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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- CLOSED
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Monroe wrote:
The owner of Batello is taking over the space.


Well some of the owners of Battello...

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Lima17 wrote:
FWIW - they say "an anticipated opening of early winter 2016"


Around Valentine's is the latest I've heard...

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I_heart_JC wrote:


this is the third "Kitchen" restaurant in a 4-block radius. John's Kitchen on Columbus, The Kitchen at Grove, now the Kitchen Step.

does no one do market research anymore?


Ah, but only one is named after a stone outside a mansion... (Kitchen Step linky)

We'll see how the name confusion works out - some of the yelp reviews for Grove St Kitchen were obviously for some other place (which has tv screens) so the area causes confusion without the names :(

Posted on: 2016/1/23 18:02
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- CLOSED
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Lima17 wrote:
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Monroe wrote:
The owner of Batello is taking over the space.


The Kitchen Step: https://www.facebook.com/kitchenstepjc

FWIW - they say "an anticipated opening of early winter 2016"


this is the third "Kitchen" restaurant in a 4-block radius. John's Kitchen on Columbus, The Kitchen at Grove, now the Kitchen Step.

does no one do market research anymore?

Posted on: 2016/1/23 17:14
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- CLOSED
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Monroe wrote:
The owner of Batello is taking over the space.


The Kitchen Step: https://www.facebook.com/kitchenstepjc

FWIW - they say "an anticipated opening of early winter 2016"

Posted on: 2016/1/23 17:05
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- CLOSED
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The owner of Batello is taking over the space.

Posted on: 2016/1/23 17:01
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Abe_Froman wrote:
Had what I assume will be my last meal there last night, excellent stuff. Wish I had gone more throughout their lifespan, love his cooking.


You'd better plan a trip to the west coast - check out their instagram to see how things are s-l-o-w-l-y going

Posted on: 2016/1/23 16:22
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Had what I assume will be my last meal there last night, excellent stuff. Wish I had gone more throughout their lifespan, love his cooking.

Posted on: 2015/11/5 18:01
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Bill463, the restaurant offered a product that I loved. Then they took that product away. You chastise me for not supporting them?

Posted on: 2015/10/25 21:54
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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It's a bit silly to keep arguing about this. I see them as having a victim mentality, where you disagree. I predicted they won't do well, giving my reasons. Would be interesting to see what happens in 3 years, but in the meantime there is not much more to say.

Posted on: 2015/10/25 18:44
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Dolomiti wrote:
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JCMan8 wrote:
Basically, people can be selected for a promotion based on their ability to perform their current role....

They owned and ran the place. Who promoted them? :D

I don't think that concept applies. They were a bit green. It happens. They might do better next time, they might not. Lots of people fail the first few times out.


I thought it was self-evident that I was drawing a parallel even though they were self employed.

It's a poor parallel, because it only makes sense in the context of a large organization with a management structure.

It doesn't make sense to say that "an entrepreneur will only get as big as she can fail."


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The reason I think it applies is the owners apparently were tops in their previous field, yet pretty bad at their new one.

Were they? They got a lot of acclaim; they lasted a little longer than many new restaurants; they didn't drive themselves into massive debt. They weren't successful enough to support two adults and one child in a fairly expensive city. It's a tough business, too. Sounds more like typical inexperience and misjudging the customers, rather than "they totally suck at this."


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The people who initially fail but later succeed tend to explicitly acknowledge and address their mistakes....

Aside from this being a broad and unfalsifiable claim, it does seem to me they've learned a bit. I also assume they are not broadcasting everything they've learned. Anyway:

In the Grub Street article, Kevin acknowledges that the restaurant wasn't a great fit for JC, and that the audience was different than the typical NYC high-end joint. Most of the swearing was aimed at the foodie clan that he now rejects, not JC residents.

Alex recognized they were underfunded; that she was pushing herself too hard; that switching away from BYO was a mistake they could not undo. By the time they switched to the tasting menu, they were already planning to close. I see very little external blame in her comments.

Besides, it's a bit early to make that claim. Their next restaurant (or the one after that) might do very well. It certainly doesn't sound like they plan to open "Thirty Acres West" next.

