Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette | Page 3 | TigerDroppings.com

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BlackenedOut
The Big Sleazy
Member since Feb 2011
3312 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


Well the reason given on this board why Cochon closed is because they were serving food that people either a) can make better at home b) was uppity or c) was not authentic. Ruffino's has a pretty straightforward menu of Italian and steaks it appears. When it was announced Ruffino's was taking over the building, people believed Ruffinos would do great because it was fare Lafayette people would actually go out to eat. But one of the main discussion son this board always seems to be "Dont go to steakhouses you can do better at home." So how does this fit?

So if Ruffino's has difficulty it is either a) related to the location/size of the restaurant or b) because people don't want to give continued support to restaurants out of their comfort level in Lafayette.






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coolpapaboze
Penn Fan
Parts Unknown
Member since Dec 2006
8049 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

Here is the follow-up, if Ruffino's cant make it at that location, does it turn to an indictment of Lafayette?

I don't really think it would be because I think the biggest issue is the facility itself. I've seen successful restauranteurs, like Danny Meyer in NYC, fail simply because they rolled out a concept in a space that was too large. He closed Tabla, a restaurant that by all accounts was very good and well reviewed, a few years ago simply because the economics of the business make it difficult to support a large space. I think that site was pricey, they built a first class, large capacity facility on it, and the economics are a challenge. Cochon failed, I wouldn't be surprised if Ruffinos fails, and if they do, each subsequent tenant will face the same problem. Because of the primo geographic location the rent on that spot is going to stay high and every restauranteur will think they can make it work. I wouldn't be surprised if that site is a banquet/special event facility in five years.






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BlackenedOut
The Big Sleazy
Member since Feb 2011
3312 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


Agree on your example with Tabla, but there are plenty of restaurants that are both large and difficult to get to, which do very well. If the food is good, why shouldn't people go just because a space is large?

And I think the Ruffino's own the building so rent would really depend on the loan terms.






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bdevill
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Mar 2008
8720 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

I would think one is looking for a very different dining experience when going to Ruffino's or going to Carraba's.


You said in a previous post that you believed Lafayette is a food town and not a restaurant town. If that's the case then Lafayette will choose the location that provides them with the best type of meal at the most economical price point.. (Because people that know how to cook won't spend alot of money at a restaurant just because it's a place to see and be seen.)
I've looked at the proposed menu for Ruffino's Lafayette and frankly there's nothing that thrills me about the offerings... in fact, it looks a lot like Carraba's, with fewer options.



This post was edited on 5/21 at 2:29 pm


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Oenophile Brah
LSU Fan
The Edge of Sanity
Member since Jan 2013
5358 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

BlackenedOut

I can't really speak to the Laffy dining scene. I went to the Cochon up there once, but I have spoken with Link associates about the business. It didn't turn out to what Donald wanted. My impression was the average diner was a "new money" customer who wanted more of a steakhouse atmosphere. Plenty of highballs, and BS like that. Dining is more of a social scene then just a great meal. Plus the younger crowd is completedly unfamiliar with upscale dining. My .02

ETA: I am in no way endorsing Ruffino's FYI. My only time going when I was in college was quite bad. It may have changed as that was at least 5 years ago.



This post was edited on 5/21 at 2:30 pm


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BlackenedOut
The Big Sleazy
Member since Feb 2011
3312 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


Thats a pretty good assessment. Dining in some places is going somewhere and having lots of drinks, standing around a bar, and sharing a few bites of an appetizer. Its one reason why cities need bars and restaurants.





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bdevill
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Mar 2008
8720 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

the average diner was a "new money" customer who wanted more of a steakhouse atmosphere


There were some diners however, that frequented Cochon regularly, that appreciated the offerings and the originality. There just weren't enough of them, which supports the "venue size" assertion.



This post was edited on 5/21 at 2:59 pm


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Y.A. Tittle
Winthrop Fan
Member since Sep 2003
49568 posts
 Online 

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

My impression was the average diner was a "new money" customer who wanted more of a steakhouse atmosphere. Plenty of highballs, and BS like that. Dining is more of a social scene then just a great meal. Plus the younger crowd is completedly unfamiliar with upscale dining. My .02



This is why a place like Lafonda's has made a killing there for 50+ years, serving food nobody in Lafayette admittedly wants to eat (I actually like the food there) with Everclear margaritas.






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tracytiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2009
2748 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


Ruffino's in Baton Rouge is a very large restaurant. I think they'll do just fine.






