My first business was next door to a very nice Tiki place in Manassas, VA - pu pu platters, exotic drinks, very good asian food made with fresh ingredients. As their "neighbor" I was allowed into their kitchen which was always immaculate. I don't know that they grossed, but it was widely accepted that they were the most successful restaurant in the county.
Then, one of their jealous competitors started a (totally false) rumor that there were dog and cat carcasses found in their trash bin. Incredibly, the local paper printed it as a story. Even though the story was soon retracted, the damahe was done and my neighbors business fell to a trickle and closed.
The next time I saw the owner (who always greeted his guests in a Tuxedo) he was working as a grease monkey is a small gas station in a seedy sevtion of Arlington, VA which he and his partner had purchased with the remnants of their business. He took the whole debacle in good humor, though he seemed to regret that I had seen him in that circumstance.
Over a decade later I was taken for a business dinner to a high end Chinese Restaurant located in a very exclusive area in Tyson's Corner. When I walked in I was greeted by a much older but very familiar gentleman in a Tuxedo. He was very emotional upon seeing me again and simply said "I'm back
At the end of the meal he came over and comped the $250. check saing simply "Nice to see you again, Mr. Jim
". My host left a $100 tip and our business went well. Needless to say, I returned often.
<message edited by MetroplexJim on Thu, 04/19/12 11:20 AM>