Businesses react to rash of closingsPublished 5:23pm Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Plaza Restaurant owner Julie Rudolph was shocked when she heard several Niles businesses were closing within days of each other this week.
A Niles business owner herself, Rudolph knows full well how much heart and soul goes into making an enterprise stay afloat.
“I just felt horrible especially for the owners giving up something they’ve worked hard for,” she said. “And for all the employees out of a job in this economy — my heart goes out to all of them because this isn’t what we want to hear for our community.”
Rudolph has worked at Plaza Restaurant for 26 years and has been an owner for more than a year.
Although she isn’t overly worried about Plaza Restaurant’s future, Rudolph said they are being careful about how they run their business during this recession.
“We watch our payroll, the cost of food and everything else,” she said. “We are hoping for the best and keeping our fingers crossed that things eventually turn around in the economy.”
Cindy Cataldo, who has owned Massimo’s Pizzeria in downtown Niles for the past five years, said Niles isn’t to blame for businesses closing.
In fact, she is happy and proud to be a Niles business owner. It just takes a little extra effort to stay in business in a small town, she said. That little extra is being heavily involved in the community.
“When there is stuff going on I try to be a part of it and participate in it. This is too small of a town to not be involved. If you don’t become part of it, you don’t do well,” she said.
Having good service is another big part of being successful, Cataldo said, because in a small town everybody talks to everybody.
“I try to know my customers and listen to them. You have to care about what they say and think,” she said. “You also have to care about the business and what is around you, so I’m not worried about it now.”
Rich Moore, who owns and runs Third Street Pizzeria in downtown Niles, said he too was surprised to see the businesses close. He was especially surprised that such long-standing businesses like Millennium Steak House, Riverfront Cafe and The Shoppe Hair Salon folded.
“We saw no warning at all,” Moore said. “We viewed them as successful operations. It isn’t unusual to see some of the little places come and go, but the big ones you expect to remain a little while longer.”
Moore said his pizzeria has been able to survive because of their ability to tighten the belt and work long hours during tough times.
“Working 12- to 14-hour days isn’t unusual,” he said. “It just becomes part of your life. When I go out it is usually work-related and when I’m with my family we talk about work. You have to live it.”