Another well-known restaurant bites the dust, and a discussion of why restaurants close
As msal3 pointed out under an earlier post, Northwoods in West Annapolis will be closing its doors Aug. 16. The press release that came to me started by saying, "Score another one for the poor economy."
Northwoods, which has been around for 23 years, is owned by Russell Brown, who is also the head chef. He doesn't know what he'll be doing, but he plans to stay in the Annapolis area.
Under that same earlier post, Jason asked for a discussion of why so many restaurants close. It's a topic we've discussed before, when I've complained that it's usually difficult to find out; but there's certainly more to be said. ...
He wondered if the city was to blame for Zodiac's closing. The owner thinks so, and certainly the construction was a contributing factor; but as someone else pointed out, Tapas Teatro and the crepe place seem to be doing OK in the same block.
Usually the reason places close is a combination of factors, starting with the fact that great chefs who own their own restaurants aren't necessarily great business people. Nor should they have to be.
Then it's just a terribly hard business, even though a lot of people go into it starry-eyed. The hours are brutal, the frustrations endless.
Then there are the factors you just can't predict, even if you're doing everything right, such as when Donna's became the cafe for all the Bibelots, and then the bookstore chain went bankrupt. Donna's managed to survive, but it wasn't easy.
Or the owner runs off with his partner's wife.
Or we get an economy like the current one.
Or the city decides to streetscape the block in front of your restaurant.
The one thing no one ever says to me is, "I had to close my restaurant because for whatever reason, customers just didn't like my cooking enough to come."
As for another possible closing, Drew from Greektown mentioned that Tiburzi's in Canton has seemed closed since May 24. I haven't heard anything, but the Web site is still up and running. On the other hand, I've called a couple of times and always gotten a busy signal. Anyone know anything one way or the other?
(Monica Lopossay/Sun photographer)