Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 20, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 4

4 Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 20, 2021 4 Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 20, 2021 
TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills 


We all know restaurant 
locations throughout Sierra 
Madre and Pasadena that 
seem to turn over every 
fall. I have heard the word 
“cursed” used for several 
locations many times. For 
instance, the location on the 
corner of San Gabriel and 
Colorado seems to be one 
that is cursed for sure – it started as the Vault, then it became Rio Rio, then Ta Vu, 
and then a sushi joint (which I actually loved because the prices were right). Now 
It’s a chicken wing restaurant. Well, I love wings! For another “cursed” location, 
remember Jerry’s Famous Deli in Old Pasadena? Let’s name all the restaurants 
that went through that location: Union Cattle Company, Pasadena Brewing, Brix, 
Haven Gastro Pub… and it started as a gym! 

When interviewing existing owners, they often point the fingers at the landlords 
saying the rents are too high. The excitement and the confidence of “I’ll do it 
better” might be too strong of a lure for restaurateurs to handle. I was bewildered 
that El Chollo moved from Fair Oaks (Old John Bull) to the Paseo. As the building 
sat empty for a few years, I thought isn’t some rent better then no rent at all? 
Celebrity Chef Rocco said on his TV show that the mortality rate for restaurants 
is 90% the first year. My father said he’d rather have open heart surgery than own 
a restaurant. 

Let’s look at this fact: the survival rate is higher then 10%, and these numbers 
are not specific to our area. Several years ago, researchers at Cornell University 
and Michigan State University conducted a study of restaurants in three local 
markets over a 10-year period. They concluded the following: after the first year, 
27% of restaurant startups failed; after three years, 50% of those restaurants were 
no longer in business; and after five years 60% had gone south. At the end of 10 
years, 70% of the restaurants that had opened for business a decade before had 
failed. Those are far different numbers than the 90% first-year failure rate quoted 
by our television star chef. Another academic research study concluded that 81.4% 
of all small business failures result from forces within the control of the owners/
managers. The bottom line is that even if the failure rate is a little daunting, failure 
is not inevitable. 

Let me know your thoughts and favorite restaurants. 




The Sierra Madre Fire Department serves to protect our City and its residents every day. An integral part 
of our service delivery is our proactive fire and life safety inspection program. In order to prevent fires and 
other emergencies from occurring, our inspections are focused on educating our community on safe home and 
workplace practices. 

This year the Sierra Madre Fire Department is reinstituting it’s commercial inspection program to include all 
businesses in Sierra Madre. A copy of the form may be found on our department website on www.cityofsierramadre.

For any questions or information, contact Fire Marshal Rich Snyder at (626) 355-3611. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285Email: Website: 
Water is Life 
K-12 Student Art Contest 
EntriEs duE 
June 7, 2021 
Contest is open to all 
students attending 
schools in Altadena, 
La Cañada Flintridge, 
or La Crescenta-Montrose 
For information and guidelines visit 
www.fmwd.comor contact Foothill Municipal Water 
District at 818 790-4936; 
PrizEs in Each of 3 catEgoriEs 
$100 Gift Card - Student 
$50 Gift Card - Teacher 
K-3rd grade 
4th-6th grade 
7th-12th grade