January 29, 2013
Charlottesville is making yet another list for what it has to offer. This time, it's for it's restaurants. Out of the top metro cities in the nation, the Charlottesville region ranked number 14 for the most eateries per person.
Stuart Rifkin, a Charlottesville restaurant owner and operator, said, "It didn't surprise me, I'll tell you that. We have the perfect storm for restaurants here in Charlottesville."
Andrew Silver, chef and co-owner of "Zocalo", said "It's nice that we live in a community that supports restaurants of all nature. I think it's a nice statement about Charlottesville and the fact that we have a nice insulated economy and people are doing well here and have luxury dollars to spend in restaurants."
There are nearly 440 people for every restaurant in the area. Total there are 460 restaurants and more than 70 of those can be found on the Downtown Mall.
With so many eateries in a small place, there's a challenge to be and stay successful. "Just work harder," said Rifkin, "All of the competition is from within. It really doesn't come from your next door neighbor it comes from you."
Silver stated, "I think a lot of people use the word competition. It's a word that I try to keep out of my vocabulary. I really try to believe that the more good restaurants there are in Charlottesville, the more reason people will have to come here. "
In the end, it's all about making customers happy. Rifkin said, "People eat. They are always happy when they come in and the goal is to make them happy when they leave but they are certainly here for a good time."