Hey, Thanks: An Open Letter at Open Thread

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This week's Nashville Scene features open letters of thanks from Nashvillians and Scene staffers. Some are funny, others sarcastic. A few are heartfelt. Here's one from the food desk.

All of you brave — or maybe just desperate — people who opened food businesses during the recession-that's-allegedly-over, thank you so much for adding to a vibrant independent restaurant landscape in the worst financial conditions in living memory.

Some of you were well into opening a place when the economic elevator dropped. Maybe the downturn sped up — or slowed — your timetable as you launched your dream. A few of you, those who lost jobs and couldn't replace them, used the opportunity to open a specialty business that we'd never had before, or never had enough of. A few of you had owned restaurants previously, and felt that opening another restaurant was your best pick from a pretty uncertain hand.

Maybe the shrunken customer census meant you ran out of cash within months. Maybe you managed to eke it out for a couple of lean years before closing. You did your best, and thank you. You're certainly not alone — by early 2009, so many restaurants were closing that Bites had to resort to a monthly roundup to keep track.

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  • hammond.com
I don't know where you got the money for it — maybe you used credit cards, charm, or your retirement fund. Maybe you didn't truly know where the money would come from, but you opened for business anyway.

Some of you managed to navigate the perilous waters and opened restaurants that thrived. But not all.

I hope I speak for Bites readers when I say I ate at your place when I could, and sent people to you when I thought they'd enjoy it. Opening a restaurant is so difficult in even good economic times. You deserved the success and and not the failures.

That's what I'm thankful for this week as Thanksgiving approaches. What food-related topic made you grateful this week?

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