Posted on: 2015/10/25 17:50
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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I always thought The Peter Principle was just a gimmick/catch phrase used to sell books. In 30+ years of working I don't think I ever heard it mentioned by people who mattered. Nor did anyone ever spend time looking for his or hers missing cheese.

In my situation, we were promoting engineers and attorneys into management positions. We developed and continued to refine a management training curriculum of classes, mentoring, team building, discussion groups etc. to assist the transition into management. I believe that is a model more or less followed by any modern American organization, from NGO to FFH.

Posted on: 2015/10/25 12:34
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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I feel sad for anyone who tries but fails to achieve what they set out to do.

Again, its easy for many of us keyboard warriors to droll on an on about them in a critical manner...but at the end of the day....i admire that they went out and tried to make it happen. They took a shot. So many of us just settle an never try.

I really wish, i could have gone when they first opened an tried the food. :)

Posted on: 2015/10/25 2:40
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Sommerman wrote:
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BobNesta wrote:
relying solely on the JC community


Perhaps they thought their rep was sufficient to draw people from Manhattan and the 'burbs.



He sort of chalks up the failure to the JC community in his interview.

Posted on: 2015/10/25 2:23
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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First time owners, lousy business plan, then they made mistakes trying to figure things out. I hope they get it figured out in the Northwest, and lose the victim attitude going forward. Jersey City didn't owe them a successful business regardless of how they changed their business model.

Posted on: 2015/10/25 1:37
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Dolomiti wrote:
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JCMan8 wrote:
Basically, people can be selected for a promotion based on their ability to perform their current role....

They owned and ran the place. Who promoted them? :D

I don't think that concept applies. They were a bit green. It happens. They might do better next time, they might not. Lots of people fail the first few times out.


I thought it was self-evident that I was drawing a parallel even though they were self employed. The reason I think it applies is the owners apparently were tops in their previous field, yet pretty bad at their new one. Also, they have done absolutely nothing to demonstrate they have learned from their mistakes.

The people who initially fail but later succeed tend to explicitly acknowledge and address their mistakes, work on a plan to improve to prevent them from happening again, and then actually improve. But these owners display none of that in their numerous interviews. Both simply throw out blame (to many different sources) and offer nothing but defensive rationalizations of their actions. They naively keep saying that moving to Seattle will simply fix all of their problems.

This is why I believe they are doomed to fail. No, they won't repeat the exact same set of mistakes again. I'm sure they are not stupid. But they will make a new series of just as boneheaded moves, and then will find something else to blame.

Posted on: 2015/10/25 1:25
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Surprised no one has mentioned this reason for their failure: the tiny space they had was meant for high volume sales, like pizza. They started with a winning formula, great food and good prices. They could increase revenue by raising prices or scaling up. They chose increasing prices and changing their product. After they had proven themselves they could have taken their stellar reviews to the investors and moved to a bigger place instead.

After Sandy, when most of us had no power or were flooded, they were out there giving away food. So I'd like to think they were nice people and hope that they have learned from this mistake and be more successful in their next venture.
a pizza place used to occupy that joint. it was rather sad since the place was often empty. maybe a bar might be ideal for that spot. there are many, many places to get pizza in dtjc.

Posted on: 2015/10/25 0:21
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JCMan8 wrote:
Basically, people can be selected for a promotion based on their ability to perform their current role....

They owned and ran the place. Who promoted them? :D

I don't think that concept applies. They were a bit green. It happens. They might do better next time, they might not. Lots of people fail the first few times out.

Posted on: 2015/10/24 23:54
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Surprised no one has mentioned this reason for their failure: the tiny space they had was meant for high volume sales, like pizza. They started with a winning formula, great food and good prices. They could increase revenue by raising prices or scaling up. They chose increasing prices and changing their product. After they had proven themselves they could have taken their stellar reviews to the investors and moved to a bigger place instead.

After Sandy, when most of us had no power or were flooded, they were out there giving away food. So I'd like to think they were nice people and hope that they have learned from this mistake and be more successful in their next venture.

Posted on: 2015/10/24 23:00
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I think I disagree. The article says she had a lot of restaurant management experience. But "management skill" is different than business acumen. What they were was impervious to feedback. They made decisions that lost them customers, then had such misplaced confidence in their decision that they ignored the evidence.

