All of you brave — or maybe just desperate — people who opened food businesses during the recession-that's-allegedly-over, thank you so much for adding to a vibrant independent restaurant landscape in the worst financial conditions in living memory.
Some of you were well into opening a place when the economic elevator dropped. Maybe the downturn sped up — or slowed — your timetable as you launched your dream. A few of you, those who lost jobs and couldn't replace them, used the opportunity to open a specialty business that we'd never had before, or never had enough of. A few of you had owned restaurants previously, and felt that opening another restaurant was your best pick from a pretty uncertain hand.
Maybe the shrunken customer census meant you ran out of cash within months. Maybe you managed to eke it out for a couple of lean years before closing. You did your best, and thank you. You're certainly not alone — by early 2009, so many restaurants were closing that Bites had to resort to a monthly roundup to keep track.
Some of you managed to navigate the perilous waters and opened restaurants that thrived. But not all.
I hope I speak for Bites readers when I say I ate at your place when I could, and sent people to you when I thought they'd enjoy it. Opening a restaurant is so difficult in even good economic times. You deserved the success and and not the failures.
That's what I'm thankful for this week as Thanksgiving approaches. What food-related topic made you grateful this week?