Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fat Patties Licensed

Lance Jack  got the liquor license for his Fat Patties' restaurant renewed last night by a vote of 5-1, with Mayor Fritzler the lone "no" vote. This comment by Jack struck me though:

Jack said getting a license from the state and digging out of a financial hole were his next steps.
"For two years now I have been operating on a less-than-ideal business platform," he said.
Jack said he has taken a loss on his business and taken out loans to stay afloat

Beer and liquor should be a secondary product for the restaurant. If they were going to be an important part of the restaurant's business plan, Jack should have made arrangements to get the license before ever opening Fat Patties.  If the primary product, burgers and sides, is not enough to make the business profitable and was the revenue generator in the original business plan, I'd have serious concerns about the long term viability of the restaurant.

Update:  Councilwoman Jane Adams has posted her comments on last night's vote.


  1. You seem pretty keen on telling someone else how to run his business. Why not start your own instead?

  2. One thing I'd note: alcohol might simultaneously make up a small portion of sales and a large portion of profit. There's usually a pretty high markup on alcohol. If the food is barely profitable and alcohol is very profitable, alcohol sales could make the difference between success and failure. That could be true even if they make up less than half of total sales.

    That said, I think Fat Patties' biggest problem is location. It seems to me that the best location would be within sight of Route 13 and in a building with plenty of parking. I hope Fat Patties stays in business - their burgers are excellent.

  3. Iaping, if you notice at the bottom of the left hand column, I have run my own business in downtown Carbondale for over 20 years.

    Observer, I agree with you that location could be better and laud Jack's desire to keep his business in downtown, much as I hope Kirkwood manages to keep the Icebox open. Speaking only from what I have observed, I believe Jack's original plan was to target both students and long time residents of C'dale and pick up the late night foot traffic with a good burger. However, evening foot traffic in downtown has declined significantly over the past decade, due both to the bus service and the change in bar entry age the city council imposed in the late 90s.