Perhaps had they lowered food prices somewhat to ease the pain of ending BYOB, that would have been sensitive, and something they could gradually gain back. Instead they raised them in a "tasting menu". That's like GM trying to compensate for their long slide in market share by raising prices. The only thing that makes sense is they thought it would bring in different customers than before.

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JCMan8 wrote:
In business organizations, there is a concept called the Peter principle which says that people are promoted to their level of incompetence.

Basically, people can be selected for a promotion based on their ability to perform their current role, rather than an analysis of how they would do in their new promoted role. But as many of us know, different jobs have different skillsets, and you could be the best in the world at your current job, but a failure at a different job at a higher level. So you end up with many managers who just aren't very good at their jobs.

When I read these interviews, including the most recent which takes a less abrasive tone, I see the same principle at work here. These people were great chefs but do NOT seem to have the business acumen needed to run a successful restaurant. Even with the nicer tone, I still see endless excuses, defensive behavior, and a failure to recognize the obvious: it is only because of their poor decisions that they failed.

Based on this, I would be surprised if their new restaurant becomes a success in Seattle. I think they (or he, not sure who cooks) would be terrific as a chef for someone else, but are not suited to run their own business. Most people aren't, of course, but one needs the self-awareness to realize this to avoid profound unhappiness.


I don't see how you're disagreeing with him there.

Posted on: 2015/10/24 21:04
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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I think I disagree. The article says she had a lot of restaurant management experience. But "management skill" is different than business acumen. What they were was impervious to feedback. They made decisions that lost them customers, then had such misplaced confidence in their decision that they ignored the evidence.

Perhaps had they lowered food prices somewhat to ease the pain of ending BYOB, that would have been sensitive, and something they could gradually gain back. Instead they raised them in a "tasting menu". That's like GM trying to compensate for their long slide in market share by raising prices. The only thing that makes sense is they thought it would bring in different customers than before.

Quote:

JCMan8 wrote:
In business organizations, there is a concept called the Peter principle which says that people are promoted to their level of incompetence.

Basically, people can be selected for a promotion based on their ability to perform their current role, rather than an analysis of how they would do in their new promoted role. But as many of us know, different jobs have different skillsets, and you could be the best in the world at your current job, but a failure at a different job at a higher level. So you end up with many managers who just aren't very good at their jobs.

When I read these interviews, including the most recent which takes a less abrasive tone, I see the same principle at work here. These people were great chefs but do NOT seem to have the business acumen needed to run a successful restaurant. Even with the nicer tone, I still see endless excuses, defensive behavior, and a failure to recognize the obvious: it is only because of their poor decisions that they failed.

Based on this, I would be surprised if their new restaurant becomes a success in Seattle. I think they (or he, not sure who cooks) would be terrific as a chef for someone else, but are not suited to run their own business. Most people aren't, of course, but one needs the self-awareness to realize this to avoid profound unhappiness.

Posted on: 2015/10/24 20:52
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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In business organizations, there is a concept called the Peter principle which says that people are promoted to their level of incompetence.

Basically, people can be selected for a promotion based on their ability to perform their current role, rather than an analysis of how they would do in their new promoted role. But as many of us know, different jobs have different skillsets, and you could be the best in the world at your current job, but a failure at a different job at a higher level. So you end up with many managers who just aren't very good at their jobs.

When I read these interviews, including the most recent which takes a less abrasive tone, I see the same principle at work here. These people were great chefs but do NOT seem to have the business acumen needed to run a successful restaurant. Even with the nicer tone, I still see endless excuses, defensive behavior, and a failure to recognize the obvious: it is only because of their poor decisions that they failed.

Based on this, I would be surprised if their new restaurant becomes a success in Seattle. I think they (or he, not sure who cooks) would be terrific as a chef for someone else, but are not suited to run their own business. Most people aren't, of course, but one needs the self-awareness to realize this to avoid profound unhappiness.

Posted on: 2015/10/24 19:21
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BobNesta wrote:
relying solely on the JC community


Perhaps they thought their rep was sufficient to draw people from Manhattan and the 'burbs.


Posted on: 2015/10/24 18:31
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Bill463 wrote:
I'm surprised our community did not continue to support them. I thought JC loves small business. Talk about throwing them under the bus. Your husband and your boys loved them! But, in the end, JC businesses come and go...come and go... On and on!


