It was a bright but short run for The Local. The downtown Phoenix restaurant opened on Roosevelt Row this spring, and almost exactly six months to date from its official opening, it has shuttered.
"We poured our hearts and souls into it, but at the end of the day if the numbers don't add up . . . it is what it is," says The Local chef and co-owner Chris McKinley.
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McKinley and co-owner/general manager Adam Hargett say the decision to pull the plug comes down to numbers and location. There were a handful of factors that played into their decision, including a summer that was slower than they anticipated and an investor pulling out of the business. The space also was much larger than they originally wanted.
"At some point, you have to take your emotions out of it and just look at the numbers," Hargett says.
"We really tried to do everything we could to make it work down here, but at the end of the day, the location was the biggest obstacle," he says. "And that wasn't going to change."
Though they both say they loved being a part of the downtown scene, McKinley admits the restaurant "just wasn't a good fit." Business was inconsistent, and even on good days, the restaurant was making far below what it would have needed to break even.
McKinley and Hargett say the long-term plan will be to find a smaller space in either the Arcadia or Scottsdale neighborhood. As for right now, they're unsure if they'll be able to use the name "The Local" again, but they do say they'd like to keep the same concept.
For the immediate future, they'll be laying low.
"It wont be the last anybody sees of us, but it will be the last of The Local for now," Hargett says.