Dick's Dock Closing - More Empty Spaces on Main Street

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cfiles3232.jpgWhat is going on here? Another storefront closing on Main Street? Goodbye, Dick's Dock--13 years and several awards later, fresh seafood isn't enough to keep you alive in downtown Metuchen. Joining WOW and WILD RICE, DICK'S DOCK leaves yet another reminder of how dire the economy is these days. That's the reason they're closing, right, the economy?

There are plenty of great restaurants in town but the loss of any of them is a sad situation. With families budgeted tighter and tighter, dining out is one of the old pleasures we can't afford to do as often as we'd like. And with the proximity of Main Street to malls and chain restaurants on Route 1, is there too much competition for family-run real restaurants?But the District is still going to be built (someday!) and the Sportsplex is being built and the council has approved the building of an apartment complex on the old Dodge dealership lot. So somebody out there believes that more people are going to move and work out in Metuchen. Who is going to feed all these extra people?

Metuchen Matters wants to know--who is the culprit? Who is running the restaurants out of downtown Metuchen? Do events like Junebug and Cruise Nights help bring in enough customers or should the Chamber be working on new ways to help promote the businesses in town that are hanging by a thread (those we don't know about yet)?

4 Comments

Well, in my opinion it is everything that was stated here and a little more. Try government. Take a look at the red fire alarm system on the wall in Dick's which appeared within the past few years. That is not a burglar alarm it is a fire alarm. A very very expensive commercial system that the Dock had to shell out serious bucks for and will now be someone else's property.

It is a commercial device which runs in the $10-$15 thousand dollar range at a minimum I have seen them cost as much as $40-$50 grand. Bet no one in authority had any idea what effect that had. For a little place like that you gotta serve a hell of a lot of dinners to recoup a device like that at least 600 more at a minimum.

And yet, more and more towns are approving devices like that without thinking what it really costs and I have seen more then my fair share of code officers drop their mouths when they are told the costs. Almost like they want to run under the rug and hide with a no idea please don't hurt me mindset. Yet, there are more cost effective alternatives to a place like that which would have worked and saved the cash flow.

My view if the state mandates it make a loan program available and since we are broke go to more cost effective alternatives.

I hate seeing empty businesses downtown but I've had a bad experience with service at Dick's Dock, as I think others have too. My husband and I, along with our friends, love to eat at Antonio's, Torino, Hailey's and Sushi Suzuki. In the fall we love Main St. Trattoria for its cozy ambiance and great pasta dishes. These are great restaurants by all measures and the amount of business they get proves it. Restaurants that have good service and good food do well in Metuchen, regardless of the economy.

Too bad---Dick's Dock will be missed. I'm not sure what is going on though. We ate twice in the last few months at Novita and it was packed. We had lunch at El Torino in May and it also was packed, as is Hailey's the many times we've been there for lunch or early dinner. Yet, other restaurants are faltering---Meiyings hasn't had much action at all in recent times. I agree with cartoongoddess regarding walking downtown to eat. It's great to leave the car at home and walk around one's own town.

I like stuff that doesn't require car to get to. We frequently walk (or ride) downtown for dinner, particularly with guests. I wish everyone did.

The stores in the mall and the chains aren't doing well either. It's tough to eat out if you don't have a paycheck.

Blame the economy.

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