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Old 09-03-2017, 08:47 PM   #1
Bracey
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Default Lavinia's Relaxed Dining Closed

We had a reservation for 6 people at 5:30 this evening, Sunday, Sept. 3. The restaurant gladly accepted the reservation when it was made earlier in the week. Everyone arrived on time, in the pouring rain, and walked to the main entrance only to be met by a sign on the door saying In the future please call for reservations. They will NEVER see our business again!
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:50 PM   #2
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We had a reservation for 6 people at 5:30 this evening, Sunday, Sept. 3. The restaurant gladly accepted the reservation when it was made earlier in the week. Everyone arrived on time, in the pouring rain, and walked to the main entrance only to be met by a sign on the door saying In the future please call for reservations. They will NEVER see our business again!
I do not understand this post. Were they not open?
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bracey View Post
We had a reservation for 6 people at 5:30 this evening, Sunday, Sept. 3. The restaurant gladly accepted the reservation when it was made earlier in the week. Everyone arrived on time, in the pouring rain, and walked to the main entrance only to be met by a sign on the door saying In the future please call for reservations. They will NEVER see our business again!


Huh? Please explain what went on...??
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:21 PM   #4
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Default Lavinia's Relaxed Dining

They were closed...the sandwich board said Sorry, we're closed.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:43 PM   #5
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Unless you gave them a phone number when you made the reservation, it would be difficult, nigh near impossible, to contact you and let you know they were unfortunately having to close on Sunday night and would not be able to honor your reservation.
Before I would write them off for a place to dine, I would certainly give them a call to find out what happened. Quite possibly they would offer you a gift certificate, however large or small, as a mea culpa for your inconvenience.
Just a thought. 🤔

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Old 09-04-2017, 12:40 AM   #6
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Lavinia's is always closed on Sundays & Mondays.


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Old 09-04-2017, 08:12 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bracey View Post
We had a reservation for 6 people at 5:30 this evening, Sunday, Sept. 3. The restaurant gladly accepted the reservation when it was made earlier in the week. Everyone arrived on time, in the pouring rain, and walked to the main entrance only to be met by a sign on the door saying In the future please call for reservations. They will NEVER see our business again!

This is odd to the extreme. I can't think of ever making a reservation without giving my phone #. Moreover, Lavinia's is CLOSED every Sunday. Somebody goofed up. Perhaps the person who made the reservation?
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:06 PM   #8
Bracey
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Default Lavinia's out of business

If their post on facebook is correct, Lavinia's Relaxed Dining is closing it's doors. Out of business. It's sad to see any business closing in the Lakes Region.

Hopefully, a good restarauntuer can make a successful go of that wonderful location.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:08 PM   #9
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Default Closing...

Annnnnndddddd now I have a gift card that is worthless.

It's too bad. I enjoyed it there.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:13 PM   #10
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Always wanted to give it a try, even when it was Coe House. Oh well maybe when there is new ownership
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:21 PM   #11
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Their business plan was flawed from the beginning. They had a great location in a summer tourist area. Great food, great bar and atmosphere.

1. Only open after 4pm?
2. Closed all day on Sundays? ... and Mondays?

Why would you ever have these hours in tourist area. They were never going to make it.
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:28 PM   #12
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Weird--every time we called or showed up, they had no tables available AND were smarmy about it. Never ate there as a result.

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Old 10-12-2017, 08:05 PM   #13
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Default Lavinia's closing

This is sad news for Center Harbor and others around the lake who appreciate quality. Brandon has wonderful culinary skills..

Every cloud has a silver lining and I hope that one day Brandon can look back at this with the same positive thoughts I have when reminiscing the moment I closed my first restaurant 25 years ago. I believe he will encounter the exciting future that I wish upon him
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:13 PM   #14
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The food was good, but it was tough to get in there in August, they didn't seem to want the business, they must have been having issues. Too bad, hopefully something as good or better will come in.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:44 AM   #15
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Culinary skills are great if you are hosting an in home party.

