A shame

It bugs me when I see opportunity being wasted, particularly when there is so much potential for greatness.

Case in point — the old LatinAmerican Club building at the corner of Third and Magazine. Here’s a two-story building with a full kitchen space, a reasonably lengthy bar, two (good) pool tables and large French doors that open onto Magazine. It had been open most nights until about two weeks ago, when it closed tight as the proberbial drum.

The clientele varied but was consistent in its smallness. I never saw more than a dozen people in there, even though there was a brief stab at serving (good) oysters. We tried to help as much as we could, stopping by for at least one drink 3-4 times a week or more.

I don’t know if it’s licensing problems, a lack of marketing ability, shortness of money or what. But the location alone (near The Rendezvous, The Balcony Bar, Parasol’s and a dozen other spots) makes it a goldmine waiting to happen. Anyone have any idea what’s going on?

4 Comments so far

  1. Lisa Palumbo (unregistered) on July 17th, 2005 @ 2:41 pm

    But the location alone (near The Rendezvous, The Balcony Bar, Parasol’s and a dozen other spots) makes it a goldmine waiting to happen. Anyone have any idea what’s going on?

    Perhaps the problem is The Rendevous, Parasol’s, The Balcony Bar? Being just one more bar in an area with lots of other bars in a city with a squillion bars means you have to have something about you that makes you significantly different from your competition. And that difference has to be meaningful to enough people to make being in business worthwhile. In a city like ours with its almost limitless supply of watering holes, it’s tough coming up with that one thing that will make people choose your place over all the others when it comes time to pull cash out of their wallets. How easy is it to do this without resorting to something that might be perceived as hot today and passe’ tomorrow? Potential is essentially meaningless without the resources and the will to bring it to fulfillment and perhaps that’s too much of a high-risk venture in the absence of an idea that transcends the trendy hot-spot’s short lifespan.

    (Since you guys don’t accept blogspot URLs, I’ve used one of my other sites as a proxy from which you can access my blogs.)

  2. Craig (unregistered) on July 18th, 2005 @ 8:05 pm

    That’s what I’m saying — the place has so much potential but nothing has been done to capitalize on it. And that’s a shame, since even a modicum of effort could make it a nice place. Something. ANYthing.

    Another example of commercial Darwinism, which is, overall, a good thing.

  3. Lisa Palumbo (unregistered) on July 18th, 2005 @ 11:56 pm

    Unfortunately, ANYthing won’t work, no matter how much or how little money, time and effort it would take. It can’t be just anything; it has to be the right thing. I imagine that, in this city, food and beverage operations must be the riskiest venture one could undertake, given the competition. Right up there with almost anything having to do with music.

    There’s another great example of a great unutilized location falling to ruin near my house: the former site of K&B/Rite Aid/Canal Villere on the corner of Carrollton and Claiborne. I’ve been lobbying Trader Joe’s to open in New Orleans since the mid-1980s and when that spot opened up, I even offered to help them with the legwork to secure it. Talk about potential! PERFECT location for a Trader Joe’s; no grocery stores in the neighborhood, near the Universities, a place for the befuddled toursits to grab a snack and a cool drink when they reach the end of the streetcar line, (as opposed to looking at the lovely eyesores that grace the corner today as they wait for the ride back.) Their response has always been, “Sorry, but we do not take requests for store locations,” along with a polite expanation of how the company does things. I’ve given up.

  4. Craig (unregistered) on July 19th, 2005 @ 7:40 am

    A Trader Joe’s would indeed be a great idea there. It would be a really worthy destination at the end of the streetcar line.

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