By Lars Larson
Some famous, long time restaurants are closing their doors in the new year and I think I know why.
The Original Taco house…closed. House of Louie…where my wife and i have enjoyed dim sum so many Sunday morning…closed. Soon to go the Overlook Restaurant. Seattle’s seeing the same kind of exodus of restaurants. Think what it means to stay in business in the environment created by government here in the Northwest. Cities limit the use of land and that drives up the cost or the rent. The cost of workers is pushing up fast, driven by minimum wage mandates that don’t match the marketplace. Cities have pushed mandatory paid sick time and scheduling laws that makes it more expensive to run a labor intensive business like a restaurant.
Short term, it means a lot of our favorite restaurants will go. Long term, it means that the part time jobs where so many young people learned a work ethic, simply won’t exist. We hear the excuse that no family members show interest in running those businesses, but restaurants only have an 8 percent profit and when local government chips away at that, it no longer is a tasty proposition.