Making it as a restaurant downtown isn’t a walk in the park. That has been proven time and time again, and locally-based smaller chains haven’t fared well as of late in the Central Business District (CBD), seeing both an Olga’s and now Bagger Dave’s downtown locations close.

Eater Detroit first reported the closing, and it has been confirmed by multiple outlets, a press release and, well, you can see the above picture from this evening. It’s dark.

Here’s a quote in corporatese from their press release:

“DRH (Diversified Restaurant Holdings) is committed to taking all appropriate and necessary actions to enhance value for all shareholders,” said Michael Ansley, Chairman, President and CEO.  “We have therefore chosen to optimize our portfolio and improve overall profitability by closing 8 underperforming Bagger Dave Restaurants. This will allow us to focus our attention on more profitable restaurants. Currently, five Bagger Dave’s are operating under the new and improved prototype and we are very encouraged with the initial performance. As we gain experience with the brand, we have confidence that we have made the necessary improvements to drive future success of the concept.”

Founded in the Oakland County suburb of Berkley in 2008, there are still several Metro Detroit Bagger Dave’s locations including Berkley, Bloomfield, Canton, Chesterfield Township, Novi, Shelby Township and Woodhaven as well as one in Ann Arbor.

Although a dinner crowd is starting to come to downtown, the bread and butter of Detroit’s CBD is still lunch thanks to the estimated 78,000-85,000 workers that come every weekday.

To succeed with food outside of lunch and major events, it seems that you need to be an institution like one of the iconic pair of coneys or Grand Trunk, or a destination, like Wright & Company or Central Bar & Kitchen (obviously, there are more in those categories than those four).

And it’s not like in the food business downtown a place has to be about artisanal options and reclaimed wood.

Bagger Dave’s downtown neighbor and sister restaurant chain in the same holding company, Buffalo Wild Wings, seems to be doing better and is perfectly suited to a sports crowd. The new Which Wich seems to be always going, so is Starbucks … and Detroit’s Hard Rock Cafe has been persisting for years.

Although it is a small space in footprint, the Bagger Dave’s spot that most previously was a barber shop has one of the more unique building facades in the city. It’ll be interesting to see what’s next.

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