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coolpapaboze
Penn Fan
Parts Unknown
Member since Dec 2006
8049 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

Agree on your example with Tabla, but there are plenty of restaurants that are both large and difficult to get to, which do very well. If the food is good, why shouldn't people go just because a space is large?
Oh I don't think that size in and of itself isn't necessarily an issue, it's size coupled with high overhead that is a problem. Tabla was right next to Eleven Madison Park, on the next corner, in what I imagine was pricey real estate. Big restaurants do fine all over the place. I think the size of the Cochon/Ruffinos space, plus the fact that it is prime, and they built that place out to nice specs, means they've got a big hurdle to get over, and I just think that is going to be hard for anyone to over come. The huge fixed cost is likely the difference between a place like that succeeding relative to a big place out in the country somewhere that can survive on lower margins, or even thrive with a seasonal business. Having said all that, I hope they do well, they seem like nice people.






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bdevill
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Mar 2008
8720 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


Except that LaFonda is old Lafayette.. People from the surrounding areas and people that are new to Lafayette have to get drunk there a couple of times to appreciate it.

quote:

they've got a big hurdle to get over


Also, the fact that the menu is Italian specific, limits the diner.. But I'll be there this weekend and I'm looking forward to it. I'm anxious to see what they've done with the place, even though my family's picture isn't on the wall in the dining room anymore.




This post was edited on 5/21 at 3:31 pm


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Oenophile Brah
LSU Fan
The Edge of Sanity
Member since Jan 2013
5358 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

People from the surrounding areas and people that are new to Lafayette have to get drunk there a couple of times to appreciate it.

Sounds like a couple of rounds of Everclear Margaritas will do that trick. Not sure if that counts as an Apertif or Digestif?






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bdevill
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Mar 2008
8720 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette



I'd like to know how many diners have seen "accidents" in the dining room.. Well.. I take it back. I don't wanna know.






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BlackenedOut
The Big Sleazy
Member since Feb 2011
3312 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


Tried to get into EMP for dinner next month, no dice there or at per se. Colicchio and Sons instead, have you been?





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joeleblanc
Member since Jan 2012
939 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

For a city its size, Lafayette and the Lafayette area have a significant number of dining options. The only competition Ruffino's will face however, and the only restaurant that should feel any concern is Carraba's.

The only indictment on Lafayette, if Ruffino's fails, is that they chose another option, around the corner, that's easier to access.


Are you serious? Carabbas? A semi decent place for Italian food is going to be Ruffino's competition? If so, doesn't say much for Ruffino's reputation. Of course, I know its just an opinion, but...wow is all I can say.






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Al Dante
Member since Mar 2013
1624 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


I've never been to Ruffino's so I have no opinion on their food. I've lived in Lafayette all my life though and I can tell you that that location has all the earmarks of one of those places that no matter what restaurant is in it it will fail. Hard to get to, extremely high overhead and simply too massive.

I hope they make it though. They seem to be held in high regard and we could use another good Italian place.






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Count Chocula
Yale Fan
Tier 5 and proud
Member since Feb 2009
49476 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

Ruffino's in Baton Rouge is a very large restaurant. I think they'll do just fine.
How does being large equate to success? Just curious.






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Al Dante
Member since Mar 2013
1624 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

How does being large equate to success? Just curious.


Some of the posters have said the Lafayette space is too big and therefore will fail. He's just pointing out the BR location is big and they do well.

Some locations though have some cosmic alignment of detrimental factors and no restaurant ever seems to work there. I believe that that spot on the river where Ruffino's is located may be one of them.

Bako's location is one of those. 5 restaurants have been there and none of them have worked. City Club smack dab in the middle of River Ranch is another.






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Count Chocula
Yale Fan
Tier 5 and proud
Member since Feb 2009
49476 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

I believe that that spot on the river where Ruffino's is located may be one of them.
The only place at that location prior was Cochons. The place restaurants go to die in Lafayette is on the corner of Johnson and Vital. The latest to close there was Gabe's LaFonda spin off.






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coolpapaboze
Penn Fan
Parts Unknown
Member since Dec 2006
8049 posts

re: Ruffino's on the River Grand opening tomorrow in Lafayette


quote:

Tried to get into EMP for dinner next month, no dice there or at per se. Colicchio and Sons instead, have you been?

I'd skip EMP in its current iteration. I've probably eaten there a dozen times and five or six years ago, it was my favorite restaurant in the world. As Humm increased his imprint on the place and ultimately purchased it, it's become a cold, "event" type restaurant, which I don't care for. I've not been to Colicchio and Sons but from what I've read lately, it has apparently hit its stride after a rocky start. I'd also recommend Del Posto, which is a few doors down. It's Batali's take on three star level Italian dining. I had dinner there last week and it's as good as ever: great service, beautiful room, stellar wine list, and fantastic food.






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