Any consultant will tell you to thoroughly research a location before leasing or buying. What’s the traffic count? What are the income demographics? Are there nearby competitors? What are the zoning restrictions? How visible is the restaurant to passers-by?
Did we do our due diligence and careful research before signing our lease?
From day one our thought has been to take the food to the people _ delivery, catering. And if customers must come in, offer take-out. The dining room can only seat about eight to 10 people. We won’t survive on that, so take-out and delivery will be of the utmost importance.
Yet in the past couple of months of cleaning and restoring this little restaurant, I’ve come to appreciate its corner location and hope we become a place for neighbors to hang out. Frank’s Kitchen sits at the corner of 26th Avenue and High Street in the north central Denver neighborhood called Whittier, only a few minutes from downtown.
The historic neighborhood is named after abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier and still has quite a few Victorian homes built in the 1880s. The Whittier Neighborhood Association’s website claims the neighborhood has been racially integrated since the 1890s.
From our many weekends of power-washing kitchen equipment in the parking lot, we’ve noticed a good mix of people passing by_ black, white, Hispanic and Asian _ in cars, on bikes, jogging, walking and pushing baby strollers. We’ve met some blacks who have lived in the neighborhood for decades and few young white couples who moved in last year. Every couple of blocks there seems to be a house or two being remodeled.
Do we regret not doing our due diligence? A little bit. That might have saved us from a spanking by zoning (a post for another day). Yet, we still haven’t looked up the traffic counts or demographics. But if we can price ourselves in that sweet spot between upper and middle incomes, and offer an interesting variety of dishes, then Frank’s Kitchen will be as integrated as the neighborhood.