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Restaurants Closed

Restaurants Closed

Postby Happy Mom » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:29 pm

South Bend Foodies
Very sad news. The Thistlewaite's are no longer with @Riverfront Cafe. The restaurant is closed as of yesterday. On a similar vein, Millennium Restaurant also in Niles has closed as well.
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Re: Restaurants Closed

Postby backstagedee » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:33 pm

There are more on the way.
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Re: Restaurants Closed

Postby Happy Mom » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:27 am


Riverfront Cafe's closing more than bad luck




By LOU MUMFORD SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE

4:22 p.m. EST, January 25, 2012

NILES — Is it jinxed?

Some Niles residents might think so, given the checkered history of the building known as the Riverfront Cafe, 219 N. Front St. When the business closed Sunday, it marked the third time a restaurant had shut down at the site in the last 19 years.


But rather than bad luck, there were several factors at work in the business’s demise, said Lisa Croteau, the Niles Downtown Development Authority/Main Street program manager. Somewhere in the mix, she said, was the sputtering economy.


“It’s always money. … One of the first things people stopped doing when the economy took a turn was they stopped eating out,’’ she said.

Niles Mayor Mike McCauslin said the economy no doubt was the reason the Millennium Steak House on South 11th Street closed its doors, almost at the same time as the Riverfront Cafe. But a closer look at the Riverfront Cafe situation would reveal “lease issues’’ between the Thistlethwaites and Tom Watson, the property owner, that far outweigh any downturn in business, he said.

“There had been some difficulties back and forth,’’ McCauslin said.

A spokeswoman for Watson, known mainly for his tree service business in Niles, declined to be quoted Wednesday but said Watson already is meeting with other individuals about taking over the cafe. Bill Thistlethwaite couldn’t be reached for comment.

Hopefully, new business owners will deviate from a pattern that began to unfold with the property’s first restaurant, H.I.’s Old Towne Saloon, in the 1980s. Owned by Henry Ingier, also the owner of a restaurant in St. Joseph, business appeared to be good, particularly during Christmas seasons when elaborate decorations supplemented the elevated toy train that circled the restaurant’s first floor.

There wasn’t much explanation when the restaurant closed in 1993 but Ingier later was charged with tax evasion and, in 1996, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. He was ordered, too, to make $93,871 restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

The building stood vacant for nearly a decade before Tammy Watson, then the wife of Tom Watson, and Gerri Klinck, Tammy Watson’s business partner, bought it, renovated it and opened what became the Riverfront Cafe. Once again, business was good, or at least appeared to be, until Tammy Watson’s relationship with Klinck soured and a nearly half million dollar bank note went into default. After the restaurant closed in 2007, the Watsons divorced and the property was conveyed to Tom Watson.

By the time the Thistlethwaites agreed to terms of a land contract and reopened the restaurant the following year, the economy had already begun its slide. Yet there were periods it was popular, despite the economy and the relatively small kitchen space that Croteau said has always been a drawback of the facility.

McCauslin agreed the economy has taken a toll — a total of five businesses have closed this month in Niles or soon will, with Lightning Automotive on Michigan Street the latest — but it appears its been just a minor player as far as the Riverfront Cafe. That makes the restaurant’s situation unusual, if not extraordinary.

How soon it reopens, if it indeed does, is anyone’s guess but Croteau said she knows one thing — actually, two things — for certain. No, the property isn’t jinxed, and, yes, it’ll be missed.

“It’s an anchor for all of downtown,’’ she said. “When that place isn’t open, you know it.’’

http://www.wsbt.com/news/wsbt-riverfron ... 9866.story
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Re: Restaurants Closed

Postby Kent Hizer » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:09 pm

I admire anyone who can make it long term in the restaurant business. I have always had a desire to do it myself until I spend time with someone who does. It is not easy in the best of times, and certainly has to be tough in these times. I think I will stick to puuling my rig to BBQ competitions and cooking for fun. I will leave the rest to the professionals.
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Re: Restaurants Closed

Postby bob_rx2000 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:00 am

You know the fastest way to make a small fortune in the restaurant business, right? Start with a big one.
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Re: Restaurants Closed

Postby backstagedee » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:01 am

bob_rx2000 wrote:You know the fastest way to make a small fortune in the restaurant business, right? Start with a big one.


... and over insure.
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Re: Restaurants Closed

Postby Happy Mom » Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:05 pm

WNDU
One of the owners of Between the Buns confirms the restaurant's Granger location has permanently closed. All other locations remain open.
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Re: Restaurants Closed

Postby raycyrx » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:14 pm

Happy Mom wrote:
WNDU
One of the owners of Between the Buns confirms the restaurant's Granger location has permanently closed. All other locations remain open.

One of the factors sited by the owners was the new smoking laws.
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Re: Restaurants Closed

Postby backstagedee » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:53 pm

That location sold a lot of concert tickets for me.
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Re: Restaurants Closed

Postby Xenokilla » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:33 am

raycyrx wrote:
Happy Mom wrote:
WNDU
One of the owners of Between the Buns confirms the restaurant's Granger location has permanently closed. All other locations remain open.

One of the factors sited by the owners was the new smoking laws.


Well that law went into effect a few years ago, who close down now?
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