Hi and question about bringing an old chain back to life.
First post. First, I gotta say, I love the idea of Roadfood. To me, its all about the food. I mean, atmosphere, questionable service, ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING is behind the food in importance to me. I mean the greasiest hole in the wall is heaven if they can make and serve something dreams are made out of. Tough to find co diners though. "I want ATMOSPHERE".....Oh boy, I'm eating alone again.
But, anyway. I reached an old post by googling Beefsteak Charlies. While all seemed to remember the concept fondly, many seemed to think it is a concept that would and could never be sustained today. While some aspects must update, I think it was such a unique concept that it could be tweaked and run today.
I collect restaurant menus of out of business restaurants, classic restaurants and funky restaurants. I also worked, while going to college, at a Beefsteak Charlies when they were booming. And I mean BOOMING. I know the good and the bad about the chain. And with todays economy and eating habits, I want this chain (or the same chain with a different name) to resurface.
I know there is a BC in NYC. ANd supposedly another opening in NJ, I think. What do you guys think? BC was great chain, where you got your money's worth and when run correctly, it was pretty damn good food. Not the best steak, ribs or seafood in the world, but better than some I eat now that are supposedly a higher end animal.
-Me, I would think you would have to:
-Update the dark atmosphere. I know dark is steakhouse, but higher end.
-The booze aspect would have to be tweaked or eliminated and replaced.
-The salad bar would have to be expanded. But it was a good one back then. Most of the items were made on premise.
-THe menu would have to include a FEW updated items.
-Shrimp is just about as cheap NOW as it was back then. While 99.9% of seafood has shot throught the roof, wholesaled shrimp has remained REMARKABLY steady.
- I think salad bars, antipasto bars, etc are poised to make a comeback. Greens are more popular. "Salads" (even the unhealthy version) are popular, even if its provides a false sense of "healthiness". And being "free", thats a magic word ALWAYS, especially in this economy.
-Beef will ALWAYS be this countries pride and joy. Good press, bad press, AMericans eat beef. And lots of it. Now the price has gone up considerably, so the prices would have to be adjusted. But I don't remember being WOWED by the prices back then. I mean, I didn't consider them high or cheap. It was what you got for your buck that impressed me.
-On the business end of it, labor was real low. In todays world where GOOD help is almost RIDICULOUSLY rare, this is a good thing. They used RUSSIAN service which enabled the owner to cut kitchen help drastically.
WHile my restaurant days have long been over, I LOVE kicking concepts around and trying to figure out how to make them work. Maybe BC has a place in my heart because I loved working there, but I KNOW how concepts get hot and spread like wildfire. In the northeast, the past two decades saw BBQ come in, Mexican TRY to come in, and now we are in a burger war. I think the next 10 years are gonna be family priced steak years. COmfort food is here to stay, food police be damned. Americans are having kids above the world pace (especially Europe). Family meals and time together has rebounded. And the economy is going nowhere quick.
I think someone is gonna create his or herself a nice little niche.
Thanks for reading this.