Author Topic: how the heck do they stay in business?  (Read 24293 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Sandi Papaya

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4532
  • candelita
how the heck do they stay in business?
« on: September 27, 2008, 07:03:01 PM »
Every town has one of those businesses that is much like a certain chocolate factory owned by one Mr. Wonka - "Nobody ever comes in, and nobody ever goes out." So one has cause to wonder how they stay in business. Funny thing is, businesses like these, as a general rule, seem to go on functioning for years and years.

One such business was the House of Lights in my hometown. It was, as you may have guessed, a purveyor of lamps and other lighting fixtures near one of the parochial schools in my town, and it had been around for as long as I could remember. I lived in my hometown for the first 18 years of my life, plus another 5 or so years after graduating from college (so from birth to age 18, then 22-27), and that business was still going when I left. I have no idea if they still exist, but in all those years, I never saw anyone enter or exit the House of Lights. My aunt theorized that they had a side business running numbers, or else a gambling parlor in the back.

Ever have one of those mysterious businesses where you live?

ygerna

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2008, 07:16:02 PM »
There is a fudge shop near my grandparent's house like that. We joke that it's a mafia front.

My aunt toured it on an elementary school field trip 30-odd years ago. Claims they really do make fudge.

I have an irrational fear of Willy Wonka and therefore refuse to go near the mystical Fudge Shoppe.

Zen

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 135
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2008, 07:17:27 PM »
Yes, there is a Thai restaurant fairly near where DH and I used to live that we never saw anyone ever go in or out of. It has impressively tinted windows, so you can't see in. My mother and I once peeked in to look at their prices (we were on the search for a good Chinese or Thai place after we had moved here), but it was so spooky, we never ate there. I have never seen anyone go in or out, and it has been in business at least the last 8 years. My DH has lived here 12 years, and says he's never seen anyone go in or out either.
I too fear Willy Wonka.

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18186
  • Release the gelfling!
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2008, 07:18:53 PM »

Where i live we just assume it is a laundering front and wait for the fire.




 ;) just kidding ... or mostly, at least.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

scooter2071

  • Guest
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2008, 07:42:51 PM »
Turkish restaurant in a rural village where cuisine isn't exactly appreciated.

Been there for as long as I can remember. Tinted, dusty windows. I went in once and walked right back out. It has to be a front for something. The staff looked at me like I was crazy walking in.

Hurricane Marathon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1580
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2008, 07:53:56 PM »
There was a Chinese restaurant on the corner downtown here like that.  It had been there longer than I've been alive, but I never once saw any customers in it.  It's been gone for a few years and the building is currently empty. 

Pinky830

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3039
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2008, 08:05:31 PM »
There was a piano dealership (or store or whatever you call a vendor of pianos) down the highway from me for years and years. I couldn't imagine a store that sold nothing but pianos...a general music store that sold other instruments too, but not just pianos. I never saw anyone coming in or out either. And they had signs in the window that said "Big Sale Now!" for so long they faded in the sun.


KCee

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2067
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2008, 08:05:42 PM »
Turkish restaurant in a rural village where cuisine isn't exactly appreciated.

Been there for as long as I can remember. Tinted, dusty windows. I went in once and walked right back out. It has to be a front for something. The staff looked at me like I was crazy walking in.


Mmmm I LOVE Turkish food. I would go in and demand food, front or no!

That's how the White Castle was near me. It finally closed a couple of years ago, but my dad used to take me every Sunday for years and years and no one was EVER there. I suppose it could stay open for so long b/c it was a chain.

NOVA Lady

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7862
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2008, 08:22:01 PM »
Oh yea, in Providence RI there are tons of stores like this. Most popular are "dry cleaners" and restaurants. usually with very limited hours, and definitely a mafia front.

When I took a summer course at Providence College, while home for the summer between freshman and sophomore year, and I managed to catch the restaurant nearby open. They looked at me like I was a nut, but I sat down and had some of the most delicious lasagna I have ever had. The only other table, a large gathering of men in suits :)

DaeOne

  • Guest
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2008, 08:39:19 PM »
There are several Oriental restaurants like that here, and we too have a house of lights! Gotta be a front for something, but I'm not very interested in finding out what.

LadyofMaine

  • Guest
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2008, 09:18:59 PM »
Yes!  We also had a Chinese restaurant just like that.  There were always cars parked out back, but none in front.  I lived right by it and never saw customers.

A friend of mine said if you actually went in, they would open a can of Chun King.

rose red

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7608
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2008, 09:24:14 PM »
A hardware store and a creepy motel.  Never see cars outside yet they've both been open for years.  I use to joke it was a front for the mob too.  Now that I read all your posts, I wonder if the joke may be real.

2littlemonkeys

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3586
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2008, 02:50:15 PM »
We have a discount furniture store at the end of our block.  I have NEVER seen anyone come in or out of that store.  They've had the same window display for 10 years (with about 10 years worth of dust.  I wonder if that's included with the purchase price?)  We think it's a front too.  Either that or the store owners also own the apartment building it's attached too and running a store is just a fun hobby.

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18186
  • Release the gelfling!
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2008, 02:55:58 PM »
Mmmm I LOVE Turkish food. I would go in and demand food, front or no!

That's how the White Castle was near me. It finally closed a couple of years ago, but my dad used to take me every Sunday for years and years and no one was EVER there. I suppose it could stay open for so long b/c it was a chain.

That had to have been the one Harold & Kumar were looking for! I can never find any others in the area :)
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

sparksals

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17343
Re: how the heck do they stay in business?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2008, 03:05:44 PM »
Yes, there is a Thai restaurant fairly near where DH and I used to live that we never saw anyone ever go in or out of. It has impressively tinted windows, so you can't see in. My mother and I once peeked in to look at their prices (we were on the search for a good Chinese or Thai place after we had moved here), but it was so spooky, we never ate there. I have never seen anyone go in or out, and it has been in business at least the last 8 years. My DH has lived here 12 years, and says he's never seen anyone go in or out either.
I too fear Willy Wonka.

There's a Thai restaurant down the street from our friend's house.  DH and I went there for lunch one afternoon after visiting friends.  We were the only people in there.  We told friends we went in and thought the food and service was fab.  They said they never see anyone going in/out and they figure they make their money on take out.  That's what I would assume for restaurants that don't seem to have a lot of business on premises.