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flyguy
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Reged: 08/27/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Fox Point
Opening a business in Old Town...?
      #1160289 - 08/27/07 11:31 PM (71.171.101.246)

I've been a Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania resident for 17 years. I used to go downtown from time to time to eat at some of my favorite restaurants (Jetts and Spanky's), which have been history for some time now. Now I almost never go and I think it's a terrible shame that there is nothing there to compel me to make the rather short trip there. I drove cross country from Los Angeles to F-burg last year and was dismayed to find the country nearly wall-to-wall with Targets, Wal-Marts, Best Buys, Ruby Tuesdays, et al. The only thing to tell me where I was was the topography. Call me old fashioned, but I think that's a shame. I really miss having my favorite local places to eat. I can't help but think that Old Town Fredericksburg has the potential to be a great colonial downtown. Having said that, I have an idea and I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is and open a business in Old Town. It's a restaurant with an outdoor component to it. Ideally, it should be located in a scenic area, close to the river and away from residences. An existing building with a kitchen (or means of adding a kitchen) would be most helpful. With the current plans for redevelopment downtown, can anyone suggest a good location? Does anyone know who in city government I would contact to explore these options? The business would employ about 15-25 people and would provide a healthy revenue stream for the city. Any help or ideas would be appreciated. I'm new to the forum, so please be gentle

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hippydotmom
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Reged: 12/18/03
Posts: 9651
Loc: Group W Bench
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: flyguy]
      #1160290 - 08/27/07 11:36 PM (71.62.227.234)

It saddens me that you cannot find anything in downtown to make you want to go there. I work on Caroline Street and I love the atmosphere. Business is good and local restaurants and other retailers seem to be thriving.

Having said that, I'm happy to see people want to improve the area and add another element. There are a few empty spots on Sophia street that may be worth inspecting. Call Tommy Mitchell to see what is available.

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I heart True_Bob.


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oisin
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Reged: 07/24/02
Posts: 20941
Loc: Fredericksburg
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: flyguy]
      #1160291 - 08/27/07 11:41 PM (162.83.105.236)

use your imagination........there are many places out there.

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FUGuzzi
FUG Graduate


Reged: 08/03/05
Posts: 208
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: oisin]
      #1160314 - 08/28/07 06:12 AM (72.209.240.156)

From what I understand, Mr. Dee's on Lafayette has been for sale for a long time now. Not the best place as far as scenery goes but I think the location is otherwise pretty good.

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Hurdleguru
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Reged: 10/25/03
Posts: 3979
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: FUGuzzi]
      #1160426 - 08/28/07 10:21 AM (71.171.77.202)

I would talk with the owners of the New Orleans restaurant. I know they do minimal business at best and could be convinced to sell. I don't see there being much opportunity for outdoor spaces though in the area, besides maybe a few tables.

From a location standpoint, Mr. Dee's would be less than desirable and has almost no foot traffic and less road traffic. The neighborhood would also decrease the value of the business.


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oisin
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Reged: 07/24/02
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Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: Hurdleguru]
      #1160427 - 08/28/07 10:30 AM (165.176.11.34)

Quote:

Mr. Dee's would be less than desirable and has almost no foot traffic and less road traffic. The neighborhood would also decrease the value of the business.




yes but what is being built on the other side of the street?


Cobblestone Square

Edited by oisin (08/28/07 10:33 AM)


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Dogfish
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Reged: 08/24/06
Posts: 1057
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: flyguy]
      #1160434 - 08/28/07 10:57 AM (72.219.197.233)

Do you have any experience in the restaurant business? If not, you may very likely end up spending a lot of money just to lick your wounds and close up shop a few years later (like many, if not most, of the restaurants in downtown ultimately do).

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dadster3
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Reged: 01/15/03
Posts: 3601
Loc: Wakefield Free State
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: flyguy]
      #1160446 - 08/28/07 11:25 AM (4.249.228.12)

I would contact the city's office of econ. development to start. Also there is a business (I think they are still there) on Princess Anne next to Apple Music that deals in business sales.

As to existing locations, Chords just closed (used to be Spanky's) and the old Smith Cottage restaurant at Princess Anne and Fauquier is still vacant. I don't know what's going on with the Old Towne Cafe (?) on Caroline St. They have the windows papered over and rennovation going on inside.

If there is a God, you might be able to buy out "Wings on the Water" on Sophia St., a really superb site with its own dock and a huge party deck built to withstand floods.

--------------------
States' rights end where human rights begin.


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rellascout
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Reged: 02/09/04
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Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: flyguy]
      #1160513 - 08/28/07 12:48 PM (67.62.140.14)

Downtown is a bitch to open up a restaurant. The buildings are not suited to it. Most are wedged into spaces that would never get approval today but are grandfathered in. I worked in the restaurant biz downtown for about 6 years at Slimey Ps.

I have friends who have opened many places downtown including J. Brians, Orbits etc... There is not a real spot that covers what you want. I am not sure how Tru Luv is doing on Sophia but that could work. The big problem there is no foot traffic.

The best spots on Caroline are taken. They have been for a long time. Outdoors also will not work well in downtown. Those who live downtown do not want night life. They do not want people outside at night disturbing their little downtown.

