An elegant exotic addition to Lafayette's sushi landscape, Dozo underscores the Hub City's strong showing in Restaurant Business' ranking of the best cities to open a restaurant.
The Nielsen Company is hired yearly by Restaurant Business, certainly one of the most respected and informative restaurant magazines in the industry, to assess a Restaurant Growth Index for metropolitan areas throughout the country. In the latest ranking, Lafayette comes in 17th among U.S. cities as a best place to open a restaurant, beating the state's culinary capital by six places.
According to RB: “The RGI score is calculated on an area’s total restaurant sales and sales as a percent of income, at a per capita level, compared to the nation as a whole.” The restaurant sales figures are gained from the U.S. Census of Retail Trade and the per capita income from the U.S. Census Bureau, both of which sound like really boring places to work.
It’s worth noting that the figures can’t distinguish between local and tourist dollars so those cities with a higher score tend to have a higher tourist or business traveler population.
Our eastern neighbor New Orleans (defined as “New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner” by The Nielsen Company) did well, although not as high of an RGI as Lafayette. It ranked 23rd. In the last year 98 bars/restaurants opened in the area — and for the length and breadth of that metropolitan area the fact that we topped them is pretty impressive.
What does this 17th place mean for Lafayette? Expect the restaurant mini-boom to continue, especially now after this ranking. While this may not evolve into a full-on supernova of sales, a lot of investors, franchises and chains who are poking around New Orleans for a spot can’t help but make the trek across a few bridges to see us and what Lafayette has going on that makes us such a contender. All it takes is an informal poll amongst friends or a peek at Twitter or Facebook to see that Hub City folks tend to eat out a lot. This may also explain the 24-hour gym boom. Just sayin’.
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“Shell’s abrupt decision to cancel its North American GTL project just 10 weeks after concluding a multi-year site-selection process is obviously very disappointing news,” LED Secretary Stephen Moret tells Daily Report.
DEC 6 Here we are, at the top of another bad list: this time, Louisiana has the (dubious) honor of beating out all other states when it comes to gutting higher ed funding, this Picayune story reports. The American Association of Colleges and Universities says our cuts (nearly 18 percent this year alone) are the highest in the nation. Three-fourths of the states increased funding last year, with the top spender increasing funding by 28 percent. This is a great legacy for our governor, right?
DEC 6 Blogger Lamar White Jr. takes a look at the creepy effort over in Baton Rouge, wherein the southern, lily-white area of the city wants to secede from the union, er, create its own "city" and take all the really fat sales tax cows with it. Turns out the group campaigning for the move is a for-profit corporation, and Lamar says that means its effort won't pass legal muster.
DEC 6 Blogger Tom Aswell tells us about some fishiness he found in the state worker's comp office. There's some confusion about when one guy started working there, and there's also some involvement by a GOP lege from Hammond. It's all just another example of the Jindal administration's actions that "defy explanation," Aswell says.
DEC 6 Edwin Edwards may think it's possible he will be governor again, but columnist James Gill isn't so sure. Edwards would have to get a presidential pardon to run for governor -- unless he wants to wait until he's 99, Gill says. But even Edwards' many supporters should probably hope he doesn't get that, because there's no real chance he can win, Gill says.
DEC 6 Here's an interesting post on DIG Magazine for football history buffs. It's about the Pelican Bowl, the Bayou Classic and the history of black college football. It's a trip down memory lane and the story of a "mythical black college national crown." What killed it? Trying to compete with the Bayou Classic.
DEC 6 Nelson Mandela became famous while sitting in prison, where he was a symbol of apartheid. But his enduring legacy was his ability to forgive, to reach out a hand of peace to heal his country of division and oppression, and the Picayune talks about this aspect of his personality. The story also reminds us of the more light-hearted moments Louisiana shared with the former President of South Africa.
DEC 6 We've all been passed by a nut on the highway and assumed the driver was on drugs. Maybe that's not hyperbole: here's a story from the Picayune about a guy riding around with a meth lab in his back seat. One wonders if his insurance policy included coverage for random explosions.
DEC 6 Here's a new blog in the NOLA Defender; it's called Shift Change, and it's all about cocktails. This installment by Rhiannon Enlil focuses on the sazerac, the enigmatic cocktail made with absinthe. But Enlil also introduces herself, a long-time NOLA bartender who has "a lot of booze" in her house.
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