Prime Shuts Down

3 Dec

I don’t like the trend happening around Oxford right now. I found out tonight that Prime has been closed since November 10 and I didn’t hear a peep from anyone about it. If that’s not a sign of how slow the business was going, I don’t know what is.

Maybe it’s time for us to take a look at which restaurants have closed their doors recently and figure out if there’s some kind of pattern or if it’s just a random symptom of the economy. Over the past year, the following restaurants have closed:

  • Prime
  • Yocona (this weekend)
  • Varsity Grille
  • Fotino’s Deli
  • Wing Fanatic
  • Bofield’s
  • 3 Guys Pizza
  • Andy’s Steakhouse
  • Marie’s Lebanese Cuisine
  • Catfish One
  • El Sombrero
  • Bad Boy’z

This list averages out to one restaurant closing per month. If I were to sit down and try to figure out why each of these restaurants closed, some would honestly just be the economy. Others could be more clearly defined, and I’m sure you have your own opinions from visiting the individual businesses. The idea of owning a restaurant is an exciting one; unfortunately, far too many people jump in with both feet before properly laying plans for the road ahead.

There’s a wealth of information available today to help restaurateurs when they feel that things are starting to go downhill. I recently came across a list of The 18 Ways to Prevent & Reverse Failure in a restaurant. Another great tactic is to visit restaurants that are already doing well to understand why they’re so popular. Is it the variety of food, excellent customer service, low prices, or something else that’s making them a favorite?

While we can’t stop restaurants from closing, maybe we can help minimize the numbers. As a consumer, be more aware of what your favorite restaurants are doing right—or wrong—and don’t be afraid to let the owner know.

12 Responses to “Prime Shuts Down”

  1. Conner December 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    Hey, I ate at Wing Fanatic. Wings were great but the guy that owned the place introduced himself to customers with “Roll Tide”, wings were good but his rent was $4,800 per month. Thats alot of wings!!! As for 3 guys, they had sucky pizza. I mean its hard to make bad pizza but they did. The gas station in Abbeville has better pizza. Speaking of bad… Bad Boyz? Seriously? Bad Boyz? Nuff said!

  2. John December 12, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Bofields closed because the couple owning it wanted to retire, they tried selling it to a former employee but he did not have the experience needed to run it.

  3. Shedder December 10, 2010 at 5:53 pm #

    Lenora’s may be the next victim. One of our favorite lunch spots until today when there was no one to seat us, greet us, etc. We stood waiting for about 5 minutes and then turned tail and headed for Boure’ where we enjoyed the traditional great service and great food for our Friday lunch date. We won’t bother with Lenora’s again.

  4. olemissreb December 6, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Prime – too expensive (don’t charge for refills on a coke if you charge $15 for a sandwich)
    Yocona – tough new location, bad business management
    Varsity Grille – marketing
    Fotinos – not open for dinner, too big of portions, wrong restaurant in wrong spot
    Wing fanatic – too big of a spot after the move
    Bofields – no clue.
    3 Guy’s – too much competition

    I think we have too many restaurants in Oxford, which is weeding out the ones that aren’t good or very well managed. I know of a few well managed restaurants that are having a much better year than the last two or three, so I don’t think it’s just economics.

  5. Andrew December 4, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    I think location has alot to do with it when you think about it the buildings that these businesses have occupied seem to not to do well I personally think that those two locations on Jackson 3 guys and bad boys should be demolished I truly believe they are cursed.

    • Anonymous March 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

      food has to be really good, no locations r cursed, remember kalos, not sure why it closed, think owner was tired

  6. Michelle December 4, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    From what I understand, Marie’s closed due to family/health reasons, and not because she wasn’t busy enough. And her rent was slightly more reasonable by being off square. Man, how I miss that place.

  7. Bob December 4, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    You asserted:  “As a consumer, be more aware of what your favorite restaurants are doing . . . wrong—and don’t be afraid to let the owner know.”
    With exquisitely rare exceptions, restaurants in Oxford DO NOT accept criticism well, constructive or otherwise.  Criticism is most definitely NOT in the culture of Oxford.  
    I believe this is some type of self-preservation instinct built into the DNA of Oxonians.  Locally-owned businesses are sacrosanct, inviolable, immune from criticism or violation. The person who criticizes is unholy.  
    Ask yourself:  “Have I ever read an even vaguely negative restaurant review in any of Oxford’s local publications?”  Answer: “Absolutely NEVER.”
    I postulate that Oxford restaurants fail because constructive feedback is taboo in this town.  The restaurants are like children who are not allowed to be criticized by their parents. Their outcome is more random than anything else. 

  8. Don December 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    Rent is way too high for places around the Square

    • g December 3, 2010 at 9:38 pm #

      and prices are WAY too high around the square!! The one time I ate at Prime was for Sunday Brunch after church one Father’s Day, what food that was there was dried out looking, running out of food and for 3 people was $65!! Frankly I’m surprised they lasted as long as they did.

      • Bob December 4, 2010 at 2:07 am #

        PRIME was unequivocally, hands-down, THE Most Expensive Restaurant in Town. AND it was the most atrocious value in town. The only reason it stayed open as long as it did was because it was parasitical to the business travelers who stayed at the Inn.
        I went two or three times to patronize waiter and manager friends. I know of NO other locals, besides myself, who ever set foot in the place. I suspect it was buoyed entirely by transient customers.

    • SAM December 4, 2010 at 11:09 am #

      Of the 12 restaurants listed above, only four were anywhere near the Square.

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