Cinnamon Grand Cabin on Johnston St has closed, the most recent in a long list of short-lived failed businesses in this building on Johnston St next to the petrol station on the corner of Johnston and Nicholson streets. I’ve not seen it open at night for a couple of weeks now. It lasted about 3 months. Their Facebook has been untouched for almost a month.

I feel genuinely sorry for the operators. It’s easy to imagine the circumstances: immigrant small business owners with limited education or ability to participate in the workforce, with one of the greatest assets being their cultural capital in the form of their traditional cuisine.

They get screwed over by an awful commercial real estate agent who tells them that the premises receive high passing trade and great exposure. They don’t use the internet and are not computer literate and it never occurs to them to research the history of the location. If they did they would discover how doomed is it and would never sign a lease.

cinnamon-grand-cabin-closed Cinnamon Grand Cabin on Johnston St has closed

They open with extremely amateurish signage that does not appeal to the young, white, educated demographic that eats out a lot in the area. The quality of the food is irrelevant, as is the ethnicity of the cuisine, as nearby places like Mukka (Indian) and Pavlov’s Duck (also Sri Lankan) are doing very well.

It’s all about the image, and also the location. Something amazing would have to open in this space to overcome the inherent negative vibe of the location. It would have to be impressive, but moreso it would have to look impressive. It would need to look spectacular.

Despite wonderful help and free graphic design from a concerned local resident, who designed their menu cards and initial colourful website (now gone, replaced by a generic online ordering company templated site, the initial impression could not be overcome, and the place was overlooked. The result was inevitable.

Cinnamon Grand Cabin on Johnston St has closed

4 thoughts on “Cinnamon Grand Cabin on Johnston St has closed

  • 16 May 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I’m not surprised but with every new owner I see popping up there I want to go in and advise them to break their lease and be damned with the consequences. It always makes me sad when I see new local businesses go under.

  • 17 May 2016 at 12:41 am

    I agree with the majority of commentary here – I’m the “concerned local resident” – but this comment may have failed a fact check: “immigrant small business owners with limited education or ability to participate in the workforce” The owner was very well educated inc:
    Diploma of Management
    Diploma of Human Resource Management
    Diploma of Children’s Services
    Higher Diploma in Computer Studies.
    AAT Association of Accounting Technicians III
    Teacher’s Diploma

    • 17 May 2016 at 7:43 am

      I didn’t attempt to verify the facts – I imagined a circumstance. Apparently none of those qualifications gave them skills in reading the local geography or understanding consumers and the local restaurant culture.

  • 18 May 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Someone needs to capitalise on this site’s very convenient location, with a business where looks/space arent important, like a mobile phone retailer/repairer.


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