A Call for Change
“Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right” says Oprah Winfrey, as the ball dropped for the start of 2013. And that’s just what Laramie, Wyoming did.
With only 31,000 people which includes the population of the University of Wyoming, the small close-knit community of Laramie prides itself on locally owned restaurants. Although, being disadvantaged by it’s population size, Laramie’s restaurants must continually change in order to stay competitive and successful in such a small town.
Luciano’s Coming Soon
Well known for their fine Italian cuisine and classy dining, Luciano’s has made a bold step in the direction for change. In fact, if you were to drive by today, Luciano’s no longer exists.
Luciano’s is currently in the process of relocating to the previous establishment of what was most famously known as Wingers.
“We knew we had to take the risk of losing business for a few weeks in order to be successful in the long run,” said Luciano server, Sam Holmes. “We are a great restaurant and have plenty of potential, our location was simply what hurt our business.”
The new location of Luciano’s will make it the first restaurant people see as they drive into Laramie from the I-80 exit. Owner Eileen Obsuth said the new location on Grand would allow Luciano’s to expand their seating from about 60 at their current location on Ivinson, to about 140, as well as double the current number of employees from 22 to 44.
This, in turn, will generate far better profit for the restaurant and bring awareness to a new establishment. The previous location of Luciano’s will be the new home of Born in a Barn, a burger, wings and beer joint.
Do You Still “Tell Your Mom You’re at The Library”?
As the Library Sports Grille and Brewery said there final goodbye’s on January 26th, also their 5-year anniversary, there has been plenty of chatter of what’s in store for their restaurant.
Famous for their prime location, just walking distance from both campus and War Memorial Stadium, The Library was extremely successful. As the owners of the restaurant and owners of the building parted ways after disagreeing on lease negotiations, The Library is saddened to leave their home but will bring their valued customers wherever they go.
“It is unofficial as to where the new location will be,” said bartender Riley Booth, “owners won’t announce it until the deal is closed. Although we are certain it will be downtown.”
Riley also mentioned “O’Dwyers Grub and Pub will replace The Library with a similar bar and menu.”
While this may be a rough time for the community and employers of The Library, this is also a time neighboring restaurants will take advantage of such a loss. Just down the street is Bailey’s Restaurant and Patio, which is hopeful for more business on game day now that The Library has moved.
Head waitress, Vivian Sannes said, “We are planning on involving parking lot tailgate parties to draw in the old Library crowd on game day. We have just as close a location to the stadium, we just couldn’t compete with the attention the community had already given to The Library.”
Sannes also said they are expecting to see a drastic increase in customers not only on basketball and football games, but professional game days as well.
-Video courtesy of Youtube.
While the Cavalryman steakhouse has always been a specialty restaurant to the Laramie community, owner John Pope is hoping that their new management might bring back popularity. After multiple changes in management from 2005 to 2012, the Cavalryman has struggled to keep a steady crowd. However, a new chief and new management has been the solution for their most recent success.
The menu has been updated to accommodate more Wyoming traditional dinners and seafood entrees. They are also in the process of reducing the prices in the menu and reaching out to the average, college student population.
“It doesn’t help that we are secluded from the other restaurants in town, so we have to do whatever it takes to stay ahead,” said new manager Dennis Wades . “I’m hoping that by bringing in televisions and local music I can draw in a larger crowd not only for the restaurant but the bar and lounge.”
Owners are excited to see how recent changes will affect their sales costs and bring back the excitement for one of Laramie’s most historical restaurants.
From Tommy to Roxie
With all the adjustments in Laramie’s restaurants, Roxie’s on Grand serves as a superior example for the success that comes with change. For years the corner of 3rd and Grand was well known for Tommy Jacks and their famous Cajun cuisine.
As Tommy Jacks began to struggle with retaining steady business, the location needed an update.
“New owners, new restaurant, new menu, new look. That’s all we needed,” said Kayla Eva, who has bartended under both ownerships. “People have had a lot more good things to say about it now that we have changed, and it gets busy every single night.”
The community has become excited to go out to eat again and their servers can’t complain about a busy night full of tips.
If this town continues to do what it has always done, it will see no results.
This change gives a sense of hope to other restaurant owners and entrepreneurs that, while Laramie may be a small town, they can succeed if they keep a steady rate of change.