No doubt that we are in the midst of a very unique economic situation, and it has been interesting to see how West Michigan companies are dealing with it. Of course for many of the corporations and larger businesses, layoffs are the prevailing trend. But what about the smaller, local businesses like shops and restaurants? One trend I noticed is some restaurants closing temporarily or indefinitely. I have come across a couple of examples of this but I am guessing there are many more out there.
Boatwerks (yes it is werks, why I don’t know, but I guess it is better than using X instead ex in a name) in Holland in closing its doors from February 1st to April 11th as can be seen on their webpage. This article at the Holland Sentinel talks about it a little more, stating that the decision was based partly to the poor economy.
As a side note read the comments section of the Holland Sentinel article, it is always good for a laugh. For other examples please consider the Ponderosa closing in Holland article, the Sentinel has quite a vibrant community of commenters.
I also came across a restaurant in Grand Rapids and found out through their website that Chez Bayou has closed their doors indefinitely, but the caveat is that their bar is still open serving limited food. So theoretically their transition would be pretty seamless if they decided to reopen; they could just expand their bar food menu, so the regular patrons get exposed, then hopefully send out a press release with their re-opening, and be back on their feet (or not if you consider the comments from the Grand Rapids Urban Planet folks – search for Chez Bayou – comments are none to positive).
There is also River City Slims which has closed down until further notice. The owners are still trying to have the place be a source of revenue for them by offering use of the venue for special events, and as a recording option for musicians. Good for them in leveraging their assets for a source of revenue even in these less than ideal circumstances.
It is always difficult to gauge just how successful a business will be if it closes its doors for a period of time for whatever reason (unless you are a seasonal business in a tourist town). There will be some great challenges ahead for the businesses which temporarily close their doors. Restaurants in general have quite a high rate of failure even without the less than ideal economic climate, and temporarily closing their doors to stop the bleeding could lead to closing up for good. But if could provide your patrons with a date when you will reopen to try again, I would think you have a much better shot at staying around. As a consumer I want answers, and nobody wants period of time to be described as indefinite. Well best of luck to all the business which are dimming the lights (see what I did there, not shutting off the lights but dimming), I hope that you will be back in the near future.
Anyone aware of any other businesses or restaurants undergoing a temporary closure, please post them below.