New York Times Leads With The Econopalypse VS Daniel Boulud
Renowned chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud (of Vancouver restaurants Lumiere and DB Bistro Moderne, plus a gabillion others from Beijing to Florida) was given a four page treatment in The New York Times’ business section yesterday. It covered plenty, but the impending arrival of his much ballyhooed DBGB restaurant (CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PLANS) shared center stage with extrapolations on It versus the Shitty Economy.
A self-described “psycho” when it comes to details, Mr. Boulud, 54, had planned a Paris-meets-Texas diner before anyone had heard of credit-default swaps. The concept evolved a little, but not the price point. Homemade sausages and hamburgers will be the centerpiece at DBGB, and the average bill for a three-course meal will come to about $32, the price of an appetizer at Daniel, his flagship.
He brings to this enterprise something like home-field advantage, opening in the city that made him a culinary star. With that comes buzz; nearly every week, news about some element of the layout, design and construction of DBGB pops up on the most trafficked restaurant blogs in Manhattan.
But by Dinex Group’s own calculations, DBGB must generate $4.5 million a year in revenue to be profitable, not easy in a time that a spokesman for the National Restaurant Association called “the most challenging the restaurant industry has seen in several decades.” A consumer marketing firm, NPD, issued a report a few weeks back stating that national restaurant traffic had dropped for a second consecutive quarter.
“And there will be at least one more down quarter, maybe two,” says Harry Balzer, an NPD vice president.
In New York City, it’s been ugly at nearly all price levels.