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Happy Trails, 316 Cibo!

“Although the owners are going to change the business into a smaller version of their existing Brosville pizza restaurant, Downtown Danville’s streetscaping debacle has killed another business.

From 316 Cibo’s Facebook page

To all our Loyal Customers,

Hi, yes unfortunately it is true. We are closing October the 12th. The concept of 316 Cibo needs a higher foot traffic. Due to the last 13 months of construction the foot traffic has dropped 40+%. It also required more staff members at peek times, and trying to keep our costs under control we weren’t able to have that extra staff at time, causing the speediness to slow down. We as a business are very sad to close 316 Cibo, but are excited to bring downtown DELL’ANNO’S PIZZA KITCHEN. We will offer a selection of Salads, Soups, Subs and a variety of Pizzas. We also plan to offer more beer selections including draft and increase our hours. We believe that this concept will keep a restaurant open at 316 Main Street. We know that this decision will upset our customers, but we hope that people will support a local downtown business. Thank you, and thank you for your support!

Agostino Pugliese

Nice. On the heels of today’s announcement of yet another round of street construction in Downtown Danville, we get the news that one of the better places to eat in Danville is shutting down their business model.

If it wasn’t for a few businesses left, I’d yell that Downtown Danville Is Dead! and I’m damned close to saying that now when it coming to retail. Main Street Coffee Emporium has survived everything thrown at it, Jake’s On Main survived a serious parking issue and Lou’s Antique Mall caught a big break when the IDA bought the building and saved that business. The new running supply store seems to be holding its own for now and… what the hell else is left? I’m not counting Jackie’s, because that store will be there until the city comes up with the bright idea of bombing the whole area in the name of River District Progress (theoretically, that’s not impossible based on the botched “progress” so far).

Let’s also fondly remember Downtown Danville’s “Arts Renaissance”. Dan River Art Works & the Danvillian Gallery were supposed to bring a new flair to the arts for the area. How’d that work out? Both are now closed and the owners have left town. I’m not blaming the owners one damned bit because they were in business to make money. But when you’ve got crap thrown at you like being threatened with charges because you re-paint a classic Coke sign? Danville City Council shut that problem down as fast as they could, but it was too late to avoid the well-deserved negative publicity.

The River District now has a commission which will oversee what people can do with their properties to make sure that it fits in the River District vision. Wow. I can’t see anything bad that will happen from that idea, can you?

Happy Trails, 316 Cibo! What a damned shame for it to have to close due to lack of foot traffic caused by a horrendous “revitalization” effort. I hope that Dell’anno Pizza Kitchen survives in its new edition.”

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9 comments to Happy Trails, 316 Cibo!

  • Jeff

    That’s a shame, they always seemed busy when I’d go there at lunch. :(

  • Sheila

    Now, let me see if I have this straight-316 Cibo is closing because they don’t have enough business, But, don’t worry, they are opening up another restaurant at the same address called Dell’anno Pizza Kitchen? Have I got it right? It is closing because the street work put them out of business per the comments read. Ok. I am sure that the street work hurt them, that being said, it takes a lot of customers to make a restaurant profitable-pedestrian traffic. This is not the first restaurant in this building. As popular as the other one was, and with its more extensive menu, it failed.

    I cannot help but wonder if the new restaurant (new name, same owner) is receiving some type of funding for this new venture. Out of curiosity Bruce, I would really like to know and I would think that you would too! Am surprised that you say nothing about this possibility. Oh and Bruce, foot traffic IS a problem downtown even without construction!

    Sheila

  • ChrisD

    A pizza restaurant without a pizza oven? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  • Sheila,

    Danville is not shy about its largesse with people opening up businesses. They haven’t gotten any money ever, IIRC.

    This is being driven, I think, by the relatively serious structural problems in the fit between the concept and the ability to execute it in the space they had. The biggest problem I had with Cibo was that there needed to be a salad line, a sandwich line, and an everything else line. That wasn’t possible. Additionally, the panini press often bogged down the sandwich ordering while the salad production process had a similar problem bogging down. If they had a restaurant concept like Checkered Pig with counter ordering and food delivery, it would work better. If they had a counter like O’Kellys had at the Piney Forest location before they moved into the larger one, it could serve the salad part of the business very well.

    To a person, everyone I have heard from said when they were there it was always busy. Part of that is that a lot of people haven’t been in a while. The other part is that the there were inefficiencies that made things seem busier than it really was.

    Finally, to address the Bronx Boy issue…the owners of that business were of a much lower caliber than the owners of the Cibo in my opinion. They decided to badmouth whatever festival it was they had been involved in their first year when they didn’t get to participate, and that cost them a lot of good will. They then stopped paying their taxes, and the death knell was sounded. People stayed away. Inventory started getting stale/old, and the place just could not recover. Cibo has been faced with much more significant challenges and has managed to stay open longer. This is about how they can change the concept of an almost successful restaurant to decrease costs and attract new clients so they can full on succeed. I wish them great luck.

  • Sheila

    I don’t know Lee. According to article in the R&B this morning 10/11-“Corrie Teague, project manager for Danville’s Office of Economic Development, said, “The city is very supportive of the Puglieses’ plan to convert 316 Cibo into Dell’Anno’s Pizza Kitchen. “. Just “how” supportive is really what I am wondering. I know that other restaurants received assistance to go downtown so I wonder how much or just what “incentives” they have received and are now receiving. It used to be that if you wanted to start your own business, you did it without taxpayer assistance. That is not how it works these days and I find that very frustrating. Some open one business (with taxpayer assistance), go out of business, and open another some place else with yet, you know it, taxpayer assistance.

  • I really don’t think that is how this has worked, but I’d encourage you to call up Ms. Teague and ask if you’re curious. Nothing lost.

    That said, I do wonder if there may be other forms of incentive that are at play here. Have you ever noticed how Forever Young Salon suddenly became Rejuvenation Salon? I think the Coleman Marketplace management was offering very favorable term loans to tenants or something along those lines when they were still so vacant. They are still relatively vacant, and that big hole beside Target wouldn’t have looked good. Could the name change have among other reasons been to get more freebies? In that case, that’s between the business running the place and the business renting the space in their strip mall. While I highly doubt Danville is bankrolling any of it, perhaps there are SBA programs or other things that account for the change.

  • Travis Hackworth

    There is a Downtown Development Grant – what happens is that you submit a business plan and the ED evaluates your request and you’re provided an allotment based upon that evaluation. You have a set number of years that you have to operate in order to not have to pay back that amount granted to you. If you don’t fulfill that time you have to pay back that amount and you open yourself to legal action ( I’d assume ) to obtain repayment of that seed money.

  • This does nothing but confuse me. Close one restaurant to open another? Is there something going on here we aren’t being told?

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