How they or anyone else would be surprised that $100+ per head dinner in a cutesy cafe sort of setting on Jersey Ave relying solely on the JC community is not sustainable is just clearly not thinking straight. Might wanna give that business plan exposure to the light of day next around.

Posted on: 2015/10/24 18:05
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Well said Dolomiti! I say the thread ends here because you just summed it up perfectly!

Posted on: 2015/10/24 16:48
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Bill463 wrote:
I'm surprised our community did not continue to support them.

Why should it? What is this supposed to mean, anyway? Do we have a collective obligation to spend more money on wines we don't like, because it keeps a restaurant open?

An inexperienced couple opened an ├╝ber-foodie restaurant in JC, without sufficient capital. They made choices that negatively impacted their business, which they could not walk back. By the time they switched to a tasting menu, they already had one foot out the door.

I don't have any particular animosity towards them. But I also don't owe them jack.

Posted on: 2015/10/24 15:17
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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JCCoffee wrote:
A summary of the rise and fall of Thirty Acres from Alex Pemoulie's perspective:

http://www.chefsfeed.com/stories/319-chefcolumns-the-pemoulies



Alex should be in charge of PR, and managing all communications, for any future restaurant or business venture they decide to undertake together in the future. This is the exact same message, but a completely different tone, and they come across much more likable.

In the end, they made a bad decision, recognized it was a mistake, yet chose to stick with it. It was a business decision and I give them credit for the strength of their conviction. I may visit one more time, before they close their doors on the 28th. Maybe that very same night. I am sure it will be a bittersweet evening.

Posted on: 2015/10/24 10:21
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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I'm surprised our community did not continue to support them. I thought JC loves small business. Talk about throwing them under the bus. Your husband and your boys loved them! But, in the end, JC businesses come and go...come and go... On and on!


Nobody claimed their love for this place was unconditional. My one condition was that they stay somewhat within my budget. They didn't. I fell out of love.

You know what they say. There's a broken heart for every overpriced entree in downtown.

Posted on: 2015/10/24 4:45
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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I'm surprised our community did not continue to support them. I thought JC loves small business. Talk about throwing them under the bus. Your husband and your boys loved them! But, in the end, JC businesses come and go...come and go... On and on!

Posted on: 2015/10/24 4:31
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My family and I went often in the early days. We had a kickstarter dinner that we still talk about. The kitchen kept bringing out more dishes to taste and my boys could not stop giggling because they were enjoying the food so much. People loved stopping in at Jersey Wines and rolling down the street for dinner. They had LINES to get a table.

I can understand that they needed to be able to sell wine because that's where the money is and they eventually got a decent selection. And we kept going. When my husband had an evening commitment, I would sit at the bar and chat with the waiters. It was a good place to eat solo.

But the tasting menu was just not viable for Jersey City. Spending $75 when all I wanted was a bowl of their great pasta -- and they never posted an a la carte bar menu -- was just a nonstarter. I never went back.

Posted on: 2015/10/23 19:38
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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A summary of the rise and fall of Thirty Acres from Alex Pemoulie's perspective:

http://www.chefsfeed.com/stories/319-chefcolumns-the-pemoulies


Posted on: 2015/10/23 17:05
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Re: Thirty Acres Restaurant- Jersey Avenue
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Atsushi wrote:
I'm not particularly sadden by this. I tried this place a few times, and I always felt people were not properly trained or worse, had an attitude. (Maybe greeting and saying customers thank you for coming with smile was too much expectation on my part.)

Anyway, when I commented about my experience, someone said, "Thirty Acre is not going to go anywhere anytime soon." Well, the time has come.



There is a great series of posts on the Talde thread where one guy says Thirty Acres is always empty since the tasting menu switch and he's not sure how they are even still in business. Then someone else confidently tells him he's completely wrong, the restaurant doesn't need to have too many people with a tasting menu format, and their business was doing great.

Only a couple days later Thirty Acres announced they were closing.


Ha! That was me. No insider info, just a hunch on observation.

Guess we'll see what it's going to be in a few months. Not a big space and probably pretty high overhead, so it's a tricky mix-

There were painters and carpenters sprucing up the front all this week...


Posted on: 2015/10/17 1:33
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