But culinary skills, without being customer centric and having basic business sense, cannot run a successful business.

The silver lining is that this location may open up opportunities for a successful restaurant that can serve the community as it deserves.
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Old 10-13-2017, 12:59 PM   #16
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Default Lavinia's

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The food was good, but it was tough to get in there in August, they didn't seem to want the business, they must have been having issues.
That was our experience. I really liked the food, fish tacos especially. However, over the past year or so, I always felt like they could not be bothered by our business. Most of our friends who frequented Lavinia's felt the same way. In my opinion, the younger staff were overwhelmed and inexperienced, and the older staff were indifferent. It's too bad, I think they could have been a tremendous success if they were more customer focused.
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:38 PM   #17
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It's been a long while since I went then but that time we (4 of us) went upstairs, grabbed a spot in the bar and got scolded for not checking in with the hostess, then being told "never mind".

Every place on earth is open seating in the bar.

Always liked the food but someone else will do a better job I'm sure
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:27 PM   #18
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Only ever went once a couple years ago and I recall the food being good and the service good as well...I remember because when I paid by plastic they had to run the card through one of those old timey, “slides” with paper. I think she said their “link” was down or something.
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:59 PM   #19
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I went there for a wedding reception at the end of August. The food was fair, but nothing spectacular. I hope it opens again soon with new owners.
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:03 AM   #20
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Bring back the Coe House (and their wonderful "no kids" policy)! It was fantastic.
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:57 PM   #21
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Default So sad

So sad to hear this. We always enjoyed our visits to Lavinia's. Brandon, Amanda and Anthony were always great. It's a really tough business and we wish them all the best. Lots of talent there... hope to see them again
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Old 10-15-2017, 06:36 PM   #22
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In NH, gift cards do not expire or get wiped out by the closing of a business.
Send them a certified letter with copy of the card with card number and demand a full refund.
If they don't refund or respond, send copies of everything to the Attorney General and they will assist resolving it.
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:16 AM   #23
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Bring back the Coe House (and their wonderful "no kids" policy)! It was fantastic.

A no kids policy anywhere in New Hampshire is a joke. Do these places think they're on Rodeo Drive??
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:44 AM   #24
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Bring back the Coe House (and their wonderful "no kids" policy)! It was fantastic.

A no kids policy anywhere in New Hampshire is a joke. Do these places think they're on Rodeo Drive??
Don't know or care where they "think they were". I, and many other people knew they were in Center Harbor, NH. The place was always busy, and I purposely went there because of the "no-kids" (read: screaming brat) policy. It was like Camelot!
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:10 AM   #25
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Don't know or care where they "think they were". I, and many other people knew they were in Center Harbor, NH. The place was always busy, and I purposely went there because of the "no-kids" (read: screaming brat) policy. It was like Camelot!
Umm...why'd they go out of business if they "were always busy"? I'm confident there's no way a restaurant in the lakes region would survive on adult-only patrons. It's hard enough to make it WITH families.

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Old 10-16-2017, 09:06 AM   #26
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Umm...why'd they go out of business if they "were always busy"? I'm confident there's no way a restaurant in the lakes region would survive on adult-only patrons. It's hard enough to make it WITH families.

