottom line on the impact of paid parking on Dickson Street restaurants: the HMR sales taxes collected on them all in August 2010 with two weeks of paid parking were higher than August 2009 with free parking. Any claim that paid parking has helped business is actually stronger than those who whine about lower sales as a result, but I won't go there just yet."

Two weeks in August is an awfully small sample. I would like to see the numbers for September and October as well. A single event, ie Beauty in the Beast at the Walton Arts Center, could have a signifcant positive impact on the restaurant activity in the area over a short period.

My thoughts are based on discussions with bar owners and restaurant owners that I know personally.

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Re your discussions, it sounds like they match up with what many of the restaurant and bar owners are saying publicly: doom and gloom, sales down 50%, we're moving to Bentonville etc. We'll see. Even if sales are down (or up) significantly, I don't know how you separate out correlation and causation. There's so many other variables at play other than parking...businesses opening and closing, increased numbers of students, vacancy changes, the general economy, population change, varying numbers of specials events, growth/decline in other areas of town, and who knows what else.

Also, Battle Royale Of Restaurants Where Coeds Are Ogled By Creepy Dudes:

http://www.4029tv.com/news/25839619/detail.html

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This is hilarious- back in August a two week period of claimed bad sales was being used to rail against paid parking. Now, a two week period that shows actual positive numbers is being cited as too short a period to use to judge the effects of paid parking. It seems the numbers aren't being used to decide what position to take on paid parking but are being spun to back up whatever position one already has on paid parking.

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Slim Chickens continues to grow and will be opening a second Fayetteville location soon. This location will be on Joyce Blvd in the Spring Creek Centre. They now have locations in Mid-Town Fayetteville, Rogers, Conway, Jonesboro, Oklahoma City, East and West Norman, and another one coming soon to Edmond, OK.

Slim Chickens

Other restaurants Coming to Fayetteville soon include: HuHot Mongolian Grill, Chipotle, Northern Exposure and Benchwarmers and another Subway (#8 in the city). Although I'm not so sure what will happen with Benchwarmers and Northern Exposure...

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All of the retailers and restaurants in the area have seen a very noticeable decline in their sales since the implementation of the paid parking system. The Underwood building is soon to be foreclosed on and I don't foresee much condo activity in the building or commercial leasing on the spaces that don't have Dickson frontage. The office market downtown is very soft. There is uncertainty around the future of the WAC.

http://www.experiencefayetteville.com/docs/HMR.pdf

I don't see the sales declines that everyone is talking about.

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This has been mentioned before but I still think more time has to be given on the whole parking issue. I think in many instances people are simply jumping to conclusions and then blaming the parking issue to what's wrong. I've been wondering are restaurant owners trying to compare numbers from recent months to figures from the same time last year? I really don't think the whole 'bad economy' had really trickled down through the whole populace the Fall of 2009. I won't go as far as to say the whole parking issue hasn't had any affect. I guess what I'm wondering is for all the people who want to do away with the whole paid parking idea. Are they still wanting some sort of parking garage at some point in the near future? If so how do they think it's going to ever be funded? I don't know maybe they don't intend to plan for the future and just expect things to stay status quo. Perhaps some don't think the city is doing enough, but it seems to me that the city seems to be trying to work with restaurant and business owners. I guess I still just don't get it as to why this seems to be such a huge issue to some patrons. But I can't really fault the city either for trying to do this and plan for the future. Although maybe the city should have tried to do a little more to educate people ahead of time and get people adjusted to the changes.

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