Well, that didn't take long. Quick Bite, the little sandwich shop that transformed the old Your Place hamburger shack into a sleek and modern space, has already closed. I guess when it's a recession, businesses don't have the luxury of riding it out and fixing problems as they go.
For all your aspiring restaurateurs out there, let's take a quick moment to learn a lesson from the Your Place/Quick Bite scenario.
Why did Your Place thrive for so many years in that location, in a building that was dark, small, and greasy? And why did Quick Bite fail so quickly?
First, let's address the success of Your Place. One, the burgers rocked. From jalapeños to bacon and cheddar, the toppings were sloppy and delicious and totally affordable (something like $3-$4, if I remember correctly). They obviously never spent any money on anything but food and employees. The wooden tables were carved inches thick in graffiti. The bathrooms were for emergencies only. And the grill was smothered with age-old grease. Walking into the little gray shack that looked like an outhouse made you feel like you were in on some big secret. It wasn't a place for tourists — even though anybody could claim the "your" meant them. It was completely and utterly unique.
We all mourned their loss when they had to leave that space. The decor and the setting offered as much of the mojo as the greasy burgers. When they moved to a more sterile setting farther up Market Street, it just didn't have the same feel. And their final Mt. Pleasant resting place? Fuggedaboutit.
The little shack stood vacant for a couple years, and then suddenly it was being transformed into a cute architectural attraction. Stucco and a swooped patio cover totally erased all the old Your Place vibe. Inside, it was clean and utilitarian with plenty of fresh cement and easy-to-clean surfaces. Unlike the colorful characters who used to grill and serve up burgers at Your Place, the kids behind the counter at Quick Bite were clueless and utterly devoid of character. Perhaps that was the biggest problem I had with the place. It had no character. It felt as if it was the first of a planned chain restaurant. And honestly, it's too bad they've closed. I liked some of their ideas — like staying open all night on the weekends to serve the ravenous booze-fueled crowds after 2 a.m. And their food wasn't bad either. I just wish they'd had time to season their ideas, build up some grease on that grill, and find their own mojo.
We'll have to wait and see if the next tenant — High Tide Café — has better luck. Looks like they'll be opening in that space soon.