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Operating restaurants the past couple of years has been like walking into your home late night without waking up your roommate our significant other. You’ve been walking past the same pieces of furniture, the coffee table, the couch, the laundry basket, or the dog dish for years, yet there they are for you to stumble into them as if they were placed there for the first time.
Rather than flip on the light switch you briefly turn on your phone flashlight to light your path and you see it; the clear path across the room…until you step on that lego or empty plastic bottled water or can of LaCroix left on the floor. You curse under your breath and proceed to make your way forward.
Maybe up to this point you think you’ve been as quiet as a church mouse, but it’s all for nothing as your cell phone hits the floor as it falls out of your packet while getting undressed.
The nighttime procedure didn’t go as planned, but your head finally hits the pillow, and you sleep like a baby. You wake up the next morning feeling great, you’ve successfully maneuvered around all the obstacles that gave you fits the night before and you’re ready to crush the day and every day after.
Normally, opening any new restaurant is like walking into your home at night. You’re going to stumble over the things you know have always been there, but there’s always light the next morning to ensure it you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Royals opened March 16th, 2020, and every day, for 2 years, has been like fumbling around at night. We opened a new concept just to close it hours later because of the first shutdown. We tried to create a business while only serving guests from to-go boxes. We were finally allowed to have guests, but guest couldn’t see the beautiful inside space because it was outdoor dining only. It was 50% seating, it was supply chain disruptions, fuel costs, creating new menus, inconsistent hours of operations, etc.
Two years into this and the sun is starting to rise, and the layout of the room is beginning to come into focus. Working from home has become the norm for many, which has forever changed the breakfast / brunch business. Take-out and delivery, which had been an added convenience before the pandemic, is now integral to how restaurants will operate for the foreseeable future. As these and many other factors in the restaurant business come into focus, what we were currently doing, while we loved and enjoyed my many, it just wasn’t going to work in the long run.
Doing a lot of introspection, viewing trends in other markets, and talking with neighbors, friends, and others in the community, we’ve made the difficult decision to hit pause on this version of Royals. Our intention is to retool, reevaluate, and re-conceptualize to help relaunch Royals later this summer/Fall.
While we are taking a break at Royals all the current employees, who are willing, will have positions at our other restaurants and catering facility.
The new version of Royals will better align with our existing restaurants on Wealthy St. (The Winchester, Hancock, and Donkey) and maybe this time we’ll be able to have a proper restaurant opening…with the lights on.