Lower Nob Hill
After my recent post 'Bare Space Vs. Furnished Space', I asked my dad who is also in the restaurant business for his opinion. He advised me to consider purchasing an existing restaurant as kitchen equipment and furniture would be included in the purchase. That could potentially save some money and speed up the length of time to launch Mozzeria.
With his advice lingering in my mind, I have started looking for restaurants on www.bizben.com and sfbay.craigslist.org. I visited several restaurants in different locations. What did I learn?
I found some restaurants that were not suitable. I also found two restaurants that I really liked, each property was completely different and in different neighborhoods.
Restaurant A is located in Lower Nob Hill, about three blocks from Union Square. It is in fair condition, not good. It is a one-person operation that has been operating for a long time. I see lots of potential in this restaurant primarily because of its location. I have a vision for how it could look which definitely be a huge transformation, with the help of the interior designer, Patty Foo. That would cost money.
Restaurant B is located in North Beach, an area that has more foot traffic than other parts of San Francisco. There are many Italian restaurants, each restaurant is bustling full house regularly. Inside, the restaurant is in good physical condition. The kitchen is updated and clean and it would take minimal renovation to transform and re-launch the restaurant. The downside, however, is that it does not operate during dinner hours, and doesn't have a liquor license. I had resisted, in the beginning, setting up Mozzeria in North Beach because it would be difficult to stand out. On second thought, maybe I should listen to my gut feelings. I hope I won't regret my decision if I do decide to pass this opportunity.
I have been consulting with my team on both locations. In the meantime, I will continue my search in case negotiations fall apart or it would be cost-prohibitive after factoring the costs of renovation in the overall budget.