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Rough economy causes trouble for restaurant owners

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GREENSBORO-A declining economy makes life tough for restaurant owners on Elm Street in Greensboro.

Restaurants are turning over and space is available. For some of the staples, Monday night was busy for business.

"It's the furniture market and it's a full house," said Klaude Stankoski, manager of Undercurrent Restaurant.

Stankoski said the spot is no stranger to the ups and downs of the restaurant industry, especially amid a rocky economy.

"Everybody was down, we were down too,” said Stakoski.
He said lately they've seen signs of success and have liked their location on Battleground Avenue, a move they made off Elm Street in 2006.

Adjacent to Elm Street, Liberty Oak welcomed a solid list of reservations on Monday as well.

"Sales wise, we're not far from last year. We haven't had a big hit this year, but it's definitely been slow," said David Dorner, the restaurant's general manager.
The slump Dorner noticed has made it tough to sell fine dining in downtown. Bin 33 restaurant shut its doors in February, the space now holds Ham's.

Up the street, Bloody Mary's space is now available. Tavo has a no trespassing sign on its door, for nonpayment of taxes and across from Center City Park, Italian eatery Nico's is no more; a regret note is listed on its website.

"I think a lot of it is people kind of getting in over their head, having a great idea, finding a location, then just not being able to make it work," said Dorner.

Places like Undercurrent and Liberty Oak, who've stood the test of time, said it's about rolling with the punches when the market gets tough.

"All the little things you have to tighten down on, we've tried all different types of advertising, seeing what will work and what won't,” said Dorner.

While the closures of other restaurants seem to continue, new interests are available. Nico's old location now has a sign on the door that a Burlington Steakhouse will be coming soon.

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