In Tough Times, Restaurants Appeal to Drinkers

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a phenomenon occuring across the country, in which restaurants–including the high-end variety–are morphing into bars that also happen to serve food.  From the WSJ:

Around the country, proprietors are turning their restaurants — or significant parts of them — into glorified bars. They’re ripping out dining-room tables to make more bar space, applying for late-night and cabaret licenses and adding the word ‘bar’ to their names. Top chefs are serving up bar snacks like grilled cheese sandwiches and hot dogs.

The reason for this change is that, while consumer spending at restaurants is falling at an alarming rate, drink orders, particularly for cheaper drinks like beer, aren’t taking much of a hit. For restaurants, it’s now proving more cost-effective to serve lower-priced dishes and drinks at the bar,  as each offers better margins than high-end food.

This is pretty good news for the drinking population, especially those that enjoy the ambiance of a nice restaurant bar.  Later hours, more taps, better cocktail lists and cheap(er) food.  What’s not to like?  Any change that caters to the drinking set is a win in my book. 

Full story here.

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