Slew of closings a tad troubling - OPINION
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • November 29, 2012 @ 9:41am
Buffalo—or any other major metropolitan area, for that matter—is no stranger to business closings. Establishments move on for different reasons—poor sales, corrupt ownership, relocation or simply a desire to move on and try something else. It’s truly the “circle of life” for businesses. What’s worrying, though, is when several occur in a short period of time.
Mohawk Place’s announcement last Sunday morning took many aback, and it’s led many local luminaries, websites and blogs into asking, “what’s your favorite memory at the ‘Hawk?” Nick Mendola waxed poetic and thanked the owners, BuffaBLOG started a series to memorialize shows and Mohawk’s Facebook page has been bombarded by sad—yet grateful—indie music fans.
Mohawk’s demise leads the charge of several other local businesses closing, from NoNoo Ramen to K Gallagher’s, Cozumel Grill, Cazenovia Cafe, Morrissey’s, Benchwarmers and Prime 490. No one’s sure if Fiamma Steak will re-open after months off for remodeling.
One business’s failure is another’s opportunity, however, and we’re excited to see the types of local businesses that step forward and take the worthy risk of starting/moving a business in a recovering city slowly on the rise. Whether it’s the “authentic Mexican” eatery that’ll replace NoNoo, Dog Ears Cafe instead of Cazenovia Cafe or the bar that will snuggle north of Allen in place of Cozumel, there’s still plenty of promise. Helium Comedy Club, which steps in for Morrissey’s and Benchwarmers, will welcome Jim Norton on New Year’s Eve. That’s progress.
The goal is for new businesses to outshine the products of national chains that are slowly infiltrating the region. Wal-Mart will now have a foothold in the city, Don Tequila will replace Gallagher’s and Panera Bread is set to swoop onto Elmwood. In one sense, it’s unfortunate that these national competitors are pushing out a few local businesses, but it’s also a positive sign that major companies see the city of Buffalo as a place in which to invest.
Healthy competition and a strong local presence will be necessary for an emergent Buffalo—will a new spate of local restaurants and businesses be more sustainable?
(Header photo courtesy of Cozumel’s Facebook page.)