If you’re familiar with my blog posts, you know I have a strong passion for gastronomy: restaurants, cafés, bistros, ice cream parlors, street food vendors… pretty much any place that sells food!
What might not be immediately clear, though, is my interest in understanding restaurateurs’ business strategies. For instance, I am always intrigued by a restaurant’s decision to renovate its interiors or to make permanent changes to its menu – just to name a few of the strategic business decisions I find most interesting (especially as a new business owner myself).
As is true for any business, location/location/location plays a very important role in a restaurant’s development plan. Actually, where to open a new restaurant is the most important question a restaurateur has to ask him or herself.
Reason why, I am especially attracted to restaurants that open at a location where (perhaps several) other restaurants have failed to stay in business.
There are many reasons why a restaurant might be forced out of business: inconvenient location; bad-tasting food; unfriendly service; ugly interiors; eccetera eccetera.
So what to think when a restaurant that seems to be getting things right suddenly closes at the exact same spot where another restaurant that seemed to be doing well had to close its doors?
The location I am referring to is the building just next to Schausspielhaus, Zurich’s main theater, and vis-à-vis Kunsthaus, Zurich’s main art museum. In short, a superb location.
I can no longer recall how many restaurants I have seen over the past years open at that location and then shortly after shut down. And every time I am both surprised and saddened, since I enjoyed going to every one of those restaurants.
The latest restaurant to open there is Santa Lucia Teatro, a pizzeria that belongs to Bindella, a very successful restaurant group in Switzerland. As I was craving pizza today, I thought I should check it out.
And I’m glad I did.
I loved the interiors. The atmosphere on the ground floor was rather informal, with many solo lunchers, yet at the same time very elegant. What I liked most were the brown armchairs and the low wooden tables.
I took a seat at an isolated table overlooking the brick oven. That was a very good spot for people-watching from a distance!
Santa Lucia offers several daily menus, including a daily pizza. I preferred, however, to order my favorite pizza, a quattro formaggi with mozzarella, gorgonzola, taleggio, and Bel Paese cheese, and a diet coke.
I’ve been to several Santa Lucia branches in Switzerland and, given my previous experience, I expected a very good pizza – which was, I am happy to say, what I got here, too.
I really, really hope this restaurant will not in the end share the fate of the other restaurants that preceded it. Once again, the restaurant seems to have all the right ingredients: location, food, service, interiors.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
- Pizza quattro formaggi, 22,00 SFr.
- Diet coke, 4,50 SFr.
Address: Rämistrasse 32, 8001 Zurich
Opening hours: Mon-Sun, 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.