Wednesday, February 24, 2016

There's Something Happening Here

White Hut calling it quits

Yes, the restaurant business is the most unmerciful of all when it comes to failure rate before a 5th anniversary.

But the number of Amherst downtown food businesses that have failed or been sold/renamed in the past year or so makes me wonder what the hell is happening here.  But what it is ain't exactly clear.

 Baby Berk is a popular on campus late night food truck

With UMass Auxiliary Enterprises (aka dining services) doing everything possible to keep students on campus and with the built in advantage that comes with being a tax exempt entity, it's beginning to look like a hard working, tax generating, mom & pop simply can't compete.

 Location next to Bueno Y Sano didn't help of course


17 comments:

Anonymous said...

For sale implied profit, for lease implies not.

Odd sign.

Anonymous said...

You can't compete with "Free Food Fridays" at UMass.

Anonymous said...

A couple things to think about, and for background, I'll just say that I have relatives as local business owners present and former, as well as UMass staff...

1. Amherst is anti-business. The town does everything it can to delay permits, delay inspections, delay and charge fees. Rents are extraordinary, especially for a town of just 9,000. Ok I know there are 28,000 UMass students, but they don't always go to town, and especially do not eat there. The solution? Vote to elect a pro-business mayor and get rid of the rigid and destructive permit system.

2. Subsidize rents for small businesses in Amherst. The town can afford it. Roberts and Gillian own most of the viable commercial real estate. They should be required to charge a more affordable rental fee for small businesses.

Anonymous said...

Old man, do you want students in town or not? Can't win with idiots like you. Go to another board hearing. Why don't you do an expose on the few landlords who charge crazy rents, in a cow town.

Anonymous said...

Ever see a college town where there are no students in town? That's Amherst. That's how the town likes it, and UMASS makes money.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, I doubt that UMass even breaks even on that "Baby Berk" truck -- it is something they started in response to TOWNIE requests to keep the students on campus.

Well, they did what you asked, and then.....

Anonymous said...

Ed again you talk out of your ass. The dining commons got into the "Roach Coach" business 20yrs. ago to compete for the construction break business. It grew from there you idiot. Why don't you just go away, everything you think you know is shit info.

Anonymous said...

Green Earth Computer also left for cheaper rent in Northampton.

Anonymous said...

People who fail at business always want to blame someone else, like the town or the university.

Restaurants open and close all the time, for a variety of reasons: bad food, bad service, bad location, bad hours, bad marketing, bad fit for the market, lack of interest by owners.

The truth is that Amherst, including downtown Amherst, has plenty of thriving restaurants like The High Horse, Antonio's, Judie's, and Johnny's Tavern, to name just a few.

White Hut seemed to think they could just open up a burger joint in a back alley facing a parking lot, not really tell anyone they were there, and then only stay open until 6:30 pm and close completely on Sundays and Mondays and survive.

It's no surprise they didn't. It's no one's fault but their own.

Anonymous said...

The main problem is that we have kept a separation between students and town. Remember many students do not have cars. Even those with cars do not want to walk to their cars, drive somewhere, when the Baby Berk is in front of their dorm or a snack bar is close.

Want more business, rezone areas adjacent to campus for restaurants and shops. For example - N. Pleasant North of Eastman Lane, North Pleasant between Downtown and UMass, East Pleasant between Strong and Eastman Lane. Any part of UDrive the UMass does not own and Sunset near Fearing. And be proactive on attracting chain restaurants and stores there.

Also build the Gateway project...

Anonymous said...

Fulfilling the Gateway Project plan will be key to attracting students downtown. It's just close enough that students would be willing to walk to it, and from there, downtown is very close.

Anonymous said...

Anti business? Why, yes. What else. Amherst helped elect a President who said to small business owners "you didn't build that." About as anti-business as it gets. The man's a Marxist. He can't go away fast enough.

Anonymous said...

I don't think students would've gone to White Hut very much even if UMass weren't trying to destroy local businesses (which I agree it is). WH closed at 6:30 pm! Those are terrible, terrible, terrible hours for a college town; hell, any small town in general! I'm not a student, but a Umass employee and even I rarely go into downtown before 7 or 8 at night...

Not only were they not open at useful hours, but their product wasn't that good. I did go to WH a few times. Food was okay. Nothing great, but overpriced and the service was absolutely horrendous on at least 2 occasions. Given the much better food available at, say, High Horse (which is also open late), I'm not shocked that WH failed.

Anonymous said...

The "for sale, for lease" makes sense -- they may be trying to franchise the name and rent the venue concurrently.

Dr. Ed said...

The dining commons got into the "Roach Coach" business 20yrs. ago

Bullshite. It started September 6, 2011. See http://www.foodservicedirector.com/managing-your-business/generating-revenue/articles/babyberk-food-truck-debuts-umass

http://blog.masslive.com/umass101/2011/09/meals_on_wheels_-_campus_editi.html

...to compete for the construction break business.

For all I know -- or care -- Meridith could have been providing hookers for the construction workers. That's irrelevant.

They started doing this after the Red Sox riots, and in an attempt to keep kids from walking downtown...

Oh, and I HAVE CITATIONS, ABOVE,, penis breath.....

Anonymous said...

Ed, your facts are true shit as usual. Maybe if you worked there for the last 30 yrs. you might actually know what has happened. They should never give a degree to someone again who is truly an idiot.

Dr. Ed said...

Something they didn't have before 2011 somehow they had in 1995? How'd that happen?