The little guy needs help too

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2006

It was a shame to hear Art’s Kitchen was going down the tubes. While I’m not much for eating out, I do occasionally enjoy a good, large breakfast that I don’t have to clean up after, and Art’s certainly fit the bill.

While the closing last week was disappointing, it was not a surprise. Rumors of the establishment being on shaky financial footing were circulating within a couple months of its opening. I was initially skeptical of the rumors because of what appeared to be the large volume of business the place was doing; but it appears they were true.

I did wonder sometimes whether the place was overstaffed. It seemed like there were a lot of people running around behind the counter.


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Anyway, I think highly of Ed Beardsley, the guy who did the cooking and was reportedly unaware of the establishment’s financial dealings. Ed, it was announced, will be going into business with Mickey Boyette and Charles Parr, opening “Ed’s Place” at the former Dining Room location, which closed in December and also at one time offered up a good, big breakfast that they discontinued. I wish the three of them the best of luck in their new venture.

Another thing I liked about Art’s was that it was within walking distance of the office. I don’t usually eat breakfast, so if I got particularly hungry anytime during the morning, I could be there and back in about 30 minutes. That was nice.

Fortunately for me, I pass by the new restaurant location every morning on my drive to work, so it will be convenient, too.

Speaking of restaurants, so far activity appears to be a little slow at best at the Main Street Jazz Restaurant. I don’t know why that is, though I’ve heard some grumblings about what is reported to be a $15 cover charge to get upstairs on the weekends. That seems a bit much.

Regardless, I like the place. The ambiance is wonderful (it’s worth going for that alone) and owners Horace Balmer and Sherwin Turner couldn’t be any more gracious and nice. I went there to eat last Friday night, the day after the opening, and though I was a little disappointed in the availability of meatless fare, I still enjoyed myself. I hope things pick up for them and feel like they will.

Running a small business is tough and I hope everyone will support these people who are sinking their money and sweat into making Suffolk special. It’s a big gamble. Suffolk is certainly “hot,” but it’s not quite there yet. All these folks are betting on the come, and barring some type of national economic calamity, in which case we’d all be sunk, I think it’s a safe bet.

On the home front

We’ve gotten a lot of good response to our redesign launched last week, but it’s been pretty grueling. Many of us have been staying here at least a couple hours beyond what we normally do each night. The belief that we are doing something really special, and that it will get easier as we get used to it, is about the only thing driving us.

While the design is one thing, what will make the News-Herald really special is your participation.

Please, call the “Sound Off” hotline and voice your opinion.

Alert us to “Acts of Kindness,” “Ask the Expert,” and “We Can Do Better,” and send us your photographs from around Suffolk for “Suffolk Scene.”

If you do those things, I’m sure we can give you a paper that you will look forward to every day, and one in which you can take pride.

We’re a small business, too, and need your help as badly as the other guys.

Andy Prutsok is publisher of the News-Herald. Reach him at 934-9611 or at