In February I posted about my reaction to a beloved restaurant closing due to the winter’s impact on sales. Sadly, it’s happening again. Estia, a great Greek restaurant, is closing because they had a poor winter.
What’s shocking about this closure is that Estia is located on Spring Garden road. Spring Garden is arguably the most active street in downtown Halifax. To see a restaurant close because of poor sales in winter is concerning. What’s going on here? Halifax is not a city that relies on the wallets of tourists, so why are businesses on busy streets not getting enough patronage to keep going?
It’s hard to believe that it is solely because of weather. Snow and cold have come and gone many times before and businesses keep going. I don’t think it’s the business either. All of my experiences in Estia have been wonderful. So, are customers not frequenting restaurants? Have these restaurants lost their competitive edge? What’s the impact of landlords and property tax?
I’m not sure why businesses are closing but I have an idea why some are thriving.
Consider Two If By Sea. Zane Kelsall, TIBS owner and Dartmouth champion, told his story at a public engagement event in February. What I gathered form his tale is that the reason for his success is that the community loves his business and he loves his community.
Are businesses along Spring Garden engaging with their community? Are restaurants treating their customers like guests at their dinner table? I’d love to find out. Loving their communities could help them weather the storm of a winter sales slump.
In the meantime, if you love Estia or delicious Greek food you have until the end of Sunday. Go out and support them. Certainly the owners made this decision with a heavy heart, help them by showing them that they community has appreciated them and their tasty offering.