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Thread: Hollywood Smokehouse Closing

  1. #1
    Senior Member purpleangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Hollywood Smokehouse Closing

    I may have missed this . . . or not. Just saw this on Bati Bleki. Hollywood Smokehouse is closing this week.

    The end of an era

    The Hollywood Smokehouse will be closing its doors at the Alhambra Casino & Shops
    It pains me to report that one of my favorite restaurants is closing. Not because the owners lacked passion, patience or perseverance, but because times are tough in the restaurant business, as they are in retail, publishing, event planning, you name it.
    The Hollywood Bar opened decades ago, in San Nicholas, as a general audiences American Rock n Roll bar just outside the red light district. Then when Mike met Tina, they also opened a Southern BBQ kitchen and the Hollywood Smokehouse was born. On opening day a certain minister cut the ribbon, and then convened a meeting with some department heads, over sumptuous lunch. They left without paying their bills. And I am still resentful.
    When the refinery closed, and business dried up in San Nicholas, the Hollywood Smokehouse moved to town and shared a location with the Old Dutch Café until the building sold. Then the smokehouse operated under tent on weekends at the Tropicana Casino. There might have been another short-lived incarnation, in Noord.
    The regular patrons of the Hollywood Smokehouse followed faithfully, everywhere, because the food was always spectacular, smoked low and slow, in plentiful portions, paired with incredibly delicious craft cocktails.
    It was a mom and pop operation. A small family-run business. What does it mean? It means you loan your employees the money to buy wedding engagement rings and baby beds; it means you give your employees time off for school and the opportunity to travel; it means you invite your employees home, you worry about them, you let them have 100% of the tips, you pay the money out, same day, and you keep zero breakage for the house; you treat them like family and it shows, in the attitude and in the general mood.
    But, by definition, mom and pop businesses have difficulty competing, they are small in scope and modestly financed and ultimately the disappointing business volume in the low rise hotel area and as expected, high rent, did the restaurant in.
    What can we say? Location, location, location. Substandard rib places do well, in the busier high rise area.
    This week, I threw caution to the wind. I went for ribs and brisket on Sunday, ribs and pulled pork on Tuesday, and on the last day, Thursday, I am going to order ribs, brisket AND pulled pork!
    Tina reports she is working on the next incarnation of the Hollywood Smokehouse, format might change by the taste and quality will stay the same.
    Monday morning quarterback: When you open a restaurant, and fulfill your dream, you find out that what it really means is hard work 24/7, as your suppliers, your landlord and your employees challenge you every day and test your resolve to stay in business. They really wear your stick-to-it-tive-ness, out.
    I found the following itty-bitty information on line: Five questions to ask yourself before starting a business.

    1. Am I prepared to work way more than 40-hours a week?
    2. Do I enjoy managing people?
    3. Can I go without paying myself for months if needed?
    4. How long do I want to run this business?
    5. Who will take over the business if I no longer want to run it five, 10, 15 or 20 years from now?

    In addition to these five annoying questions that no one with a great idea wants to ask, below are nine categories of business to address very closely before taking the leap into the exciting world of food and beverage:
    Financials – Are your pockets deep, very deep?
    Location, Location, Location – did you land the primo location?
    Advisors – Do you have a bona fide expert by your side?
    Technology – make sure you work smarter not harder.
    Competitors – Are you going into a saturated market?
    Secret sauce – What sets you apart? What makes you special? Is there anything unique about your product?
    Partners – Are they greasy, greedy slime-balls or equally fired up about the exciting opportunity?
    Team – Are you people fully trained and qualified
    Equipment & suppliers – You didn’t buy your equipment in China, did you?! And can you rely on your suppliers to always stick to specs?
    Bottom line: We would never venture into any business, never get married, never have kids, never act on any of our ideas if we truly thought everything out. Most of the time we just go with our gut!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Very sad to hear
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  3. #3
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Eagle Beach, Glitz Casino, Manchebo Beach Resort
    Peg's gonna be beside was one of her favorites...... AI hotels don't help local restaurants a bit.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    West Deck in the afternoon
    Hollywood Smokehouse has been one of my favorites; always consistent, great food and a pleasant staff. We went every trip. I would even buy some of their sauce to take home. It saddens me to hear they did not make it and we will definitely miss it!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    West Deck in the afternoon
    CP, you got that right!!! NO more pulled pork sandwiches and their's were the best. I also just hate to hear that people are out of a job, and the owners have lost their dream.

  6. #6
    Aruba since 1979
    Andrea J.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    sad to hear that HSH is closing.

    Rona's commentary is terrific.

  7. #7
    Senior Member schexc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    We went there for the first time last trip for the brisket. It was fantastic and we already had it on the list for our upcoming trip. Hopefully they open up again somewhere soon.


  8. #8
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Under a palapa on Palm beach
    Oh no, I really wanted to try smoked grouper since we are staying close. Sad to see this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member WaltVB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Legends Iguana Joe's, Surf Club

  10. #10
    Senior Member ArubaAce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Arashi Beach, Malmok Beach, Eagle Beach.
    I had the brisket which was awesome. Their pull pork kind of dry but the sauce made it right. I just saw the post on face book about their closing. They mentioned that they will be available for catering so I guess they will not open a new location.

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