Party's Over

Dallas restaurateurs weather a year of many valleys, few peaks

Blood and Guts

While this may look like a blood-soaked landscape, it's not as bad as it could be. "The restaurant business has been so good for so long that a lot of people are in a strong financial position to withstand it," Mabel says. "And they'll be fine."

Mabel points out that this dingy cloud hovering over the Dallas landscape might have yet another lustrous lining: A lot of restaurant-worthy real estate could hit the market at reduced lease rates, prying open opportunities to entrepreneurs who might otherwise find themselves undercapitalized. "That's part of spring coming after winter," he says. "When you talk to restaurateurs about their future, they feel very, very enthusiastic about the long term of this market and in surrounding markets. Life is more interesting and more diverse and more sophisticated and more urban and more exciting than it ever was in this city."

Restaurant consultant Matthew Mabel says economic cycles finally caught up with irrational exuberance in 2001.
Judy Walgren
Restaurant consultant Matthew Mabel says economic cycles finally caught up with irrational exuberance in 2001.

Kind of makes you hungry just thinking about it.

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