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Old 12-13-2017, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Boston
7,347 posts, read 15,321,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjimmy24 View Post
I feel like the same 20 groups of people own 95% of all eateries in Boston. Kinda boring.
This is true pretty much everywhere. I can't think of too many major cities where big restaurant groups don't own many/most of the restaurants.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,900 posts, read 6,832,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
This is true pretty much everywhere. I can't think of too many major cities where big restaurant groups don't own many/most of the restaurants.
Ehh it's more true here. Sorry to say. Lots of smaller cities have more unique offerings than Boston does. High barriers to entry, it makes sense.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:37 AM
 
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Especially when there is a liquor license involved. Boston makes It almost never worth it to try to open up a mom and pop whatever type eatery. Which is sad.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeePee View Post
Especially when there is a liquor license involved. Boston makes It almost never worth it to try to open up a mom and pop whatever type eatery. Which is sad.
Indeed, that is a major issue. I'm always amazed by how much more I enjoy bars and eateries elsewhere. Not saying there's nothing good in Boston, but you'd expect a lot more.
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Boston
7,347 posts, read 15,321,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjimmy24 View Post
Ehh it's more true here. Sorry to say. Lots of smaller cities have more unique offerings than Boston does. High barriers to entry, it makes sense.
I've never seen anything that would prove (or even indicate) it's more true here than any other comparable city. I agree it's less of an issue in smaller cities which by their nature tend to be more affordable (lower barrier to entry), and have a smaller restaurant market (so no need for multiple restaurant groups). But in cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, etc. Large restaurant groups are the norm. And for the most part, many patrons at these places don't even realize they're visiting part of a larger group. Chains are one thing, but restaurant management groups often seek out top tier talent and operate their restaurants as unique concepts. The Columbus Hospitality Group operates some of the best restaurants in the city (think Sorellina, Moo..., Ostra, L'Andana, etc.). These are all very good, very unique concepts, and hardly "chains." Another, less high end, example is the Alpine Restaurant Group. They run Posto, Painted Burro, Rosebud, and a few others. All excellent, quality, unique places.

I'm not a proponent of the high barriers to entry here (it's super expensive and liquor licensure is a mess) and wish it would change, but the situation is identical in all of the top tier food cities in the U.S. Especially New York, San Francisco, LA, Portland OR, etc. In some cases (San Francisco), it's worse. Local restaurant groups often act in a positive way by opening doors for local talent to work in quality concepts without the talent having to deal with the barriers to entry. In many cases, restaurants are built around the talent. You can't escape restaurant groups in Boston or the other large, more expensive cities. And they're not always a negative.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,900 posts, read 6,832,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I've never seen anything that would prove (or even indicate) it's more true here than any other comparable city. I agree it's less of an issue in smaller cities which by their nature tend to be more affordable (lower barrier to entry), and have a smaller restaurant market (so no need for multiple restaurant groups). But in cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, etc. Large restaurant groups are the norm. And for the most part, many patrons at these places don't even realize they're visiting part of a larger group. Chains are one thing, but restaurant management groups often seek out top tier talent and operate their restaurants as unique concepts. The Columbus Hospitality Group operates some of the best restaurants in the city (think Sorellina, Moo..., Ostra, L'Andana, etc.). These are all very good, very unique concepts, and hardly "chains." Another, less high end, example is the Alpine Restaurant Group. They run Posto, Painted Burro, Rosebud, and a few others. All excellent, quality, unique places.

I'm not a proponent of the high barriers to entry here (it's super expensive and liquor licensure is a mess) and wish it would change, but the situation is identical in all of the top tier food cities in the U.S. Especially New York, San Francisco, LA, Portland OR, etc. In some cases (San Francisco), it's worse. Local restaurant groups often act in a positive way by opening doors for local talent to work in quality concepts without the talent having to deal with the barriers to entry. In many cases, restaurants are built around the talent. You can't escape restaurant groups in Boston or the other large, more expensive cities. And they're not always a negative.
I see such things all the time. I am merely pointing out that we have lots of de facto chains, although I get the sense that you take umbrage at the term. Call them restaurant groups if you want. Claim they are super unique if you want. I just have not seen that. I vastly prefer numerous other cities bar and restaurant scenes to here. Also, not all restaurant groups are high end either. Many just own the same mediocre sports bars and "Irish" pubs.