Good luck. I also agree with Dogfish that if you do not have a restaurant experience or a partner with experience you will have the cards stacked against you.

Rellascout

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If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers. -T. Pynchon
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. -P. Townshend

Edited by rellascout (08/28/07 12:50 PM)


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Heidelberg
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Reged: 06/14/02
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Loc: Fredericksburg
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: flyguy]
      #1161850 - 08/31/07 08:01 AM (71.63.67.103)

I can tell you that I prefer going downtown versus "plastic Land". Put something decent close to stores so people can go window shopping afterwards to walk off food.

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If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.
George Carlin


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FUGuzzi
FUG Graduate


Reged: 08/03/05
Posts: 208
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: Heidelberg]
      #1162689 - 09/02/07 01:21 PM (72.209.240.156)

what or where is "plastic land"

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bailamerica
FUG Freshman


Reged: 09/08/07
Posts: 11
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: FUGuzzi]
      #1165721 - 09/08/07 01:30 AM (70.5.101.233)

Quote:

what or where is "plastic land"




+1


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Burqajoint
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Reged: 01/06/04
Posts: 39776
Loc: The grotto at Chateau Burquoi...
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: flyguy]
      #1165724 - 09/08/07 01:40 AM (72.209.240.42)

You're gonna need some serious dough to open and maintain a restaurant downtown.
Often a place opens, does well for a year or two, then customers fade away because they're attracted to another "new" place to eat.
Not trying to scare you off, but you better have your eyes wide open.

If possible, I'd see if I could contact the previous owners of places like Chords, Where the Buffalo Roam, etc. and ask questions such as what would they have done differently.

--------------------
Has Hannity been waterboarded yet?


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Heidelberg
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Reged: 06/14/02
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Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: FUGuzzi]
      #1166299 - 09/09/07 04:37 PM (71.63.67.103)

CP is plastic land for me...

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If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.
George Carlin


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Hurdleguru
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Reged: 10/25/03
Posts: 3979
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: Heidelberg]
      #1166613 - 09/10/07 02:08 PM (71.171.73.72)

I wish I remembered what they said on Top Chef but they gave the dollar amount needed to start and maintain a successful restaurant. They gave a dollar amount for a hometown US and then the amount for some place like DC or NYC. I wanna say that start up costs and to run the restaurant for a year was like $100k. That's why you see so many places like Ruby Tuesdays, etc because they have the capital to keep expanding.

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thatguyb
FUG Sophomore


Reged: 09/26/07
Posts: 55
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: flyguy]
      #1174745 - 09/26/07 12:37 PM (66.171.84.253)

What we need first is a draw to get people downtown with a desire to spend a few $$. We moved here a year ago from Charlottesville, where back in the 80's they closed main street and bricked it over (w/2 1-way cross over streats). Then they had a small ampitheater installed at one end where they had local bands perform (for free) each friday night. I know we have bluemont, but it's in the residential area, and doesn't draw a walking crowd downtown. If enough Caroline St businesses would agree, perhaps we could get a Fri 7pm-Sun closure, which would allow much more pedestrian traffic and outdoor seating. We spent last Sat downtown, and you couldn't hardly get down the cramped sidewalks without stepping out into the street and getting run over.

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dadster3
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Reged: 01/15/03
Posts: 3601
Loc: Wakefield Free State
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: Heidelberg]
      #1175197 - 09/27/07 09:31 AM (4.248.41.162)

Bless your heart! I can't not go there 'cause that's where the stores are, but I don't shop there if I can find what I need/want somewhere else. That goes double for the restaurant chains--but I must admit that those tiny burgers @ Cheeseburgers in Paradise are sorely tempting. (I was coerced into going once....)

--------------------
States' rights end where human rights begin.


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hippydotmom
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Reged: 12/18/03
Posts: 9651
Loc: Group W Bench
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: Burqajoint]
      #1182666 - 10/11/07 01:20 PM (71.62.199.251)

The previous owner of Chords is dead (RIP Julie), otherwise I think she'd be doing pretty well. Nice location.

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I heart True_Bob.


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MrMethane
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Reged: 03/29/06
Posts: 373
Loc: Romulak, VA
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: hippydotmom]
      #1183433 - 10/12/07 10:33 PM (72.209.235.241)

The warehouse on Sophia Street seems to me like it would make a pretty good eatery and there's a decent chunk of outdoor space. It's across street from the city father's land grab for a park, so the value of that parcel is going to go up... It's in the block across from Wings on Water and next to the Richard Johnon Inn parking lot.

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If the speed limit on 95 is enforced by aircraft. How come they can't make everyone go faster ?


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xtina
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Reged: 10/17/07
Posts: 89
Re: Opening a business in Old Town...? [Re: MrMethane]
      #1198623 - 11/08/07 11:14 AM (71.62.123.16)

Try the chamber of commerce and www.gostafford.va.com they both have tips for new small businesses. I would love to have more things to do in Old Town, it is so beautiful there. I think any restaurant that opens these days in a location like that needs to have free wi-fi for its customers. You will be catering to college students. Good luck!

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