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Hungry? Think Local.

Written by Dan Cohen, Principal/Director of Tenant Representation

The Publican
Image of The Publican in Chicago

Oftentimes, in a world of institutional owners, multi-unit concept rollouts and credit underwriting, what makes a good retailer, or even a great retailer or restaurant, gets lost in the pursuit of making the deal. As tenant representation brokers, we’re often focused on the large multi-tier rollout with a national credit tenant. It makes sense. It gives us a platform for multiple deals, systemic growth and an expanded territory. However, what we, as well as many developers and shopping center owners are missing is the intimacy and creative flavor of the local restaurateur.  Often when merchandising the lifestyle center or street front retail vacancy, we tend to overlook the local restaurant entity as not being as stable or as not having the ability to produce as many guest trips as the national counterpart. For many years, we have been misplaced in this belief.

Whether you’re in the West Loop in Chicago, Midtown in Detroit, North Loop in Minneapolis or the Fifth Ward in Milwaukee, the local restaurateur is no longer a second, or even third-generation immigrant family preparing food from their homeland. More likely, a local chef/restaurateur is highly educated in the culinary arts by one of the many fine institutions of the U.S., or even internationally. They have come back to their home town to take advantage of a “gap” in the restaurant market and the new preference of the consumer to dine out more than eat at home. There is both excitement and creativity, and certainly sustainability, by many of these talented chefs/restaurateurs.

Whether it’s the local burger purveyor, sushi chef, Thai innovator or just a new twist on pizza, these restaurateurs are creative and provide much needed diversity and interest to any new retail project or street.

So, as you are looking for the next tenant to grow in your market, contact the local restaurant to differentiate your project and bring in loyal customers. 

Daniel J. Cohen | Principal/Director of Tenant Representation
Mid-America Real Estate - Wisconsin, L.L.C.
648 N. Plankinton Ave., Suite 264 | Milwaukee, WI 53203
Direct: 414.390.1401 | Fax: 414.273.4605
dcohen@midamericagrp.com | www.midamericagrp.com


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