Maybe you're right about food for the wealthy and elite in the city. I for one, and most people in Boston (though you'd never know this by reading this board), don't often feel like/are not able to just go drop $100 or more on dinner. High end stuff is typically dull anyway (at least the atmosphere and people).

Other cities have just more open competition or people willing to work hard. They don't need to be millionaires to get started. It's honestly much more interesting.
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Old 12-14-2017, 05:41 AM
 
1,097 posts, read 438,832 times
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It's just depressing to know that the generation after us will be owned under the umbrella of a few large conglomerates. No matter how unique they make your experience feel its just lipstick on a pig. Gap is Banana Republic is Old Navy, they each have somewhat of a unique demographic, but in the end they are just selling you the same chinese sweat shop garments. It happened to auto mechanics being beaten into submission by dealerships. I'm sure I can sit and think of a dozen or so more instances.
Sad that we are accepting this reality.
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Boston, MA
7,900 posts, read 6,832,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeePee View Post
It's just depressing to know that the generation after us will be owned under the umbrella of a few large conglomerates. No matter how unique they make your experience feel its just lipstick on a pig. Gap is Banana Republic is Old Navy, they each have somewhat of a unique demographic, but in the end they are just selling you the same chinese sweat shop garments. It happened to auto mechanics being beaten into submission by dealerships. I'm sure I can sit and think of a dozen or so more instances.
Sad that we are accepting this reality.
100% agreed.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Boston
7,347 posts, read 15,321,082 times
Reputation: 8626
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjimmy24 View Post
I see such things all the time. I am merely pointing out that we have lots of de facto chains, although I get the sense that you take umbrage at the term. Call them restaurant groups if you want. Claim they are super unique if you want. I just have not seen that. I vastly prefer numerous other cities bar and restaurant scenes to here. Also, not all restaurant groups are high end either. Many just own the same mediocre sports bars and "Irish" pubs.

Maybe you're right about food for the wealthy and elite in the city. I for one, and most people in Boston (though you'd never know this by reading this board), don't often feel like/are not able to just go drop $100 or more on dinner. High end stuff is typically dull anyway (at least the atmosphere and people).

Other cities have just more open competition or people willing to work hard. They don't need to be millionaires to get started. It's honestly much more interesting.
I don't take umbrage with the term at all, but there's a major difference between a chain and a restaurant group. It's not just a matter of semantics. For example, the Olive Garden chain of restaurants is part of the Darden restaurant group along with Long Horn Steakhouse, Yardhouse, Capital Grille, etc. So a local group like Alpine (whose restaurants include Posto, Painted Burro, Rosebud, etc. are all far from elite/high end, by the way) isn't at all a chain. Each of those places is extremely different (wood fired pizza, Mexican, and American/comfort food respectively) from the other, and each of them has a unique menu and atmosphere that aren't cookie cutter/duplicated across the board. It's a lot different from Olive Garden which is exactly the same everywhere.

I'm not saying they're all super unique (though Posto, Painted Burro, and especially Rosebud are all excellent, as are the Columbus Group restaurants if you want higher end), but there's a gaping chasm between a restaurant group like Alpine or Columbus and many of the national chains. Local restuarant groups are often very good, have unique offerings, etc. but they just happen operate under one umbrella. Opening restaurants is risky. Good restaurant groups (and Boston has plenty) take some of the risk out of it because they know how to do it. They also utilize local talent for unique menus and experiences. What's the problem with that? Who cares if the executive chef owns it himself or is employed by the upper management if the menu is unique and the food/experience is good?

I was in Chicago, one of the country's best food cities, last week and when we were walking around the River North area trying to find something to eat, we were inundated with local and national chains like Maggiano's, Fado, Frontera Grill, Roka Akor, Rockit, LYFE Kitchen, RPM Steak, Mercadito, etc., etc., etc. The point is, it's hardly unique to Boston. And again, my experience in cities like Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Miami, LA, etc. is that it's the same if not worse.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:06 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 438,832 times
Reputation: 1329
Yes. Understood. But the point here is more about how Each generation sees it get harder and harder to open any type of business. Before, if you had a good product, where willing to bust your butt, and knew some basic accounting you could offer your neighbors what you had and in turn feed your family. It gets harder and harder as people just lay down and accept that. Itís easy. People were praising amazon for opening a bookstore in Dedham last year. Seems they forgot about how amazon was responsible for for the demise of every other bookstore
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