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JD’s Wood Fired Grill shaping up

March 4, 2013

SALEM — Remodeling is already under way as the Wing Warehouse transforms into JD’s Wood Fired Grill....

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(12)

GrantMingus

Jan-29-14 9:11 AM

Nope, I don't know any more than you. They've been there working on it. The weather certainly hasn't helped their cause with so much work to be done on the exterior. I do love Euro Gyro though!

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ts1227

Jan-29-14 7:11 AM

EuroGyro? Haven't heard anything new, just see the building being worked on. Maybe Grant knows a little more.

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questioner

Jan-28-14 12:44 PM

Grant, I think you nailed it. There has to be something exceptional. Especially for a new place, average won't make it.

As a location in general, Salem is not a plus. So you gotta have price or service or selection or uniqueness or excellence of something.

As a side question, anyone know an update for the place going in at Ellsworth and State? (Sorry, forgot it's name.)

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GrantMingus

Jan-28-14 11:19 AM

Rooners has the sports theme locked down, and a great location with a great patio. Mike's has one of the better menus in this whole area and when he's cooking it's always top notch food. Jalisco's does very well because their food is above average, service is great, drink specials are very popular. Ezios puts out some pretty good food most of the time and it's a cool building--it's better than Olive Garden. Ricky's is a classier joint than most and that draws in quite a few people. Of course there are others that do fairly well, but the point is, while all may lack in one area or another, all are exception for a small town restaurant in one category or another. JD's, WW, just average at everything, not exceptional at anything. That doesn't drive business these days, especially when you have the location working against you.

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GrantMingus

Jan-28-14 11:15 AM

I think the biggest problem is that it's rare for a place to stand out from the crowd. Seems like a lot of restaurants are open here with that all too familiar idea that it'll be easy to survive because people have to eat. But people drive out of town every night of the week for a meal, and there is plenty of good food right here in Salem. But to play on the meat and potatoes thing, that's what most of these places are. Just meat and potatoes, typical restaurants. You have to have SOMETHING that catches people's attention. It's not enough to just serve food anymore. Seems like there isn't much vision in these places, it's just a run of the mill restaurant trying to make it and they never do.

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ts1227

Jan-28-14 10:27 AM

Location sure didn't help, but in a town the size of Salem you'd think that effect would be negligible. I think the building condition inside ran more people off than location(their "renovation" unfortunately just was polishing a turd, and it was still a bar with a food menu).

I thought WW was decent for what it was, no better or worse than BW3 or QSL, and slightly cheaper. It's pretty hard to screw up a wing joint. I only had JD's once but it was the same, decent for what it was. Definitely blows their next door neighbors at Big Dog's out of the water (though that's a low bar to jump - I've yet to hear one good word about it, and the time I had it was nothing special).

I still just don't see anyone paying a premium for anything better than these average places. When all of the average places not named Penn Grill or Rooners flop constantly, it scares investors.

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GrantMingus

Jan-28-14 9:54 AM

I would say the demographic is wrong. A place like Mike's Penn Grille is doing well in Salem and their menu is certainly not just straight forward meat and potatoes. For what it's worth, I ate at JD's a few times and didn't think the food was that good. Also never liked anything I had from Wing Warehouse. That's just a tough area of town to have a restaurant anyways.

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ts1227

Jan-28-14 7:30 AM

questioner, it was a term used by someone around the time this article was written describing generally people's eating habits around here... very straightforward, simple, some may even argue boring, meat and potatoes type of demographics. Largely, I don't think anyone would argue that. So, when someone tries to fill that niche and flops, either we're all wrong about the demographics, or we forgot to include too cheap to pay market prices for good food as part of that description, which is more likely the case (it comes with having an "older" town).

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questioner

Jan-27-14 3:38 PM

ts1227, I'm intrigued--tell me about the "beer and hoagie" label.

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ts1227

Jan-26-14 5:47 PM

Uh-oh, I'm hearing last night was the final night of JD's, if it's true, that's very bad news for Salem.

Just remember, everyone wanting to know why restaurants won't locate to Salem, you'll never get anything remotely close to fine dining in Salem if a place like this can't even last a year.

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ts1227

Mar-04-13 7:48 PM

I'm kind of curious what made him pull the Wing Warehouse name (or if they pulled out) from Salem, but not the other 2 places he owns.

Considering the fairly accurate "beer and hoagie" label that Salem was given by some last week, it's VERY concerning if a wing joint, and a wing joint that was just as good but also cheaper than QSL and BW3 to boot, couldn't thrive in Salem. A wing place should absolutely kill it in this town.

WW had just as good of wings as any place I mentioned (and their sauces were generally better), the only problem was the building was getting a little crappy again, which they're fixing with the remodel.

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ladybug

Mar-04-13 10:45 AM

Now if salem could just get a motel !!!

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