The coolest retro neon sign in Amherst will light up once more
Perhaps the greatest ally a small business owner can ask for is a supportive partner.
Either one in the actual business itself to help deal with the infinitely long to do list, or an understanding spouse who knows what you go through 24/7 and offers encouragement when circumstances conspire to overwhelm you.
The main reason Metacomet Cafe closed down somewhat suddenly last fall, after taking more than two years to serve its first burger, is because one of the two business partners -- a blood relative -- took ill, and is no longer in the picture.
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The most recent note (dated 11/19/15) on the door from Spenser Hopton, who is decidedly still in the picture, said the Cafe would reopen by "next month." But now we're in the cold month of January and they still have not reopened.
So I called Spenser to inquire and was assured he has not given up. Metacomet Cafe will reopen by St. Valentine's Day. Yes I know, the dates seem to keep getting pushed into the future just far enough to allow breathing room.
And when you're now going it alone trying to run a business in town center -- the high rent district -- in a market where UMass unfairly competes with you and Internet trolls can savage you on Yelp (or those damn blogs) it's no wonder normal breathing is hard to come by.
Spenser learned a hard lesson from the brief time they were open last summer and will tweak things accordingly. The Cafe will offer a wider array of food -- serving breakfast, lunch and dinner -- with sit down friendly service.
Sounding more upbeat Spenser closed with, "I still have hopes the Metacomet Cafe will be cherished by the entire population -- both students and town folks."
And he's well aware this second chance is also a last chance.