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I don't know the answer to your question. People go out of business for many reasons. There are dozens of restaurants in the Lakes Region, only one of which (to my knowledge) had a "no kids" policy. Is that really too much to ask? And yes, they were ALWAYS busy.
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:18 AM   #27
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FYI Coe House didn't go out of business. Owners sold the business and leased the building
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:59 AM   #28
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FYI Coe House didn't go out of business. Owners sold the business and leased the building
Thank you for clarifying.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:33 AM   #29
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Just because a place is packed does not mean it's making a profit.
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:02 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Seaplane Pilot View Post
Don't know or care where they "think they were". I, and many other people knew they were in Center Harbor, NH. The place was always busy, and I purposely went there because of the "no-kids" (read: screaming brat) policy. It was like Camelot!
LOL, SP! Don't ask me why but your reply struck me funny. You know know where they think they were?? LOL LOL LOL Must not take much, huh??
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Old 10-16-2017, 01:05 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaplane Pilot View Post
Don't know or care where they "think they were". I, and many other people knew they were in Center Harbor, NH. The place was always busy, and I purposely went there because of the "no-kids" (read: screaming brat) policy. It was like Camelot!
LOL, SP! Don't ask me why but your reply struck me funny. You don't know or care where they "think they were"?? LOL LOL LOL Must not take much, huh??
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:10 PM   #32
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I am always unhappy when i good local restaurant goes out of business. A couple of years ago a full time resident said it was tough for anyone to survive the winter unless they either had something unique like Woodshed, Lemon Grass or Kitchen ( very reasonable prices ) or a good bar scene like the Bob or Buckeys . lavinias to me didn't have either. Just a thought
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Old 10-16-2017, 08:56 PM   #33
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Post Market Segmentation

My observation is that there are approximately four types of segmentation in the restaurant market at the lake:
  • Value Market
  • High End Market
  • Bar
  • Social

Restaurants such as Lemon Grass and Local Eatery fit into the high end market and their survival depends upon maintaining a high quality product and catering to generally a smaller market segment in the lakes region.

Restaurants such as T-Bones and Patricks are more value oriented and their survival depends upon good portion/quality relative to competitive pricing and developing volume (lower margins).

The bar segment is restaurants such as 405, Looney Bin and Patricks who rely heavily on the drinking crowd.

Some restaurants become social hangouts such as the Crazy Gringo.

To survive in the lakes region, restaurants have to establish themselves in at least one of these categories and develop an off season clientele. I don't think that Lavinia's positioned itself well in any one category. It seemed to want to cater to both the high end crowd and the bar crowd. Our experience is that the food was quite variable which probably hurt it in its high end positioning.

The Holy Grail is another good example of restaurant failure. The environment was not really great for social interaction and it did not appear to attract the bar crowd. The food was value based but the quality was lacking.

Just my observations.

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Old 10-16-2017, 10:09 PM   #34
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Don’t really disagree with Jetskier’s analysis. The Corner House does pretty well with the upstairs bar and downstairs dining rooms.

As long as I’m here, I can’t find anything on Lavinias FaceBook page about closing; perhaps there are multiple groups I can’t find. Just wondrin’
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:06 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
I am always unhappy when i good local restaurant goes out of business. A couple of years ago a full time resident said it was tough for anyone to survive the winter unless they either had something unique like Woodshed, Lemon Grass or Kitchen ( very reasonable prices ) or a good bar scene like the Bob or Buckeys . lavinias to me didn't have either. Just a thought
Me too! In this case, Lavinias was a restaurant with good food and service when seated at the bar, after that it dropped off quickly... Stopped in during bike week this year for a good burger. It was not busy, no one at the hostess station, so we walked into the bar area and sat down at the high top closest to the bar. Manager came over and lectured us about coming into busy season, you need reservations, blah, blah (very condescending)... we left and went to the Woodshed instead. I only ate at Lavinias 4 or 5 times a year, but one of the people in our party was there often. Neither of us went back. I knew many regulars that felt that things had changed since the father was not involved.

The restaurant business is tough at best, customer service is paramount to success!
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Old Yesterday, 09:23 AM   #36
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Default Very sad to see them close

My family and I (including my 13 and 11 year old children) have been going to Lavinia's 4 or 5 times a year over the past 3 years and have always had a great meal and were treated well. I think part of their problem was the layout of the restaurant as it was somewhat awkward to eat in the dining room areas that were really just small rooms of the old house. You could hear every word people were saying and they could only fit so many tables into the rooms. I will really miss the scallop appetizer that we all would fight over every time we visited. Should have just ordered two. Good luck to the owners. I hope they find a way to try again.
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