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Aug 24, 2010 01:41 PM

Whadda' ya think? re: Fogata, the restuarant

On my usually daily stop at Fogata I started teasing the lady about opening a restuarant. Today I told her that the old Popeye's, or something similar, on Anderson Lane near Burnet was for rent. She asked me to find out for her how much the rent was. I started wondering and would like your input on this as well, if a Fogata restuarant could be a realistic possibility. Now I know nothing about the food business and am not asking this for advice to give her. Just idle curiosity. She has a great location where she is and seems to enjoy a pretty steady stream of business, at least when I am around there. Could be that a restuarant is just not her destiny. Would like to hear opinions, nontheless. Thanks.

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  1. Really? Well, you couldn't ask for a better time to be looking for 2nd Gen restaurant space. Rents are cheap, and frequently include free rent for up to 12 months and concessions are high, usually a build out allowance. In other words, walk in and turn on the lights, someone else has already paid for the grease trap and the hood.

    $4,000 ($16/SF) a month for a 3,000 SF building is typical. There is probably a restaurateur here that could jump in with typical utilities and maintenance/NNN's. In other words, the numbers quoted in this otherwise excellent Chronicle article are on the high side ($200,000 start up costs) given today's surplus of available space.

    Unless you want to go in Katz's:

    1 Reply
    1. re: NWLarry

      Interesting thought. I personally like that she's practically walking distance from my work now, but that's neither here nor there. It'd be risky, but it could work. Here's the thing; I've never had to wait to get a taco there. I'd be afraid she wouldn't be able to get enough customers to justify the space and then I wouldn't even get her tacos from a trailer. That would be a very sad day. However, if she were able to expand her menu and do a real lunch crowd...

    2. that's a tough call. I live just off Anderson lane right near that ex-Popeye's and have wanted something to go in there. But Mexican? There are several Mexican restaurants near that location, including the much loved Enchiladas y mas. I haven't seen long lines around the Fogata trailer to make me think that she would stand out there. I haven't eaten the food, so I don't know if it is anything special, but I gotta think that a fifth Mexican joint within a square mile is not a wise move.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Rice Checks

        I live nearby also. I've eaten at Enchiladas y Mas twice, regretably. It's Tex-Mex at its very lousiest. I've been to La Fogata dozens of times in the last year and enjoyed every single thing I've ordered. The proprietor and cook is from San Luis Potosi and includes specialties from her home on the menu. Everything else is simple, clean Mexican food/tacos that has no relation to Tex-Mex. If she opened up a B&M, I'd take notice and visit often. Your mention of Enchiladas y Mas is the first time I've thought of the place in a couple of years. Apples and oranges.

        1. re: agoodbite

          Actually enchiladas y mas ispretty much excellent Tex-Mex. It's a style some people don't like. It's not good for you. But they do a great job at what they do and don't deserve to be called lousy. Goodness knows they are vastly successful. I like La Fogata and the lady is darling. She could probably make a restaurant go. A giant and hugely expensive space like the old Popeye's -- No. She needs a *small* restaurant to fail. I'm sure that's happening too in Austin.

          1. re: BTAustin

            The two times I ate at Enchiladas y Mas, the corn tortillas used for my enchiladas were cold, stale and hard. The gravy was unappetizing at best - overseasoned and raw. The rice was again overseasoned and undercooked in a crunchy way.

            I'm glad you enjoy E y M, but I don't. I also hope there might be a market for La Fogata to open a B&M shop.

            Also, are you really hoping for her to fail?

            1. re: agoodbite

              To fail so she can take it over without the expense of a finish out. Sorry you had bad meals at Enchiladas y mas, for the most part the food is predictible.

          2. re: agoodbite

            Pardon my ignorance, but what is a B&M?

            Also, thanks everyone for your replies. Very interesting.

            Could be that she has the optimal thing going for the times and for the overhead.

              1. re: NirvRush

                Thanks and by the way speaking of successes of restuarants, etc. how about Rita's over on Rutland?. In another post someone mentioned they had been there. I go there for lunch occassionaly and also for an AM bean and cheese. I have often wondered how she stays in business. Her food is not bad but not especially anything to rave about eitiher. Her customers seem to be guys working in the area. Any thoughts?

        2. I'm pretty sure there is an episode of Seinfeld like this.... it ends with the restauranteur going out of business and hating Jerry forever.

          1 Reply
          1. re: puddles

            It seems there was an episode of Seinfeld's about almost everything.