Fail fast may be a hyped aphorism for entrepreneurs, but it doesn’t seem suited to small business like shops and cafes. In recent times I’ve noticed an increasing number of small businesses failing very fast. Process shop on Brunswick St was open for about a month. So was the Cleaver and Quill / Something More cafe fiasco.┬áIn comparison New School Canteen was a veteran lasting about six months.

garden-club-closed Garden Club on Smith St closes after about a month

The latest place to fail as soon as it opened is Garden View cafe on the Collingwood side of Smith St (where Bistro K Korean used to be and Foo-Doo’s before that). It got the full Boredshit / Good Fodder PR treatment and was operated by the owner of Phamily (a few doors further north on Smith St). It now has the typical notice in the window about defaulting on the lease. And as with Ibla Cucina, it’s Instagram account has been deleted.

Clearly the ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy does not work well for cafes. It takes time for an audience to develop, unless you’re lucky for the instahype to convert into sustained appeal. You need cash in reserve because when you first open you’ll be trading at a loss. It’s not difficult to work this shit out. So why are there so many failures?

Garden Club on Smith St closes after about a month

3 thoughts on “Garden Club on Smith St closes after about a month

  • 7 September 2017 at 9:12 pm

    There’s got to be more to this than meets the eye. They spent longer doing the fit out than the time the were actually open! First it opened for a solid week – then closed the second week. On the third week it opened for a few random days, then suddenly newspapers covered the windows. Then next week – it’s open again! And then just as sudden, it closed for good and had clearly been stripped out. More to this than meets the eye I reckon…

    • 2 October 2017 at 9:45 am

      Sounds more like an IVF clinic.


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