Restaurant Depot

In Restaurant News, Retail Thoughts on April 14, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Over the past decade I’ve worked with many restaurants – most recently as a lawyer doing a lot of tenant-side lease negotiations and currently on the landlord-side with Twining Properties and as a broker with CityRetail. Since my clients are usually busier than I am (nobody works harder or more than restauranteurs), I go to them… I’ve seen a lot of kitchens and some really funky buildings. I’ve been immersed enough in the restaurant scene to know the builders, equipment suppliers and food distributors. I know that, at some point, every restaurant owner/manager/chef has made the trek out to Chelsea or Needham to Restaurant Depot for something they needed ASAP.

Last Friday my meeting with Ayr Muir of Clover was relocated from the comfy confines of my office to Ayr’s car, as Ayr needed to make a Restaurant Depot run (don’t worry Clover fans, Ayr didn’t buy any food product, just some paper goods). We used the ride to and from Chelsea to go over a handful of final issues in connection with a lease for Clover’s soon-to-be first storefront location. Ayr knows me well enough by now to know that I’d be fine with the car ride meeting and, quite frankly, I was thrilled at the idea of having my first Restaurant Depot experience. (read more)

The place is a zoo. Think Costco but messier with unloaded shipping palettes all over and only kitchen supplies and food products for sale. There is a room full of boxed eggs stacked two stories high. The walk-in fridge must be 5,000 sf. Flour and sugar is sold in bags the size of potato sacks… It was a fun field trip. My guess is that I was the only lawyer in there with his client, though I think if more lawyers took the time to understand the actual business of running restaurants/retail we’d all be better off and the leasing process would be far more efficient and sensitive to operational issues… That’s a topic for another post though.

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