Saturday, January 10, 2015

Downtown Dining Options Expand

27 South Pleasant Street

Two new restaurants will grace Amherst center next month, although both of them will do business in a space previously occupied by dining establishments.

Yes Metacomet Cafe, the restaurant with that cool retro sign that went up 1.5 years ago is, finally, going to open in the former home to Chez Albert before they moved to the north end of town.

Brothers Spencer and Trevor Hopton appeared before the Amherst Select Board back in July for a required Common Victualler License, saying they would be open by September.

Better late than never.

28 Amity Street

Almost directly behind the Metacomet Cafe in a spot formerly occupied by Arise Farm to Table Pub and Pizzeria, a new Italian restaurant, Osteria Vespa, will arise from their ashes, having purchased all the surplus restaurant equipment except for the liquor license.

On Monday night the Amherst Select Board unanimously approved a new all alcohol liquor license for the business, located adjacent to the Amherst Cinema.

 Jonathan Welch (left) Tom Schnapp appear before Amherst Select Board
video


Small business start ups, even in the best of years, fight an uphill battle.  About 1/4 fail in the initial year of opening and by 5th year about half have failed. 

The key of course is having a good product, providing good service, and -- for a business requiring foot traffic -- a good location.  And they don't come any better than downtown Amherst.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

That location in the alley will kill the place as it has done the last two that tried. Or was that three. Worst location in Amherst. Not that location is number one. It isn't actually. As others in that last spot learned it's really about proper funding. Biggest failure in most restaurants is forecasting sales and/or costs well aka poor budgeting which brings me to the reason the cafe will fail. Second to that is food, third well trained, professional staff, then location.

Max Hartshorne said...

Chez Albert was where Metacomet was, not where this Osteria is going to be. I agree with Anon. that Amity street spot is not a good one and who knows how much the rent must be costing. I have been wanting to go have lunch at Metacomet...so they won't open til February??

How have they been able to pay that rent for 1.5 years with no income coming in. WOW!

Anonymous said...

Why is Amherst so anti-business?

Anonymous said...

Which is going to open first, these two or the one in the Trolley Barn in North Amherst?

My bet is that there will be at least one additional new restaurant that is proposed and opened before any of these three open.

Anonymous said...

President Obama and Secretary Clinton are anti business as well. What more do you need to know. "Don't let anybody tell you that, you know, corporations create jobs."--HRClinton

Anonymous said...

Good luck to all the new eateries. Wishing you great success.

Anonymous said...

Amity Street location will get the Amherst Cinema patrons. They will just have to have better prices than Arise. $18 for a personal pizza was ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

And there's your problem. Amherst Cinema folks aren't exactly money spenders. Restaurants aren't socialist family style places looking to give away food. The place opening will not be giving any food away just as the last place wasn't. It will suffer terribly at that location.

prof RM said...

As one who has been opening businesses in this community since the early 90's.

The biggest hurdle to opening a new business is the local and state govts, hands down. Their involvement and desire to get the profit before it is even made has led to the big box revolution.

The best intentions, with the worse results....govt involvement in business. Those in govt should certainly stay out of stuff they know little about, like managing money, resources and people.

Anonymous said...

Can you expand your thoughts on government involvement in business?

Anonymous said...

"Socialist family style places"

Huh? Haven't ever heard of those.

Anonymous said...

Both Tabela and Arise were established with as much insight into Amherst as these idiotic comments-- assuming that Amherst diners (and residents) are caricatures. You can't sell overpriced food. Period. If you charge too much what you're selling, people just won't eat at your place. Location matters, but not so much for a high-end place. Tabela could have made it... if the prices were 10-15% lower. I went there 2-3 times, but it just wasn't worth it. Arise? A "farm-to-table" pizzeria? Please. Never. I would never have gone in there in a million years.